Maren Westphal, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology
Maren Westphal, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and Research Project Manager at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Dr. Westphal received a BA (Honors) in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Clinical Psychology (With Distinction) from Columbia University. Dr. Westphal completed an APA-approved Psychology Internship at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center (Academic Affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York before joining Columbia University’s Trauma and PTSD program in January 2009.
Dr. Westphal has been trained in dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic and structural family therapies, and has experience conducting psychological assessments and psychotherapy in English and Spanish with outpatient and inpatient populations. At NYSPI, Dr. Westphal is involved in the education and training of medical and graduate students, residents and post-doctoral fellows, providing instruction and supervision in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and clinical evaluation as part of funded research projects in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic. Dr. Westphal previously taught weekly labs in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to PhD students in the Clinical Psychology program (Health Emphasis) at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University, where she currently serves as an adjunct clinical supervisor.
Dr. Westphal's main research interests are biological markers and psychosocial correlates of risk and resilience to adversity, with focus on emotion regulation, personality, and fear extinction learning. She is a member of a multidisciplinary research team led by Dr. Yuval Neria that is comprised of scientists from Columbia, Harvard and New York Universities with expertise in PTSD, prolonged exposure therapy, primary care mental health, and cognitive neuroscience.
Dr. Westphal is also involved in projects aiming to promote adjustment and reintegration of veterans returning from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan via a Cross-disciplinary Research Team Development Award she received from the University of South Florida, (USF). This award was funded from a NIDA grant (PI: Junius Gonzalez) as part of the "The Quality of Behavioral Healthcare-A Drive for Change Through Research" initiative with the purpose to support the development of an interdisciplinary research program that will improve mental health service delivery for veterans with mood and anxiety disorders and co-occurring substance use disorder.