Meet The CAPS Staff


The staff of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) includes licensed psychologists, board certified psychiatrists, and post-doctoral fellows. All of our staff are generalists and see students presenting with a variety of issues andpossess experience in working with diverse student populations. CAPS operates from a "de-centralized" community psychology model. While many of our staff are located at our Central Office (Galbraith Hall 190), in order to increase access for students, the majority of our staff are located at the six undergraduate colleges, the Women's Center, and Student Health Services. The staff members at CAPS are also researchers and writers. To see a list of writings and research projects run by our staff, please view the Staff Publications & Research Tab below.

CAPS Clinical Staff

  • Ginger Villareal Armas, Ph.D. Post Doctoral Fellow / Sixth College
    Nova Southeastern University
    Hello! I am a first-generation Filipina American, who has lived and travelled in different countries and domestic cities. My journey has led me to become more mindful of multicultural, diversity, and social justice issues. Through my clinical training and my own life, I have learned effective ways of dealing with adversity, change, loss, and strong emotions. Specifically, sharing our stories with an empathic listener can help us to feel less alone in our struggles. It can also help us to gain more clarity about our experiences. My therapeutic approach has been described as compassionate and nonjudgmental. If we have the opportunity to work together, I would cultivate an atmosphere where you would feel comfortable to discuss what matters to you. We could collaborate on how to: stop engaging in self-defeating behaviors, build upon your preexisting strengths, and develop radical self-acceptance. You could come closer to the life you wish to lead… I would be honored to meet with you!
    Clinical Interests:
    Adjustment & Life Transitions; Stress Management; Anxiety (General & Social); Trauma; Dissociative Disorders; Grief/Bereavement; Depression; Shame; Imposter Syndrome; Academic Concerns; Activist Burnout; Multicultural/Diversity Issues; Asian American Mental Health; LGBTQ Issues; Existential/Religious/Spiritual Concerns; Interpersonal Difficulties; Wellness; Mindfulness. My eclectic, strengths-based approach takes into consideration a student’s individuality and culture. I integrate interventions from a variety of theoretical orientations, including CBT, existential psychotherapy, mindfulness-based approaches, time-limited dynamic therapy (TLDP), and modern analytic group psychotherapy.
    Languages Spoken:
    English and Tagalog.
    American Group Psychotherapy Association; California Psychological Association; Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies; International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation; Psychologists for Social Responsibility.
  • Erin Kelly Bartelma, Psy.D. Psychologist / Roosevelt College
    California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego
    Welcome! I believe counseling is a process that allows you to create a personal path of empowerment and emotional wellness. It is an opportunity for you to identify strengths, increase coping skills, and problem solve. With acceptance and compassion, I will work with you to find more awareness and balance in your life, to help you meet your goals, and to face challenges more confidently. I am proud to be part of the CAPS team and look forward to supporting you during your journey here at UCSD!
    Clinical Interests:
    Sport & performance psychology, health and wellness, academic success, stress management, adjustment and life transitions, managing depression and anxiety, identity formation, multicultural counseling, relationship issues, healthy communication skills, substance abuse, grief and loss, and working with student veterans. Theoretical orientation integrates psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness approaches.
    CAPS: Co-Coordinator of Wellness Peer Education Program; Well-Being Cluster Advisory Board.
  • Doriane Besson, Ph.D. Counseling Psychologist / Muir College
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    Hello! My name is Dr. Doriane Besson and I am a psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services in addition to the liaison to the Black Resource Center. My clinical interests include identity concerns, mood and anxiety disorders, family of origin concerns, African American mental health, LGBTQ issues, cultivating healthy relationships, multicultural counseling, and stress reduction. As an ally and woman of color, I am committed to social justice and providing support to students who may be confronted with challenges related to the issues of diversity or other difficulties encountered while attending college.
    Clinical Interests:
    Identity concerns, Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Family of Origin Concerns, African American Mental Health, LGBTQ Issues, Cultivating Healthy Relationships, Multicultural Counseling, Stress Reduction. My theoretical orientation integrates Interpersonal, Cognitive-Behavioral, Multicultural, and Person Centered approaches.
    Research Interests:
    Culturally Adapted Treatments, Multicultural Competence in Psychotherapy.
    American Psychological Association, Section for Ethnic and Racial Diversity (SERD) Div. 17.
  • Sarah Clavell Storer, Ph.D. Psychologist / Central Office
    California School of Professional Psychology
    Hello and welcome to the Counseling Center! College is an exciting time filled with many new experiences and challenges. I feel so honored to be a part of students’ journeys of self-discovery and growth. I am passionate about helping students overcome challenges and attain lifelong skills. I enjoy working with students with a variety of concerns but have some special interests including managing depression and anxiety, multicultural counseling, interpersonal relationships, body image concerns, sexual and gender identity development, veteran’s issues, and childhood abuse. I look forward to meeting you!
    Clinical Interests:
    Managing depression and anxiety; Adjustment and life transitions; Multicultural counseling; Women’s issues; Sexual and gender identity development; Veteran’s issues; Body image concerns; Childhood abuse; Relationships. Theoretical orientation integrates psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness approaches.
    American Psychological Association.
  • Hercilia Corona, Ph.D. Psychologist / Sixth College
    University of Massachusetts (Boston)
    Bienvenidos! Welcome! I am a Mexican immigrant and first-generation college student. I feel honored to serve the UCSD community as a Staff Psychologist at CAPS. In addition to offering direct clinical services, I am the Liaison to the RAZA Resource Centro. I would describe my clinical style as warm, supportive, and flexible. It combines psychodynamic, behavioral, and developmental approaches. Although I am a generalist, I have special interest and expertise in working with students of color, first generation college students, and other under-represented groups. I am also bilingual in Spanish. I look forward to meeting you!
    Clinical Interests:
    Impact of implicit and explicit racism; working with students of color, first-generation college students, and other under-represented groups; Identity development; Immigration and acculturation; Family of origin concerns.
    Languages Spoken:
    English and Spanish.
    UCSD: Liaison, RAZA Resource Centro.
  • Elise Curry, Psy.D. Psychologist / Revelle College
    Pacific University School of Professional Psychology
    • Greetings! I have been working at CAPS for the past 5 years seeing students with a variety of issues. My theoretical orientation is a combination of Cognitive Behavioral therapy and Mindfulness-based Cognitive therapy. As a daily meditator, I bring meditation practice to my work with students. College can be a time of incredible growth and change. I like to help students to navigate these changes.
    Clinical Interests:
    Mindfulness based cognitive therapy, coming out, gay/lesbian/bi issues, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, stress management, PTSD, spiritual issues, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
    San Diego Psychological Association (SDPA); California Psychological Association (CPA); Academy for Eating Disorder Professionals (AED).
  • Rhonda Hackshaw, Ph.D. Psychologist / Roosevelt College
    University of Florida
    Hello! I am honoured to work at UCSD CAPS and excited by my opportunities to work with students. I am fortunate to be able to work with students in multiple settings: individual counseling, workshops, outreach and mentoring. Some of my training areas include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness based cognitive therapy, and peak performance skills training, and I have a specialization in sport psychology. I also greatly value working within a framework of multiculturalism. Some topics I am especially passionate about are health behaviors such as sleep, management of chronic pain and injury, and effective communication patterns. I look forward to meeting and working with you!
    Clinical Interests:
    Managing Depression and Anxiety; Mindfulness Meditation; Mindfulness Relapse Prevention; Stress Management; Wellness and Holistic Care; Sleep Hygiene; Chronic Illness/Pain Management; Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology; Athletic Peak Performance; Self-Hypnosis; Goal-Setting; Academic Performance; Disordered Eating Issues; Multiracial/Ethnic Identity; International Student Experience; Cultural Sensitivity and Competency; Healthy Relationships; Assertiveness Training; Group Therapy; Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery. Theoretical orientation integrates cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and multicultural feministic approaches.
    American Psychological Association; San Diego Psychological Association, Sport Psychology Committee; Liaison, UCSD Athletic Department.
  • Scott R. Hansen, Ph.D. Psychologist / Central Office
    California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego
    Greetings. I have spent twenty years in postgraduate study delving deeply into psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and systematic theology. During this time, I have acquired a unique understanding of the human condition that allows me to use this wisdom to help students understand, process, and conquer their personal challenges during college life. In addition to helping students cope with anxiety and depression, my area of expertise is romantic love and relational compatibility. I have been teaching seminars on love and marriage for 25 years, trying to help people avoid the relationship mistakes most people make and learn how to find and foster a successful relationship. While my clients find my style sensitive and supportive, they also appreciate that I go beyond active listening and reflection and challenge them with questions that lead them to deeper levels of insight and awareness.
    Clinical Interests:
    The science of romantic love and relational compatibility; evolutionary psychology; philosophical psychology; the concept of self; verification/falsification of psychological claims; performance psychology; the psychology of religion. Theoretical orientation integrates Psychodynamic, Existential, Motivational Interviewing, Brief Therapy, and Cognitive-Behavioral approaches.
    American Psychological Association, Division 42: Psychologists in Independent Practice; San Diego Psychological Association, Orange County Psychological Association.
  • Leakhena "Leah" Heng, Ph.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow / Muir College
    University of Oregon
    Hello UCSD students! I feel honored for the opportunity to work with the students here at UCSD. I am a first generation Cambodian-Chinese American. My multicultural identities and life experiences have shaped my lens as a mental health provider. My goal is to help students examine how relational, social, educational, and cultural factors impact their life experiences. This holistic view of college students’ development, mental health, and academic achievement helps me to adapt my roles to meet students’ needs. My clinical interests include multicultural counseling, interpersonal relationships, immigrant, refugee and acculturation issues, stress management, depression and anxiety, and identity and career development. I hope for the opportunity to collaborate with you and support you during your journey here as a UCSD Triton.
    Clinical Interests:
    Asian/Asian American Mental Health, Career Development, First Generation Issues, Sexual and Gender Identity Development, Immigrant, Refugee, and Acculturation Issues, Interpersonal Relationships, Managing Depression and Anxiety, Multicultural/Diversity Issues, Stress Management, and Women's Issues. My theoretical orientation integrates approaches from Interpersonal Process and Emotion-Focused Therapy within an ecological and multicultural framework.
    Languages Spoken:
    English and Cambodian.
    American Psychological Association: Division 17 (Counseling Psychology), Division 35, Section 5 (Society for the Psychology of Women, Psychology of Asian Pacific American Women); Asian American Psychological Association; Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy.
  • Gregory E. Koch, Psy.D. Psychologist / Muir College
    California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego
    Welcome. I believe in the potential of people and in their capacity for deeper connection and transformation. Through deeper connections, we can see that relationships give life meaning. I also believe that when we learn and practice compassion for ourselves and others we can access calm, peace, and happiness. From this perspective, success is not about perfectionism, but about achievement in the framework of love for self and others. My goal is to create a safe environment where students can look honestly at themselves and others while establishing directions for health and growth. I hope I can be of help.
    Clinical Interests:
    Couples/relationship therapy; gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender issues; hate/bias crime; mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy; men's wellness; building resilience to stress and trauma; humor. Psychotherapy approaches include: Imago Relationship Therapy, Mindfulness, Psychodynamic, Interpersonal, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Feminist and Cognitive-Behavioral approaches.
    American Psychological Association: Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, Society of Clinical Psychology; Alliant International University--Adjunct Faculty; Imago Relationships International.
  • Saliha Kozan, Ph.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow / Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC)
    Boston College
    Hello! After getting extensive clinical training at hospitals, community mental health centers, and university counseling centers, I feel fortunate to work with UC San Diego students. My therapeutic orientation involves evidence-based and culturally informed approaches to collaborate on specific goals of each client. Using a strength-based perspective, I value building a safe and empowering relationship to help individuals with a wide range of concerns, such as developing greater insight and self-compassion, overcoming challenges related to being a college/graduate student, and gaining healthy coping skills. I am also passionate about providing services for individuals with marginalized identities, including racial, ethnic, sexual, and religious minority students, international students, and students from low income backgrounds. I look forward to meeting and working with you!
    Clinical Interests:
    Working with underserved and underrepresented populations; evidence-based treatments for mood and anxiety disorders; adjustment and life transition issues; relationship, academic, and work-related concerns; identity development; career exploration; trauma and grief; multicultural counseling; immigrant mental health; group psychotherapy; prevention and outreach; and social justice advocacy. My theoretical orientation integrates psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavior, acceptance and commitment, and feminist therapy approaches.
    Languages Spoken:
    English & Turkish.
    American Psychological Association Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology, Society for Vocational Psychology Section), Division 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women), and Division 52 (International Psychology); American Group Psychotherapy Association; Global Organization for Humanitarian Work Psychology.
  • Christina Lambert, Ph.D. Psychologist / Marshall College
    Arizona State University
    I am honored to work with UCSD students who are seeking ways to balance their lives, manage their moods, improve their relationships, and strengthen their academic functioning. It is my goal to empower students to discover their purpose, fulfill their potential, and pursue their dreams. I am especially interested in Stress Management, Mindfulness, Substance Abuse, Family Issues, Assertiveness, Identity, Multicultural Counseling, Grief, Career Exploration, Academic Performance, ADHD, and Graduate/Medical Student Experiences. My theoretical orientation integrates humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, narrative, and motivational interviewing approaches.
    Clinical Interests:
    Managing Depression and Anxiety; Spirituality and Meaning-making; Mindfulness Practice; Stress Management; Substance Abuse; Body Image Concerns; Childhood Abuse; Family Issues; Relationships; Assertiveness; Sexual Assault; Sexual and Gender Identity Development; Multicultural Counseling; Grief; Career Exploration; Academic Performance; Graduate/Medical Student Experiences. Theoretical orientation integrates interpersonal, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and motivational interviewing approaches.
    American Psychological Association; UCSD: Student Office of Human Relations (SOHR) Advisory Board.
  • Fengqin Lian, Ph.D. Psychologist / Warren College
    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    Hello and welcome to CAPS! I believe life is like a journey. Think of it as a journey of climbing a mountain, going through a forest, or traveling through a desert, or a combination of them. There are road blocks from time to time. As your therapist and fellow traveler, I may see the road blocks from different angles and have a clearer view because of my training, life experience, and the fact that I can be in and out of your journey. For a very short period of your time in your journey at UCSD, traveling with a therapist may help you travel farther.
    Clinical Interests:
    Anxiety, Depression, Eating disorders, OCD, Relationships, Sense of self, Living through different cultures, Living in general. Psychotherapy approaches include: Client-centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
    Research Interests:
    Therapist development, Therapy process.
    American Psychological Association, Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society.
  • Roberto Luna, Psy.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow / Warren College
    Adler School of Professional Psychology
    Welcome to our page, perhaps you are curious about our services and therapists. As a student, you have a great team of clinicians to choose from our staff at CAPS. I am a bicultural immigrant and a first generation college graduate. I work from a relational model informed by contemporary psychodynamic theory, social constructivist theory, feminist theory, and cognitive behavioral approaches within a social justice framework. I strive to create a safe and welcoming space where the student is encouraged to share, explore, challenge, and deconstruct life experiences. In this space, we would work together to gain insight to the presenting concerns and promote adaptive changes to reduce symptoms, improve academic performance, and interpersonal relationships. I hope this provides a glimpse to my style and how I work. I look forward to be a source of support in your journey at UCSD.
    Clinical Interests:
    Cross-cultural and multicultural issues, acculturation, grief and loss, trauma, mood disorders, LGBT issues, substance use issues, Latino/a mental health, first generation college students, adjustment and life transitions, existential and spiritual concerns, mood stress management, and academic concerns.
    Languages Spoken:
    English and Spanish.
    American Psychological Association (APA); APA Division 39 Psychoanalysis .
  • Pilar Meany, Psy.D. Psychologist / Central Office
    CSPP-Alliant University, San Diego
    Hello and welcome to CAPS! I enjoy collaborating with students in helping them reach their fullest potential. I look forward to working with unique diverse students and joining them on their life journey, helping to create a deeper understanding of themselves and how past experiences may be contributing to current distress. I believe relationships are important in creating a meaningful life and I enjoy helping students develop strategies to help them connect with others. My theoretical approach integrates psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, and mindfulness strategies.
    Clinical Interests:
    Identity development and integration, identifying patterns rooted in childhood and increasing insight and self-awareness, increasing the ability to create meaningful relationships, building self-compassion and highlighting strengths, developing more adaptive responses in managing depression and anxiety to help promote positive change.
    San Diego Psychoanalytic Center Fellow.
  • Tiffany O'Meara, Ph.D. Psychologist / Revelle College
    University of Southern California
    Hello there, and welcome to CAPS! I feel privileged to work at UCSD and love working with University students. I use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in my work, but most important to me is establishing a warm and supportive place for students to feel comfortable to talk. I enjoy working with students from diverse backgrounds and am an LGBTQ ally. I am happy to meet with students regarding any issue or concern, but some of my particular areas of interest include stress management, anxiety/panic, helping students build social confidence, and human sexuality/relationship issues. I am also the coordinator of the Wellness Peer Education program, and love working with students in a mentorship relationship. The Wellness Peer Educators are one of my favorite parts of my job- “Go Peers!”
    Clinical Interests:
    Anxiety disorders; Building social confidence; Stress management; Multicultural, human sexuality, and women's issues; Theoretical orientation includes cognitive-behavioral and humanistic approaches.
    CAPS: Coordinator of Wellness Peer Education Program; Well-Being Cluster Advisory Board.
  • Jerry Phelps, Ph.D. Psychologist / Marshall College
    Coordinator, Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) Grant
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    Hello UCSD students! I provide solution- focused counseling and a safe, supportive space to grow. I intend to promote each client’s own resources for healing and recovery. I take a whole-person approach to therapy. My special interests include recovery from alcohol and substance abuse, exercise and diet as medicine, cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression and integrative mental health. I employ positive psychological approaches to improving well-being.
    Clinical Interests:
    Alcohol/Substance Abuse, Exercise as Medicine, Health Psychology, Integrative Medicine, Marriage Counseling, Men's Issues, Motivational Interviewing, Positive Psychology, Sexuality, Solution-Focused Therapy, Strengths Based Approaches, Student Veterans, Wellness/Well-Being.
    Liaison to Student Veterans; Advisor to Students in Recovery; Advisor to Active Minds at UCSD; Assistant Clinical Professor (non-salaried) UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry; UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine; American Psychological Association (Division of Positive Psychology); Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers; National Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NASPA); UC Student Mental Health Initiative.
  • Kevin M. Ramotar, Psy.D. Psychologist / Central Office
    California School of Professional Psychology at AIU, Los Angeles
    I feel a great sense of privilege with having the opportunity to work with the diverse students at UCSD, as they navigate the fascinating and challenging journey to make meaning and find purpose through the complexities of life. I take a lifespan developmental approach with students, particularly through promoting self-compassion, encouraging the discovery of personal resilience, and helping identify and work through challenges on the transitional pathways to adulthood. I strive to help students make sense of their experiences by illuminating choices along the way. My integrative approach is primarily informed by psychodynamic traditions, cognitive-behavioral therapies, and mindfulness practices through a multicultural/family systems framework..
    Clinical Interests:
    Identity development; emerging adulthood adjustment issues; transition stress; family relationships; mood/anxiety; ADHD; substance use issues; grief and loss; human sexuality; men’s issues; technology and mental health; relationship distress; 1st generation experiences; and multicultural/diversity issues.
    APA; APA Division 43 (Family Psychology); LACPA; SDPA, ATSA.
  • Dane Ripellino, Psy.D. Psychologist / Warren College
    Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
    Greetings! I have worked as a psychologist for many years in college settings and private practice. I love helping people become their best selves, and working through difficulties that impede them. Life can be difficult. With an increased awareness of self, and situation, developing new skills- and some support, you can gain perspective, hope, and practice in making your life work better. Don’t be shy or embarrassed to try counseling. Sometimes we need another set of eyes on their lives! I hope we will get the opportunity to work together.
    Clinical Interests:
    Psychology and Spirituality interface, Trauma, LGBT issues, Mood Disorders, Couple’s Therapy, Bereavement.
    San Diego Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, Gestalt Institute of New England.
  • Stephanie Salo, Psy.D. Counseling Psychologist / Central Office
    Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
    I truly enjoy working with undergraduate and graduate students as they adjust to the many demands that they encounter at UCSD while emerging into adulthood. Although I can work with you on any number of concerns, I have particular interests in helping students cope with grief and loss, manage and reduce depression and anxiety, and gain insight about interpersonal conflicts such as relationship issues and developing assertive communication skills. In my sessions, I typically will help you deal with your current concerns while collaborating with you to explore and understand how your past experiences may contribute to and/or prevent you from becoming the successful person that you envision for yourself.
    Clinical Interests:
    Relational discord, couple counseling, identity development, grief and loss issues, adjustment and life transitions, managing depression and anxiety, assertive communication, and crisis care. Theoretical orientation integrates psychodynamic, interpersonal, multi-cultural, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness approaches.
    American Psychological Association; California Psychological Association; San Diego Psychological Association.
  • Patrick Savaiano, Psy.D. Psychologist / Central Office
    Adler School of Professional Psychology
    If you are browsing this page, you may be considering coming into CAPS or attempting to learn more about your assigned counselor. It is my pleasure to provide you with some information about myself and the way that I work. My name is Patrick, and I am a licensed psychologist with several years of experience in university counseling. I moved to the San Diego area in 2014 after completing my work in the Bay Area with San José State University students, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity to work with the diverse student body at UCSD. I have a specialty in Mindfulness-based interventions for depression, anxiety, and stress reduction, and I weave meditation and compassion training into my work with students. My priority is to create a supportive space in which students can learn and practice new coping skills. I strive to assist students in the process of living a well-balanced, satisfying, and healthy life. I look forward to any opportunity we may have to meet with one another!
    Clinical Interests:
    Stress management; Anxiety and Mood difficulties; Relationship problems; Identity concerns; Developmental issues; Sleep difficulties; Trauma and Stress-Related Disorders; Multicultural and Social Justice perspectives; Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy; Spirituality and Existential concerns; LGBTQ issues; Humanistic approaches; Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
    English and Spanish.
    San Diego Psychological Association, Mindfulness Committee California Psychological Association.
  • Rina Schul, Ph.D. Psychologist / Sixth College
    UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology
    Hello and welcome! I am interested in questions of meaning and identity and their impact on one’s well-being. I enjoy helping students explore their unique personal journey as they search for meaning in their relationships, professional pursuits and life engagements. My therapeutic approach is relatively direct and practical. It combines elements of cognitive behavioral, existential and interpersonal therapies in a family-of-origin context. Although I am a generalist, I have some special expertise in working with international students and survivors of trauma. I look forward to meeting you!
    Clinical Interests:
    Personal development; resilience, coping with crisis, trauma and grief; international students, immigration and acculturation; the development of sexual and gender identity; couple / relationship counseling.
    English and Hebrew.
    UCSD: Liaison, International Center; CAPS.
  • Kathryn Spaventa-Vancil, Ph.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow / Warren College
    UC Santa Barbara
    Hello UCSD students and welcome to CAPS! I know that college can be an exciting, but also stressful, time. I approach my work with students from a collaborative and strengths-based perspective. I seek to create a safe place for you where you feel validated and supported so that we can work together to create the meaningful change in your life that you desire. I hope to help you accomplish your personal and academic goals in order to lead to greater balance and fulfillment in your life, while also increasing self-compassion and acceptance
    Clinical Interests:
    Adjustment and life transitions; Managing anxiety and depression; OCD; Identity development; Trauma; Grief and loss; Resilience and posttraumatic growth; Multicultural counseling; Veteran’s Issues; Relationship Concerns; ADHD; Mindfulness; Positive Psychology. My theoretical orientation is strengths-based and integrates mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral theory.
    Languages Spoken:
    American Psychological Association (Div 56: Division of Trauma Psychology; Div 17: Society of Counseling Psychology; Div 43: Society for Family Psychology).
  • Ryan Stevenson, Ph.D. Psychologist / Central Office
    University of Utah
    Hello and welcome to CAPS! I enjoy working with college students as they experience and make sense of this important stage of life! I strive to create a safe and supportive environment for students to explore issues, relationships, and patterns in their lives that are challenging and holding them back from living in a way they want. I am goal oriented and work collaboratively with students to help make therapy an empowering experience. I utilize interpersonal, cognitive behavioral (CBT), and mindfulness approaches when providing therapy, but also adapt my approach to the specific needs of each student.
    Clinical Interests:
    Managing Anxiety, Stress and Depression; Working with Survivors of Trauma; Men’s Issues; Veterans issues; Relationship Counseling; Substance Abuse ; Multicultural Counseling; Mindfulness; Working with LGBTQ students; Spiritual and Religious Transitions.
    American Psychological Association; APA Div. 51 (Men & Masculinity).
  • Cathy Thompson, Ph.D. Psychologist / Women's Center
    California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego
    Hello everyone! As a UCSD alum (Muir), I feel extremely fortunate to be working at my “dream job” here with UCSD students for the past 12 years. I am passionate about issues of Diversity and Social Justice, so I spend the majority of my time working with Oasis and the Campus Community Centers as a Community Psychologist. My office is located at the Women’s Center and I spend five hours per week at the Cross Cultural Center and five hours per week at the LGBT Resource Center to facilitate connecting with underrepresented students on campus and making CAPS services accessible to the community. Please stop by and say, "Hi" as I would love to connect with you!
    Clinical Interests:
    Multicultural and Women's issues; Racial identity development (especially among biracial/multi-racial/ethnic/cultural individuals); Sexual and Gender identity development; Adjustment and Transition issues; Positive coping and resilience; Building healthy relationships and positive self-esteem; Assertive Communication; Eating and body image issues; Adults molested as children (AMAC);Theoretical orientation is integrative and incorporates humanistic, dynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and multicultural feminist approaches to therapy.
    American Psychological Association (President, Div 35, Section 1: Society for the Psychology of Women, Psychology of Black Women); Co-coordinator of The Women of Color Caucus for the Association for Women in Psychology; San Diego Psychological Association; UCSD: Liaison to the UCSD Campus Community Centers; Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women; Advisory Board for the Women's Center; LGBTRC Advisory Board; Cross Cultural Center Affiliate.
  • Jasmine "Jas" Tilghman, Ph.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow / Revelle College
    University of Missouri
    Greetings and welcome to CAPS at UCSD! I love working with college students because college could be such a pivotal journey in one’s life. While there are many concerns I have and continue to work with, I particularly love working with issues related to creative performers, first-generation college and underrepresented students, race-related stress, relationships and couples, mood and anxiety concerns, strengths, and stress reduction. I also work closely with graduate students on campus. My goal is that students walk away from my office feeling a little more hopeful and accepting of who they are and what they may be dealing with.
    Clinical Interests:
    Concerns related to Performers (i.e., musicians, dancers, athletes, actors, etc), Multicultural Psychology, Intersection of Identities, Strengths, Black Psychology, Couples, Family of Origin Concerns, Mindfulness and Stress Management. My theoretical orientation integrates Feminist/Multicultural, Person-Centered, Dialectical-Behavior Therapy, and Interpersonal approaches.
    Research Interests:
    Strengths-based approaches to the retention of underrepresented students, Race-related Stress and it’s impact on physiological and psychological health, and approaches to increasing the Utilization of Services among Performers.
    Association of Black Psychologist, American Psychological Association, Section for Ethnic and Racial Diversity (SERD); Division 45, Society of Counseling Psychology; Division 17, Section for Black Women; Division 35, Section 1..

CAPS Psychiatry Staff

  • Kelley Adams, M.D. Psychiatrist / Central Office
    M.D., University of Tennessee
    Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
    General Psychiatry Residency, Dept of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina Hospitals
    Psychiatry Fellowship, Forensic Psychiatry, University of North Carolina Hospitals
    Clinical Interests:
    Transition-age mental health, lifestyle medicine, multicultural/diversity issues, forensic psychiatry, mood and anxiety disorders.
    American Psychiatric Association; American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.
  • David Kersey, M.D. Psychiatrist / Central Office
    M.D., University of Virginia
    Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
    Psychiatry Residency, Yale University
    Fellowship, Student Health Psychiatry Yale University
    Clinical Interests:
    Well-being, mindfulness, LGBTQ issues, serious and persistent mental illness, anxiety, clinical depression.
    American Psychiatric Association.
  • Caroline Paterno, M.D. Psychiatrist / Student Health Services
    M.D., UC Davis
    Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
    Diplomate, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
    General Psychiatry Residency, Dept of Psychiatry, Stanford University Hospital and Clinics
    Psychiatry Fellowship, Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University
    Clinical Interests:
    Consult-liaison psychiatry, integrative treatments for psychiatric disorders, child and adolescent psychiatry, transition-age mental health, family-based treatment models, parent training, mood and anxiety disorders.
    Staff psychiatrist, Student Health Services, UCSD; American Psychiatric Association; American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Administrative/Management Staff

  • Reina Juarez, Ph.D. Director / Central Office
    California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles
    Bienvenidos! As CAPS Director, I want you to know that it is a privilege being of service to you. CAPS is dedicated to providing student-centered services and programs to our Triton family. Each one of us at CAPS is wholeheartedly invested in your success and want to support you in your strivings towards academic achievement, personal development and being at home in our vibrant, dynamic, multicultural, and innovative campus community. Our human nature, global society and instantaneous connectivity compel us to live in a world where interpersonal integration, networking, and exerting a positive influence on our ecosystem is essential for our well-being and success. I work to foster coherence in our systems where kindness, generosity, compassion, abundance of internal resources and resiliency are a requisite for true empowerment and self-agency for our own good and the good of others. I trust that when we cultivate as a collective a culture of love of learning, ethics, gratitude, altruism, elevation, inclusion, and healthy lifestyles, we may have a positive impact on our campus community to sustain our drive to FLOURISH..
    Clinical Interests:
    Innovative, integrative, empirically-based treatment modalities and evidence based practice in psychology; establishment and maintenance of diverse, inclusive, healthy and thriving living and learning environments; prevention through community outreach and psycho-educational interventions; critical incident and emergency management systems response; trauma and resilience; interpersonal neurobiology; enhancement of psycho-social behavioral capabilities and the evolving Self; developmental passages of young and middle adulthood, partnerships and families; Mindfulness practice and wellness life styles; Psychology and the arts; the psychology of international relations; consultation, leadership and organizational behavior. Psychotherapy approaches include: Psychodynamic Self-Psychology, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Strategic Problem Solving Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Re-decision Therapy, Community and Systems Psychology.
    American Psychological Association; Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education (OCCDHE); Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD); Consultant for California Jurisprudence and Professional Ethics Examination (CJPEE), California Board of Psychology.
  • Monique Balestreri Business and Systems Manager / Central Office CAPS strives to enhance the student experience at UCSD, by providing access to services on campus and in the community. It is our priority to provide a therapeutic and welcoming environment. Your experience at CAPS is important to us and we are interested in your feedback, as we continually work to improve our services. You can help us and contribute to your fellow students by completing our annual Client Experience Survey each May.
    Management of all CAPS non-clinical functions; HIPAA officer; supervision of administrative support staff; business system management; budget management; human resources; credentialing; payroll; EMR and IT support; DSA for department.
  • Judy Goodman Fermin, Ph.D. Training Director / Central Office
    California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego
    Hello! As the Training Director at CAPS I have the pleasure of working with students as well as overseeing our training program for Postdoctoral Fellows in Psychology and coordinating the professional training for our staff. When working with students I like to think of the person as a whole, where they come from, what are their personal concerns, goals and values. My areas of interest include first generation college students, multi-ethnic identity, issues of adjustment, spirituality, relationships and self-development.
    Clinical Interests:
    Adjustment and Life Transitions; Managing Depression and Anxiety; Stress Management; Self-esteem; Enhancing Self-efficacy through Communication and Assertiveness training; Women’s Issues; Social Justice; Multiracial/Ethnic Identity and Relationships; Mind/Body/Spirit Connections; International Student Experience; Cultural Sensitivity and Competency. Theoretical orientation integrates cognitive-behavioral, dynamic, and positive psychology.
    California Psychological Association; San Diego Psychological Association, CAPS Academic Affairs liaison.
  • Robert Mashman, Ph.D., A.B.P.P. Clinical Director / Central Office
    California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego
    Life can be seen as a series of challenges. You will be able to successfully manage many or most of them on your own. But if you should come upon a life problem that seems resistant to solution, we can probably help. Our primary focus is to assist you with the typical challenges that college and graduate students experience. Sometimes students don’t believe that their problem is significant enough to bother talking to a psychologist about, but I encourage you to call for an appointment because unresolved problems can reduce your life satisfaction and personal effectiveness. Conversely, if you have a history of mental health problems and they sometimes interfere with your personal functioning in a big way, then you should also make an appointment so that we can make sure you are getting the assistance that you need while attending UCSD. We have so many great psychologists at CAPS. Review our staff list and see who looks right for you. Most of my time is taken up with administrative activities but if you would like me to assist with a life challenge, I usually have some appointments available.
    Clinical Interests:
    Brief problem-solving psychotherapy; The effectiveness of counseling and psychological interventions; Human mating and evolutionary psychology; The effect of physical appearance on interpersonal interactions; The aesthetic appreciation of manufactured objects.
    American Board of Professional Psychology, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology; American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, Diplomate in Clinical Hypnosis; American Psychological Association; UCSD: UCSD Express to Success Steering Committee.
  • Samuel Park, Ph.D. Director of Research & Information Systems / Central Office
    University of California, Santa Barbara
    Hello and welcome to UCSD! I have been at CAPS since 2000 and enjoy working with students and the UCSD family. I am a generalist and see students for all concerns and issues. My areas of clinical interest include social adjustment and anxiety, Asian-American mental health, interpersonal relationship issues. In addition to my work with students, I oversee our department research, information systems, and technology efforts. It is a pleasure to serve you.
    Clinical Interests:
    Multicultural counseling; Asian American mental health; Men's issues; Group therapy; Organizational consultation. Theoretical orientation includes psychodynamic, interpersonal, and humanistic approaches.
    Research Interests:
    Asian-American mental health; Mental health disparities research; Clinical outcomes; Men's Issues.
    American Psychological Association, Division 45; Asian American Psychological Association. UCSD: Liaison, Campus Recreation, Registrar's Office; CAPS: CAPS Training Committee; Research Committee.

CAPS Research

CAPS is an active participant in multiple research projects. We conduct not only programmatic research, we also engage in IRB-approved studies to examine effective treatments and outcomes for college student populations. Our staff has pubished over 40 articles and has presented numerous symposiums, workshops, and posters at national and regional conferences. Below is a list of active CAPS research projects, consortiums, and publications:

Programmatic Research, Samuel Park (CAPS lead)
CAPS conducts multiple department studies and responds to campus, systewide, and UCOP-level data requests. In addition, we conduct a series of programmatic research to assess client satisfaction, treatment outcomes, and effectiveness. These include:
  • Counseling Experience Survey (annual satisfaction and feedback survey)
  • Learning Outcomes studies (multiple each year)
  • Treatment outcome studies
  • Compliance assessments
Asian American Center on Disparities Research, Samuel Park (CAPS lead)
Since 1978, various presidential commissions have concluded that disparities in mental health were not so much due to racial and ethnic differences in rates of psychopathology but were due to inaccessible and ineffective treatment. Thus, one critical task is to improve therapeutic effectiveness and quality of care for these clients. The mission of the Asian American Center on Disparities Research (AACDR) is focused on this aspect of disparity – ethnocultural factors that influence the effectiveness of treatment. AACDR pursues a research agenda that investigates how cultural factors work to either enhance or mitigate the implementation and effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for Asian American clients. Currently, CAPS and the AACDR is conducting a study on treatment process, outcomes, and disparities for college student populations.
Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH), Samuel Park (CAPS lead)
The Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) is a multi-disciplinary, member-driven, research center and consortium focused on providing accurate and up-to-date information about the mental health of today's college students in order to serve the needs of mental health providers, administrators, researchers, and the public. Part of this collaboration is the implementation and use of the CCAPS-34 outcome measure, which is utilized at CAPS in measuring student change and progress in treatment.
Implementation of Evidence-based treatments for on-campus eating disorders, Elise Curry (CAPS lead)
In conjuction with the University of Washington in St. Lousi, the primary aim of this study is to ascertain whether counselors can be taught interpersonal therapy (IPT) and can accurately adhere to the treatment and whether their student client’s symptoms of eating disorders or depression improve.
National Research Consortium of Counseling Centers in Higher Education, Samuel Park (CAPS lead)
The National Research Consortium of Counseling Centers in Higher Education, housed at the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center, conducts large scale, national research studies on the mental health issues of college students. Participation in the Research Consortium is open to any U.S. institution of higher education, and membership in the Research Consortium changes for each study that is conducted. Recent studies include Suicide and Risk assessment in college student populations; this study included UCSD students.
UC Student Mental Halth Initiative (SMHI), Jerry Phelps and Monique Mendoza Crandal (CAPS leads)
Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, was passed by California voters in November of 2004 to address mental health issues in the state. The Student Mental Health Initiative was created to expand suicide prevention efforts and mental wellness promotion in the K-12 and higher educational systems. The Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) promotes and applies strategies to strengthen student mental health statewide across K-12 educational systems and through institutions of higher education. This initiative focuses activities on key areas notes below and advances collaboration between educational settings and county service. UC San Diego is implementing the grant funding to promote mental health and prevent suicide on our campus, as well as research to assess campus baselines, goals, and outcomes.

CAPS Staff Publications

Ward, E.C. & Besson, D.D. (2013) African American men’s beliefs about mental illness, perceptions of stigma, and help-seeking barriers. The Counseling Psychologist, 41, 359-391.

Trunko, M.E., Rockwell, R. E., Curry, E. , Runfola, C. & Kaye, W. H. (2007). Management of bulimia nervosa. Women's Healh ,3(2), 255-265.

Juarez, R. (1985) . Core issues in psychotherapy with the Hispanic child. Psychotherapy, 22, 441-448.

Koch, G. E. & Nelson K. H. (1999). Assessing trends in student attitudes using CIRP data, 1985-1994. Journal of the First Year Experience & Students in Transition, 11, 7-24

Gagliardi, C. J., Gloria, A. M., Robinson Kurpius, S. E., & Lambert, C. D. (2004). Contextual and Cultural Considerations of Adolescent Substance Use and Abuse. In D. Capuzzi & D. R. Gross (Eds.), Youth at risk: Prevention resources for counselors, teachers and parents (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Lambert, C. D. & Robinson Kurpius, S. E. (2004). Relationship of gender role identity and attitudes with images of God. American Journal of Pastoral Counseling,7(2).

Gagliardi, C. J., & Lambert, C. D. (2005) . Ripped, blitzed, smashed potential: substance use and talented at-risk girls. In S. E. Kurpius, B. Kerr, & A. Harkins (Eds.), Handbook for counseling girls and women: Ten years of gender equity research at Arizona State University (Vol 1). Mesa, AZ: Nueva Science Press.

Mashman, R. (1978). The effect of physical attractiveness on the perception of attitude similarity. Journal of Social Psychology, 106, 103-110.

Mashman, R. (1988). The psychological effects of facial disfigurement. California Trial Lawyers Association Forum, October.

Mashman, R. & Stennet, J. (1990). The psychological effects of physical disfigurement. American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts, POF3d, 9, 307-369.

Mashman, R. (1997). An Evolutionary View of Psychic Misery. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 12, 979-998.

Coughlan, P. & Mashman, R. (1999). Once is not enough: repeated exposure to and aesthetic evaluation of an automobile design prototype. Design Studies, 20, 553-563.

Varvel, S. E., He, Y., Shannon, J. K., Tager, D., Bledman, R. A., Chaichanasakul, A., Mendoza, M. M., & Mallinckrodt, B. (2007). Multidimensional threshold effects of social support in firefighters: Is more support invariably better? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 458-465.

Rosales, R., Mendoza, M. M., Ojeda, L., Flores, L. Y. (2007, March). Culturally competent research with Latino immigrants. Communique Special Issue: Psychological Perspectives on Immigration. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

Flores, L. Y., Mendoza, M. M., & Celebi, E. (2008). Multicultural career assessment models. In Encyclopedia of Counseling, F. T. Leong (Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Mendoza, M. M., Hart, J. L., & Whitney, S. (2011). Taking the family to college: Understanding the resiliency and success of Latino/a students at a predominantly White Midwest university. Enrollment Management Journal. 5 (4), 67-90.

Flores, L. Y., Mendoza, M. M., He, Y., Ojeda, L., Rosales, R., Wagner, J., Jordan, S. E., & Medina, V. (2011). A qualitative inquiry of Latino immigrants’ work experience in the Midwest. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58, 522-536.

Evans, G.W., Allen, K.M., Tafalla, R., & O'Meara, T. (1996). Multiple Stressors: Performance, psychophysiological and affective responses. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 16, 147-154.

Zane, N., Hatanaka, H., Park, S., & Akutsu, P. (1994). Ethnic-specific mental health services: Evaluation of the parallel approach for Asian-American clients. Journal of Community Psychology, 22, 68-81.

Zane, N., Park, S., & Aoki, B. (1999). Development of culturally valid instruments in the evaluation of substance abuse treatment for Asian Americans. In B. K. Yee, N. Mokuau, & S. Kim (Eds.), Developing Cultural Competence in Asian-American and Pacific Islander Communities: Opportunities in Primary Health Care and Substance Use Prevention (CSAP Cultural Competence Series 5) (pp. 61-89). Bethesda, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

Park, S. (2006). Facing fear without losing face: Working with Asian American men. In M. Englar-Carlson & M. A. Stevens (Eds.), In the Room with Men: A Casebook Approach to Psychotherapy with Men (pp. 151-173). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Park, S., & Manese, J.E. (2008). Training for multicultural competence: A different way of knowing. In J. L. White & S. J. Henderson (Eds.), Best Practices in Multicultural Competency Training (pp. 93-104). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Park, S. (2010). The face of the Asian American male client: A clinician's assessment. In W. M. Liu, D. K. Iwamoto, & M. H. Chae (Eds.), Culturally Responsive Counseling with Asian American Men (pp. 19-38). New York: Routledge.

Park, S., Zane, N., & Kim, J. (2013). A test of two explanatory models of Asian American and White students' preferences for a directive counseling style. Manuscript in preparation.

Karnik, N., Joshi, S., Paterno, C., Shaw, R. (2007). Subtypes of Pediatric Delirium: A Treatment Algorithm. Psychosomatics, 43, 3.

Phelps, J. S., Albo, M., Dunn, K., & Joseph, A. (2001). Sexual activities, function and needs for services in significantly partnered male veterans, Archives of Sexual Behavior, December, 30(6), 592-602.

Phelps, J. S., Jain, A., & Monga, M. (2001). The coordinated approach to erectile dysfunction: Psychoeducational and pharmacological interventions, International Journal of Impotence Research, 13 (Suppl.5), Abstract. 5.

Monga, M., Jain, A., & Phelps, J. S. (2002). The coordinated approach to erectile dysfunction: Psychoeducational and pharmacological interventions. Journal of Urology, 167(Suppl), A1112.

Phelps, J. S., Monga, M., Jain, A. (2004). The PsychoedPlusMed Approach to Erectile Dysfunction Treatment: The Impact of Combining a Psychoeducational Intervention with Sildenafil. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 30, 305-314.

Burke, B.L., Dunn, C., Atkins, D. & Phelps, J. S. (2004). The Emerging Evidence Base for Motivational Interviewing. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 18(4).

Phelps, J. (2010). Motivational Interviewing: A Strengths-Based, Affirmative Approach to Change. Naming & Nurturing: The e-newsletter section on Positive Psychology of the American Psychological Association’s Division 17-Society of Counseling Psychology, Summer.

Phelps, J. S., Mendoza Crandal, M., & Juarez, R. (May/June 2013). Effective Suicide Prevention in Higher Education, The California Psychologist, 12-14.

Thompson, C. (1996). The oreo cookie: Black on the outside, white on the inside. In T. Dublin (Ed.), Becoming American, becoming ethnic: College students explore their roots. (pp. 183-186). Philadelphia : Temple University Press.

Gillem, A. & Thompson, C., Eds. (2004). Biracial women in therapy: Between the rock of gender and the hard place of race. Binghamton, NY: Haworth.