Meet Our Trainers

Joan Rosenbaum Asarnow, Ph.D. Dr. Asarnow is Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Asarnow’s current work focuses on interventions and service delivery strategies for improving health and mental health in youth, with an emphasis on suicide/suicide attempt prevention and depression. She has led efforts to disseminate evidence-based treatments for child and adolescent depression and suicide prevention, working across multiple service settings including emergency departments, primary care, mental health, and school settings. Dr. Asarnow has received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and MacArthur Foundation. At the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, Dr. Asarnow directs the Youth Stress and Mood Program, a depression and suicide prevention program. This program provides clinical care for youth depression and suicidality, with an emphasis on cognitive-behavioral treatments, work with families, and community based treatment and service strategies.

Dr. Asarnow is a Trainer in the FISP.

Adrienne Banny, Ph.D. Dr. Banny is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Medical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Child Development at the University of Minnesota and completed her clinical internship at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Banny specializes in evidence-based assessment and treatment approaches for adolescent depression, suicide, and self-harm, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents. She is involved in coordinating ASAP Center activities, including adaptation of service delivery strategies, training, and quality assurance activities.

Dr. Banny is a Trainer in the FISP.

Jenna Calton, Ph.D. Dr. Calton is an Adjunct Faculty in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program at George Mason University and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Calton earned her PhD in clinical psychology from George Mason University. She completed her clinical internship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC and then finished a post-doctoral fellowship in child trauma at The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD (The Tree House). After fellowship, Dr. Calton worked as a staff psychologist, clinical supervisor, and Director of the Clinical Psychology Internship Program at The Tree House. She is currently in private practice. Dr. Calton specializes in delivering evidence-based trauma-focused assessments and treatments to children and families. Dr. Calton is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and has formal training in Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT). Dr. Calton also serves as a clinical supervisor at the George Mason University Center for Psychological Services, where she provides clinical supervision to doctoral students who are delivering CBT to youth and families. Dr. Calton's research interests center around help-seeking for intimate partner violence and effective methods of teaching students about culture and social justice. She has 16 peer-reviewed publications on these subjects.

Dr. Calton is a trainer in CC-CBT and MATCH-ADTC.

Tara Chaplin, Ph.D. Dr. Chaplin is an Associate Professor in the Psychology at Department at George Mason University and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She serves as a clinical supervisor for GMU doctoral students’ work with children, adolescents, and families. She received a Ph.D. in Child-Clinical psychology in 2003 from Penn State University. She completed post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania from 2003-2006. She then joined Yale University, where she completed one year as a post-doctoral associate and two years as an Associate Research Scientist from 2006-2009. In 2009, Dr. Chaplin was promoted to Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale. She left Yale to join the Clinical Psychology Faculty at George Mason University in 2013. 

Dr. Chaplin’s research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research. Her papers have appeared in Psychological BulletinDevelopment and PsychopathologyJournal of Adolescent Health, and other journals. Dr. Chaplin’s research interests are in the role of emotional arousal/regulation and sex differences in the development of risk behaviors (such as substance use) and mental health problems (such as depression, anxiety, and conduct problems) during adolescence. She is interested in the role of the family context and parenting in shaping adolescents’ emotional and behavioral health development. Her research also focuses on developing family-focused interventions to improve emotional functioning and prevent risk behaviors and mental health problems among adolescents.

Dr. Chaplin is a Trainer in MATCH-ADTC.

Christianne Esposito-Smythers, Ph.D. Dr. Esposito-Smythers is a Professor in the Psychology Department at George Mason University (GMU), Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program at GMU, Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University, and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with expertise in treatment of adolescent suicidality, depression, and substance abuse. She is also a clinical supervisor at the GMU Center for Psychological Services. She supervises graduate students in the provision of cognitive behavioral therapy for youth experiencing suicidality, non-suicidal self-injury, depression, anxiety, behavioral difficulties, and substance abuse.

Dr. Esposito-Smythers completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Virginia Tech, a clinical internship at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, and two Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, one in child/adolescent mental health and one in alcohol and addition studies. Upon completion of her fellowships, she was an Assistant Professor and Training Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown Medical School. Dr. Esposito-Smythers joined the clinical faculty at George Mason University in 2008.

Dr. Esposito-Smythers’ research interests include the development and testing of cognitive-behavioral, family-focused, interventions for adolescent suicidal behavior, depression, substance abuse, and other high-risk behaviors. In addition to outcomes, she studies mechanisms that underlie improvement in the context of these interventions. She is also interested in the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions into community-based settings. She is an author on more than 100 publications and over 120 national and international presentations. She has been awarded over $14 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and other sources to support her research. She has conducted numerous workshops to train clinicians in cognitive-behavioral treatment for adolescent suicidal behavior and comorbid mental health conditions. She is sits on the Scientific Advisory Council for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Fairfax County workgroups dedicated toward improving access to evidence-based assessment and treatment for youth and families. She also sat on the Fairfax County Youth Suicide Review Team.

Dr. Esposito-Smythers is a Trainer in CC-CBT and MATCH-ADTC.

Sarah Fischer, Ph.D. Dr. Fischer is an Associate Professor in the Psychology at Department at George Mason University and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Fischer completed her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Kentucky, and her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Following her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Fischer was a faculty member at the University of Georgia, where she directed a Dialectical Behavior Therapy program for adults and adolescents.

Dr. Fischer’s research focuses on impulsivity and behavior patterns such as binge eating, purging, alcohol abuse, and non-suicidal self-injury. Dr. Fischer’s work investigates how personality traits and environmental contexts, such as stressors, mood, and learning, interact to influence maladaptive behavioral choices. Dr. Fischer’s areas of clinical expertise are cognitive behavioral therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for adults with Borderline Personality Disorder, DBT for adolescents with suicidal behavior, and the treatment of eating disorders. She supervises clinical psychology doctoral students in the application of cognitive behavioral therapy and works in private practice at Potomac Behavioral Solutions.

Dr. Fischer has published over 75 articles and book chapters on impulsivity, eating disorders, substance use, NSSI, and empirically supported treatment applications. She has served on the editorial boards of Psychotherapy, Behavior Therapy, and the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. She has been a co-investigator of two treatment outcome studies funded by the National Institute of Health; one on suicide and HIV prevention for youth involved in the juvenile justice system, and one which investigated the effectiveness of a mindfulness intervention for highly stressed parents of adolescents. She has also been funded by the National Eating Disorder Association to pilot test DBT for adolescents with bulimia nervosa and co-occurring suicidal behavior.

Dr. Fischer is a Trainer in CC-CBT.

David Goldston, Ph.D. Dr. Goldston is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Goldston has conducted longitudinal research regarding risk and developmental trajectories of suicidal behaviors among youths through young adulthood, developed interventions for substance using and suicidal teens, participated in the cross-site evaluation of the nationally implemented Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention program, and written a book, published by the American Psychological Association Press, on the assessment of suicidal behaviors and risk among children and adolescents. He currently is collaborating in the evaluation of a cognitive behavioral intervention to reduce suicidal behavior among military personnel, and is conducting research funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NIMH regarding mechanisms of risk associated with suicidal behaviors. Dr. Goldston is a Co-Principal Investigator (along with Dr. Joan Asarnow at UCLA) of a National Child Traumatic Stress Network Center grant to provide trainings in brief interventions for youth with suicidality and substance abuse who have been exposed to trauma, and are being seen in emergency and urgent care settings. He also participants in many other clinical research grants in the areas of youth and adult suicide.

Dr. Goldston is a Trainer in the FISP.

Robyn Mehlenbeck, Ph.D., ABPP Dr. Mehlenbeck is a Clinical Professor in the Psychology Department at George Mason University, Director of the GMU Center for Psychological Services, and a Licensed Clinical Child and Adolescent Board Certified psychologist who specializes in working with children with medical conditions. Her specialty extends to working with families of adolescents with and without medical issues, using family systems and cognitive-behavioral approaches to treatment. She is a clinical supervisor at the GMU Center for Psychological Services. She is also a research fellow at the GMU Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.

Dr. Mehlenbeck completed her undergraduate training at the College of William and Mary, and her doctoral training at the University of Memphis.  She completed her internship at the University of California San Diego Consortium (child track) and her post-doctoral training at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Prior to coming to Mason, she was a Clinical Associate Professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and worked at the Hasbro Children’s Partial Hospital Program, where she served as the Director of Training. Committed to the Scientist-Practitioner Model, Mehlenbeck engages in clinical work, teaching and research, with a multidisciplinary focus. She has trained medical students, psychology interns and fellows, pediatrics and psychiatry residents and fellows, and developmental behavioral pediatricians.

Dr. Mehlenbeck has several publications and has presented nationally and internationally on best practices in work with children and adolescents with medical issues.  She the past President for the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She has engaged in interdisciplinary training and work across her career, and truly enjoys training the next generation of behavioral health providers.

 Dr. Mehlenbeck is a Trainer in MATCH-ADTC.

Alicia Meyer, Ph.D. Dr. Meyer is a nationally certified TF-CBT trainer and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.  She is the Executive Director of a non-profit agency devoted to the assessment and treatment of traumatized children.  She is also the former Director of Mental Health at multiple Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) and an expert in trauma informed care for children.  She often teaches these principles to community providers, the courts, child protection agencies, and States Attorneys. Her particular areas of expertise include child maltreatment and healthy parenting practices, and she conducts forensic assessments related to these issues.  She is also often called upon to provide expert witness testimony to the courts.

Dr. Myer is a Trainer in TF-CBT.

Angela M. Tunno, Ph.D. Dr. Tunno is a Medical Instructor and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Duke University Medical Center, the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, and the Center for Child and Family Health. She received her doctorate in Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Kansas (KU) and completed her clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center. She received her M.S. in Applied Clinical Psychology at the University of South Carolina-Aiken. Prior to attending KU, she completed a one-year fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Violence Prevention (DVP), Prevention Development and Evaluation Branch (PDEB) where she helped develop and disseminate prevention efforts for child maltreatment and community violence. She specializes in clinical interventions for adolescents, children and families presenting with an array of behavioral and emotional difficulties, including traumatic exposure and chronic emotion dysregulation. Her research interests include public policy and advocacy for children, youth, and families, prevention of child maltreatment, resiliency factors post-traumatic experiences, the intersection between trauma exposure and high-risk behavior (e.g., suicidality), and dissemination/ implementation of evidence-based therapeutic interventions.

Dr. Tunno is a Trainer in the FISP.