Behavioral Medicine Program

The Behavioral Medicine Program (BMED) at Massachusetts General Hospital includes clinical, research and training activities that focus on the intersection of psychology and health.

Overview

behavioral medicine doctor with patient
Dr. Christina Psaros consults with a patient.

The Behavioral Medicine Program at Massachusetts General Hospital provides specialized care at the intersection of psychology and health for patients impacted by both medical and psychiatric conditions through clinical work, professional training and research.

Since the program's founding by Steven A. Safren, PhD in 2004, the treatment programs and research conducted by the Behavioral Medicine Program have emphasized the use of validated, state-of-the art treatment interventions based on the latest research to help patients reach their best levels of mental and physical health.

Learn More About Our Program

Behavioral medicine clinical services

Our program provides short-term, skills-based, structured interventions and we specialize in providing cognitive behavioral therapy. Find out more about the clinical services we offer and learn how to make a referral.

Research in behavioral medicine

Our research portfolio aims to develop and improve treatments to help individuals with a variety of health and medical conditions and those who are at risk for the development of a health condition.

Meet our staff

Our staff is dedicated to helping patients both through direct clinical service and through conducting research to find new ways to improve care.

Behavioral medicine programs for psychology trainees

We are committed to training the next generation of clinical researchers in behavioral medicine through our predoctoral and postdoctoral programs.

A Collaborative Approach

The Behavioral Medicine Program (BMED) works closely with other medical departments within Mass General including:

Our Approach

behavioral medicine doctor

The Behavioral Medicine Program (BMED) specializes in providing cognitive behavioral therapy-based interventions that are typically short-term, skills-based and tailored to the patient's individual needs.

Who We Serve

Referrals to the BMED program are typically received for the following types of patients:

  • Patients with chronic illness and a mental health condition (e.g., depression) who would benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy interventions
  • Patients experiencing distress that may be affecting their health (e.g., a cardiology patient who may benefit from stress management)
  • Patients who may need help coping with an acute or chronic medical condition (whether or not they have a psychiatric diagnosis). For example, treatment may target adjusting to a new diagnosis, improving self-care or increasing adherence to medical treatment.

About Our Treatment Model

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the primary treatments applied within the BMED program. CBT focuses on helping the individual develop personal coping strategies with the goal of solving current problems changing unhealthy patterns of thought, behavior and emotion. While it was originally developed for the treatment of depression, CBT has proven highly effective for treatment of mental health conditions across many medical diagnoses.

The BMED program has extensive experience in applying CBT to medical conditions such as HIV, diabetes (Types 1 & 2), cancer, epilepsy, pain and sleep problems. Our faculty also conduct clinical research aimed at developing new treatments and expanding our understanding of how to improve the way current treatments are applied.

What You Can Expect from Treatment

Treatment typically begins with an initial evaluation with your doctor over one or two visits. Once the evaluation is completed, the patient and provider will discuss treatment goals and a plan for achieving these goals.

The length of treatment varies but typically lasts 8 to 16 weekly sessions. Providers in Behavioral Medicine regularly coordinate care with other Mass General providers involved in the patient's care.
 

Staff

Faculty

  • Conall O’Cleirigh, PhD

    Director & Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Assistant Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School
    Associate Director, Harvard University Center for AIDS Research Behavioral and Social Sciences Core

    Research interests and activities: Dr. O'Cleirigh's research interests are in developing and adapting cognitive-behavioral intervention technologies for application with medical populations, particularly among people living with HIV. As part of this research emphasis he is involved in developing primary and secondary HIV prevention interventions with particular application among gay and bisexual men.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. O’Cleirigh’s clinical specialties include the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat depression and other mood disorders and in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and the full spectrum of anxiety disorders. His clinical work also focuses on assisting patients with the management of acute and chronic medical illnesses.

    Training activities: Dr. O’Cleirigh is a member of the intern selection committee, the psychology training committee, and provides research supervision to trainees.

     

  • Christina Psaros, PhD

    Associate Director & Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Assistant Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Psaros' research focuses on psychosocial aspects of HIV care and prevention (particularly among women) both in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Psaros’ clinical work focuses primarily on women’s mental health.

    Training activities: Dr. Psaros is a member of the intern selection committee, the psychology training committee, and runs research supervision for the Behavioral Medicine interns. She has several data sets available from which trainees may propose analyses.

  • C. Andres Bedoya, PhD

    Assistant Clinical Director & Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Assistant Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Bedoya’s research focuses on improving medical and mental health outcomes of minorities, including through the development of culturally competent evidence-based interventions.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Bedoya’s clinical expertise focuses on the treatment of depression, trauma/PTSD and adherence to medical treatment, particularly among underserved groups.

    Training activities: Dr. Bedoya is a member of the intern selection committee, provides clinical supervision of Behavioral Medicine trainees, coordinates the BMED Seminar series, and leads the Multicultural Seminar within the clinical internship’s Professional Seminar series.

  • Abigail Batchelder, PhD, MPH

    Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Batchelder’s research focuses on understanding and addressing psychological barriers to HIV treatment and prevention, including stigma and shame, among underserved people living with substance use and other stigmatized identities (e.g., being a sexual minority).

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Batchelder’s clinical interests include improving health-related self-care, affective disorders, trauma and substance use.

    Training activities: Dr. Batchelder provides research supervision to trainees and is part of the intern selection committee.

     

  • Mark J. Gorman, PhD

    Staff Psychologist & Director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, Behavioral Medicine
    Staff Psychologist, Mass General Weight Center
    Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Gorman’s research interests include obesity medicine, combination therapy for obesity management, and adherence factors associated with behavioral medicine treatment.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Gorman’s work focuses helping individuals with insomnia, obesity/eating disorders, body image disturbance, depression, and anxiety disorders – with a special focus on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), stress management, and lifestyle change.

    Training activities: Dr. Gorman provides clinical supervision to trainees.

  • Joseph Greer, PhD

    Program Director, Center for Psychiatric Oncology and Behavioral Sciences
    Associate Director, Cancer Outcomes Research Program
    Assistant Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Greer’s research focuses on the development and testing of supportive care interventions for patients with cancer. As the principal investigator and collaborator on numerous grant-funded projects, he is studying the application of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat anxiety in patients with cancer; the use of mobile technology to promote symptom management and adherence to oral chemotherapy medications; the delivery of brief behavioral interventions for breathlessness in patients with advanced lung cancer; and the benefits of early palliative care integrated with standard oncology care. He also collaborates on a variety of supportive care studies in the Mass General Cancer Outcomes Research Program.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Greer's clinical work focuses on the recognition and treatment of psychological distress in patients with cancer, including palliative and end-of-life care. He provides CBT in the outpatient clinic of the Center for Psychiatric Oncology & Behavioral Sciences at the Mass General Cancer Center

    Training activities: Dr. Greer is a member of the Behavioral Medicine internship selection committee and provides didactics and clinical supervision for Behavioral Medicine interns and fellows. In addition, he mentors junior investigators from oncology, psychiatry, palliative care, and psychology within the Mass General Cancer Outcomes Research Program.

     

  • Jamie Jacobs, PhD

    Instructor in Psychology, Behavioral Medicine
    Center for Psychiatric Oncology and Behavioral Sciences, Mass General Cancer Center
    Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Jacobs’s research interests include psychosocial adaptation to cancer diagnosis and treatment, and evidence-based interventions to improve physical and emotional outcomes and symptom management for patients with cancer and cancer survivors.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Jacobs’s clinical work focuses primarily on psychosocial adjustment to cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

  • Robert Knauz, PhD

    Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Training activities: Dr. Knauz provides clinical supervision to trainees.

  • Allison Labbe, PhD

    Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Labbe’s research interests broadly focus on addiction among medically ill individuals. Specifically, her current research focuses on the development and testing of brief interventions for alcohol and substance use disorders among patients with chronic medical illnesses.

    Training activities: Dr. Labbe provides clinical supervision to trainees.

  • Jonathan Lerner, PhD

    Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research Interests and activities: Dr. Lerner's clinical and research interests are in the areas of behavioral medicine and adult anxiety disorders.  Dr. Lerner also has a special interest in the intersection of technology and psychology, including Internet-based psychological assessment and treatment, telemedicine, electronic data capture, and data management for clinical trials.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Lerner’s clinical interests are in the areas of behavioral medicine and adult anxiety disorders. In addition to providing clinical care to patients in Behavioral Medicine Program, he also provides clinical care, consultation, and training to several medical services, including the Department of Neurology’s Institute for Brain Health (IBH), the Department of Gastroenterology’s Digestive Healthcare Center and Crohn’s and Colitis Center and the Internal Medicine Associates (IMA). In addition to his work at Mass General, Dr. Lerner has a private practice office in Cambridge, MA.

    Training activities: Dr. Lerner provides clinical supervision to Behavioral Medicine interns and postdoctoral fellows.

  • Rachel Millstein, PhD

    Staff Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry
    Assistant in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Millstein’s research focuses on developing multilevel interventions to promote physical activity and improve diet, broadly with an eye toward obesity prevention and chronic disease prevention. She is interested in the role of emotions in health behavior change, including the use of positive psychology to improve well-being and health behaviors. Her work has also focused on patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as children and older adults. 

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Millstein’s clinical work includes CBT, ACT and mindfulness-based strategies for managing depression, anxiety disorders and chronic health conditions. 

    Training activities: Dr. Millstein provides research supervision to trainees.

  • Elyse Park, PhD

    Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Director of Behavioral Health Research, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine
    Director of Behavioral Health Research, Tobacco Research and Treatment Center
    Director, Survivorship Program, Mass General Cancer Center
    Faculty, Mongan Institute for Health Policy
    Associate Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Park’s clinical research focuses on motivational and behavioral intervention development, particularly for chronic stress and behavioral treatments for cancer patients and survivors.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Park provides care to cancer patients and survivors referred to the Behavioral Medicine Service.

    Training activities: Dr. Park is a member of the BMED clinical internship selection committee and conducts clinical and research supervision for trainees. She has a mid-level career grant from the NCI to provide mentorship to investigators conducting patient-oriented clinical research.

  • Giselle Perez-Lougee, PhD

    Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Instructor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Perez’s research focuses on the development of integrative mind-body and behavioral interventions to promote health behavior change, health service use, and treatment outcomes for patients throughout the cancer spectrum.

    Clinical interests and activities: Clinically, Dr. Perez works closely with cancer patients and survivors as well as patients suffering from anxiety. 

    Training activities: Dr. Perez provides research supervision to trainees and is part of the clinical internship selection committee.

  • Lara Traeger, PhD

    Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry
    Member, Cancer Outcomes Research Program, Mass General Cancer Center
    Associate Director, Qualitative Research Unit
    Assistant Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Traeger’s research focuses on improving health behaviors and quality of life in adults with cancer. She also conducts research on strategies to enhance resilience in oncology clinicians.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Traeger specializes in the care of adults with cancer and other chronic medical conditions.

    Training activities: Dr. Traeger is a member of the psychology intern selection and training committees. She provides clinical research mentorship and consultation to interns, fellows and junior faculty.

  • Timothy Wallace, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Behavioral Medicine
    Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Wallace’s work focuses on helping medical patients modify behaviors that affect their health and well-being. He also works with individuals with chronic pain, depression and anxiety disorders and is especially interested in the role of exercise and stress management in the amelioration of these problems.

    Training activities:  Dr. Wallace provides clinical supervision to trainees.

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Daniel L. Hall, PhD

    Clinical Fellow in Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
    Research Fellow in Integrative Medicine (T32), Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Hall’s research focuses on uncertainty and stress management in the context of cancer and chronic illnesses.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Hall’s clinical work focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy with adults and adjustment to illness.

  • Christina M. Luberto, PhD

    Clinical Fellow in Psychology, Behavioral Medicine
    Research Fellow in Integrative Medicine (T32), Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Luberto’s research focuses on mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapies and other mind-body interventions for reducing emotional risk factors and improving pro-social outcomes in medical populations.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Luberto’s clinical work focuses on delivering individualized mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy to adults with emotional problems and co-occurring medical problems.

  • Greer A. Raggio, PhD

    Clinical Psychology Research Fellow, Behavioral Medicine

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Raggio’s research is focused on developing interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease among women with HIV, the psychosocial aspects of aging in the context of HIV, and weight/body image issues related to chronic disease.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Raggio’s clinical interests include adjustment to chronic medical illness, women’s mental/behavioral health, and behavioral weight management.

Predoctoral Fellows

  • Calvin J. Fitch, PhD

    PhD Candidate
    Clinical Psychology Fellow in Behavioral Medicine

    Research interests and activities: Psychosocial (e.g., trauma) and structural (e.g., unstable housing) factors that influence HIV/STI risk and survival in HIV. How these factors are related to HIV-related disparities specifically for Blacks and Latinxs. Developing effective and culturally sensitive interventions for racial and sexual minorities at high risk for HIV infection or poorer HIV prognosis.

    Clinical interests and activities: LGBT mental health, trauma treatment using cognitive processing therapy, cross-cultural issues, mood and anxiety disorder treatment using cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based approaches.

  • Jessica McCurley, PhD

    PhD Candidate
    Clinical Psychology Fellow in Behavioral Medicine

    Research interests and activities: Comorbidity of mental health conditions and chronic medical and neurological illness; epidemiology of chronic cardiometabolic conditions (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity); mHealth and telehealth interventions, reduction of socioeconomic and ethnic/racial health disparities; immigrant and refugee health.

    Clinical interests and activities: Behavioral medicine, behavioral health integration, psychosocial adjustment to chronic medical and neurological conditions and cultural issues in health, particularly among underserved groups.

Affiliated Faculty and Staff

  • Sannisha K. Dale, PhD, EdM

    Dr. Sannisha Dale is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami. Dr. Dale completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Boston University in 2014, postdoctoral fellowship at Mass General in 2015, predoctoral fellowship at Mass General in 2014, and a master’s degree in human development and psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2005.

    Her primary research interests are enhancing our understanding of the relationships between resilience, trauma, and health outcomes among individuals with HIV and those at risk for HIV, investigating psychosocial and structural factors that relate to health disparities, developing effective prevention and intervention strategies to promote resilience and good health outcomes, and engaging community members and stakeholders in research.

    Dr. Dale has received the Rhoda Johnson-Tuckett Award for Commitment to Community-Engaged Research from the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research and a Community Hero Award from the Health Services Division of Action for Boston Community Development.

  • Jeanne M. Fama, PhD

    Jeanne Fama, PhD, completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Harvard University in 2005 and is currently an instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fama provides clinical care and consultation through Mass General’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Behavioral Medicine Programs and through her multi-site private practice. Her clinical and research foci include: obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety and sleep disorders and stress management. She has a special interest in the application of empirically supported, data-driven methods to improve clinical care and to refine and promote technologically innovative, secure healthcare communications.

  • Jessica Magidson, PhD

    Staff Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine
    Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

    Research interests and activities: Dr. Magidson's research focuses on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based substance use treatment, including (1) examining peer and lay counselor delivery for integration of substance use treatment into primary care in the US and sub-Saharan Africa; and (2) addressing the intersection of substance use and HIV medication adherence.

    Clinical interests and activities: Dr. Magidson's clinical work focuses primarily on mindfulness-based interventions for depression and anxiety among adults.

    Training activities: Dr. Magidson is a member of the clinical internship selection committee and conducts individual clinical supervision for trainees.

  • Ellen Slawsby, PhD

    Dr. Ellen Slawsby provides individual and couples therapy, specializing in individuals with chronic illness, chronic fatigue, and pain. She received her MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is a staff psychologist in Behavioral Medicine, a researcher and clinical trainer at the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) for Mind/Body Medicine as well as director of the Pain Services at the BHI. Dr. Slawsby is an assistant professor in psychology in the department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Slawsby has published and presented research on chronic medical illness, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease and chronic pain.

  • Stephanie Sogg, PhD

    Stephanie Sogg, PhD, earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers University in 1998. She is a staff psychologist at the Weight Center, treating patients with obesity and eating disorders. She is the director of the Weight Center rotation for Behavioral Medicine psychology interns. Dr. Sogg is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and serves on committees and in the leadership within the national scientific obesity and weight loss surgery societies. Dr. Sogg's clinical and research interests include behavioral medicine, obesity, weight loss surgery and substance use disorders.

  • Susan Sprich, PhD

    Susan Sprich, PhD is the clinical director of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program at Mass General . She is the director of the Postgraduate Psychology Education Program in the Psychiatry Academy. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. She is an assistant professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School. Her primary research interests are cognitive-behavioral treatment of ADHD in adults and adolescents, and cognitive-behavioral treatment of Trichotillomania in children, adolescents in adults. Clinically, she treats adults with anxiety, ADHD, mood and OC-Spectrum disorders. She also teaches seminars and does supervision with the interns and residents at Mass General. She has a private practice office in Wellesley, MA.

  • Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD

    Dr. Vranceanu is the founder and director of the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program. She is also an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Vranceanu is an expert in developing, testing and integrating brief in-person or live video-based skills interventions for patients, caregivers or patient-caregiver pairs. These interventions are aimed at promoting recovery after injury and optimizing management of chronic illness. She is also an expert in the integration of psychosocial interventions into primary and specialty care.

  • Emily Zale, PhD

    Dr. Zale is a clinical research fellow in the Integrated Brain Health Clinical and Research Program. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Syracuse University, and completed her internship in Behavioral Medicine at Mass General. Dr. Zale utilizes a biopsychosocial approach to understanding health and well-being, with an emphasis on incorporating cognitive-behavioral and mind-body skills into treatments for all patients – whether they wish to optimize health, are recovering from an acute injury, or are managing a chronic illness. Dr. Zale’s areas of expertise include tobacco smoking and prescription opioid use among persons with chronic pain, optimizing recovery after injury - including TBI, stroke, and orthopedic fracture - and lifestyle changes for optimal health.

Clinical Research Coordinators & Volunteers

  • Valerie C. Braddick, BA

    Valerie Braddick is a part-time clinical research coordinator in the Behavioral Medicine Program. Valerie received her BA from Middlebury College in 2016 with highest honors in neuroscience and a minor in global health. She works with Dr. Jessica Magidson on the study entitled, “Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trial for ART Adherence and Substance Use in HIV Care in South Africa”. Valerie is applying to medical school for matriculation in Fall 2019.

    She can be reached by email at vbraddick@mgh.harvard.edu.

  • Courtney A. Colgan, MA

    Courtney is a clinical research coordinator in the Behavioral Medicine Program, as well as the Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Courtney received her BA in history from Boston College in 2013 and her MA in mental health counseling from Boston College in 2017. In the Behavioral Medicine Program, Courtney works with Dr. Jessica Magidson on the integration of behavioral interventions into global HIV care, including “Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trial for ART Adherence & Substance Use in HIV Care in South Africa” (PI: Magidson).

    She can be reached by email at ccolgan@mgh.harvard.edu.

  • Georgia Goodman, BA

    Georgia Goodman is a clinical research coordinator in the Behavioral Medicine Program. Kristen received her BS from Tufts University in 2017 with high honors in psychology and international relations. She works with Dr. Greer Raggio on “Developing a Pilot Lifestyle Intervention to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease Among HIV-Infected Women During Midlife”. She also works with Dr. Conall O’Cleirigh and Dr. Christina Psaros on HIV care and prevention studies, including, “Developing a Resilience Intervention for Older, HIV-Infected Women” (PI: Psaros) and “Fostering Resilience to Psychosocial and HIV Risk in Indian Men Who Have Sex with Men” (PIs: O’Cleirigh, Mimiaga, Safren).

    She can be reached by email at ggoodman@mgh.harvard.edu or 617-726-3679.

  • Alanna Levy

    Alanna Levy is a volunteer in the Behavioral Medicine Program. Alanna is a junior at Brandeis University double majoring in sociology and health: science, society and policy with minors in legal studies and women's, gender and sexuality studies. She works with Dr. Christina Psaros and Dr. Greer Raggio on various HIV studies.

    She can be reached by e-mail at alevy11@mgh.harvard.edu.

  • Kristen S. Regenauer, BA

    Kristen Regenauer is a clinical research coordinator in the Behavioral Medicine Program. Kristen received her BA from Middlebury College in 2017 with highest honors in psychology and a minor in philosophy. She primarily works with Dr. Conall O’Cleirigh and Dr. Jessica Magidson on global HIV care and prevention studies, including “Fostering Resilience to Psychosocial and HIV Risk in Indian Men Who Have Sex with Men” (PIs: O’Cleirigh, Mimiaga, Safren), and “Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trial for ART Adherence and Substance Use in HIV Care in South Africa” (PI: Magidson). However, she also helps Dr. Christina Psaros with global and domestic HIV care and prevention studies, including “Perinatal Depression, Stigma, Social Capital Utilization and PMTCT Adherence” (PI: Psaros), “Developing a Resilience Intervention for Older, HIV-Infected Women” (PI: Psaros), and “Prospective Evaluation of Postpartum Engagement in HIV Care among HIV-Infected Women in South Africa” (PI: Psaros) as well. Kristen additionally assists the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (HU CFAR; HU CFAR Behavioral and Social Science Core Associate Director: O’Cleirigh).

    She can be reached by email at kregenauer@mgh.harvard.edu or 617-724-0637

  • Elsa W. Sweek, MS

    Elsa Sweek is a clinical research coordinator in the Behavioral Medicine Program. Elsa received her BA from Lewis & Clark College in 2013 with honors in psychology and received her MS from Johns Hopkins University in clinical mental health counseling in 2017. She works with Dr. Christina Psaros on several HIV care and prevention projects, including “Perinatal Depression, Stigma, Social Capital Utilization and PMTCT Adherence” (PI: Psaros), “Developing a Resilience Intervention for Older, HIV-Infected Women” (PI: Psaros), and “Prospective Evaluation of Postpartum Engagement in HIV Care among HIV-Infected Women in South Africa” (PI: Psaros). Elsa also works with Dr. Abigail Batchelder on her project, “Understanding and Addressing Internalized Stigma and Shame as Barriers to Engagement in HIV Care Among Men Who Have Sex with Men Who Use Substances” (PI: Batchelder).

    She can be reached by email at esweek@mgh.harvard.edu or 617-643-4566

Administrative Staff

  • Kerrin J. Poole, BA

    Kerrin earned her BA in anthropology from Vassar College in 2014 and is currently pursuing her MBA through Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. She is the grant administrator for the Behavioral Medicine and the Center for Addiction Medicine divisions within the Psychiatry Department at Mass General.

Former Staff & Trainees

  • Steven Safren, PhD

    Founder and Former Director of the Behavioral Medicine Program (2004-2015)

    Dr. Steven Safren is the founder of the Behavioral Medicine Program at Mass General , and is currently a professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami. Dr. Safren received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University at Albany (State University of New York) in 1998, and did his internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Safren is board certified in cognitive behavioral therapy from the American Board of Professional Psychology.

    Dr. Safren's research focus is on cognitive behavioral intervention development and testing, particularly in the areas of HIV and other chronic illnesses, as well as adult ADHD. Dr. Safren has over 200 peer-reviewed professional publications as well as numerous chapters and commentaries, and 3 books. Notable works include the first U.S. based treatment trial of a psychosocial intervention for adult ADHD published in JAMA in 2010, and studies of CBT to treat depression and promote medical adherence in individuals with HIV and diabetes. He has been the PI or protocol chair of 10 NIH-funded grants in these areas. His work in HIV has been extended nationally and internationally, and he has regularly served as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health's study sections that review grants related to behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS. He has published treatment manuals for therapists working with adults with ADHD and working with individuals with depression that co-occurs with a chronic medical illness.

  • Aaron J. Blashill, PhD

    Aaron J. Blashill, PhD is an assistant professor at San Diego State University. He also serves as an instructor in psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on the role body image plays in influencing health behaviors (e.g., sexual risk behaviors, medication adherence, skin cancer risk behaviors, depression, steroid use, and eating pathology). Dr. Blashill has examined these behaviors across multiple populations, including gay and bisexual men, adolescent boys, and individuals living with HIV.

  • Michael Boroughs, PhD

    Michael Boroughs, PhD is faculty member at the University of Windsor. Dr. Boroughs earned his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of South Florida. He served the field for two years on the APA Commission on Accreditation from 2010 to 2012. Dr. Boroughs’ research interests include sexual health and HIV prevention, human sexuality and gender roles and their impact upon psychological health, body image, and novel adaptations of third generation cognitive-behavioral treatments to address a variety of medical illnesses with co-occurring psychiatric presentations.

  • Matthew Mimiaga, PhD

    Dr. Matthew Mimiaga is a professor of epidemiology, professor of social sciences, and director of the Institute for Community Health Promotion at Brown University. He has expertise in designing and conducting intervention trials in HIV sexual risk reduction, substance use disorder treatment and prevention, and HIV medication adherence with a variety of populations, including individuals in resource limited countries, sexual minority groups, and adolescents. He has co-authored more than 100 articles, chapters and other publications on HIV/AIDS and related infectious disease topics. His main research interests include HIV/AIDS, sexual minority health, mental health and substance use disorders, psychiatric and infectious disease epidemiology, and global health.

Appointments

How to Schedule an Appointment

For Prospective Patients


There are two ways to set up an initial evaluation:

  • Request a referral from your Mass General primary care provider
  • Call the Psychiatry Access Line (617-724-7792) and request an appointment with a provider in Behavioral Medicine

Once you have requested an evaluation, you will be matched to a provider by insurance panel and provider availability.

NOTE: Due to the numerous requests received by Behavioral Medicine, you must have an Mass General primary care provider to become a patient.

For Prospective Referrers


To refer a patient, please contact the Psychiatry Access Line (617-724-7792) and specify that you would like to refer your patient to Behavioral Medicine. If you have questions about services or the referral process, please contact staff psychologist Andres Bedoya, PhD.

 

NOTE: The Psychiatry Department at Mass General does not accept all medical insurances and the types of insurance accepted by individual providers also varies. If patients do not have an insurance accepted by the department, the patient may elect to self-pay if allowed by the insurance.

Research Activities

The Behavioral Medicine Program (BMED) is at the forefront of research focused on developing, validating and disseminating psychosocial interventions to help individuals with a variety of health and medical issues. We conduct research both domestically and internationally across three continents. To learn more about the specific projects we are currently conducting or to learn about enrolling, please visit our Behavioral Medicine Research page.

Learn more about BMED research


Please visit our support page to find out how you can help us continue our mission.

Professional Training

Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Programs

The Behavioral Medicine Program (BMED) is very involved in training the next generation of behavioral medicine researchers through both predoctoral and postdoctoral training opportunities.

Predoctoral Internship

Predoctoral trainees can apply for the APA-approved clinical Internship in Clinical Psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Within the internship, there are two intern spots for the Behavioral Medicine Elective available each year.

The Internship in Clinical Psychology includes the following rotations:

  • Outpatient Psychiatry
  • Weight Center
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Blake 11

Learn more about rotations

The Internship in Clinical Psychology also offers other potential rotations:

  • Gastroenterology Service
  • The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health

Learn more about the internship

Postdoctoral Training

The BMED Program provides additional training in clinical and research methods by offering postdoctoral fellowships. Since 2004, BMED has trained numerous postdoctoral fellows, many of whom stay on to become full-time faculty at Mass General/Harvard Medical School. Other fellows have taken tenure-track positions in academic psychology departments.

These fellowships depend on the status of various internal and external funding mechanisms. Typically, we know about the availability of postdoctoral positions for July or September after the end of January of that year.

Global Psychiatric Research Training

We also offer a postdoctoral training opportunity through the Global Psychiatric Clinical Research Training Program, a National Institute of Mental Health-funded T32 fellowship organized in collaboration with the Division of Global Psychiatry at Mass General. This fellowship is a protected time clinical research fellowship devoted to providing training to fellows interested in clinical research careers in global mental health. Fellows are mentored by Conall O’Cleirigh, PhD.

Training opportunities may be available at a few different sites:

  • Cape Town, South Africa: focused on evaluating nurse-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy intervention for HIV medication adherence and depression
  • India: focused on HIV prevention among men who have sex with men

More details about the fellowship can be found Mental Health Innovation Network's website. For more information about potential clinical research opportunities available in the upcoming year, please email Christina Psaros, MD.

Learn more about global psychiatry training

Support Our Mission

Our Work

The Behavioral Medicine Program (BMED) is dedicated to providing improving the mental health of those affected by illness. We aim to provide better diagnosis and treatment for medical and psychosomatic disorders through both research and training and to make these services more widely available.

Our goal is to improve the lives of our patients through both direct clinical care and patient-centered research.

Global Involvement

The BMED Program conducts extensive research and training outside of the United States in numerous resource-limited settings, including numerous HIV treatment and prevention studies in Asia, Africa and South America

How You Can support Our Mission

Your charitable donations will help us reach these goals. We welcome and appreciate donations of any size, large or small, to help us reach our mission to increase the availability of innovative treatments and effective care for patients and their families.

For more information about making a donation, please contact Carol Taylor, the Senior Development Officer for Psychiatry.

Future Goals

  • Increase the number of clinical collaborations with other medical services at Mass General to meet the demand for Behavioral Medicine clinical care
  • Consolidate recent growth in our research initiatives and continue the growth of the program’s research portfolio of treatment development in medical populations
  • Train the next generation of behavioral medicine scientists
  • Facilitate the transition of our junior faculty to independent scientists

Contact

Behavioral Medicine Program

One Bowdoin Square, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02114

  Near Public Transit
  Accessible

For clinical services, including new appointments, please call the Mass General Psychiatry Access Line and request an appointment with a provider in the Behavioral Medicine Program.

Mass General Psychiatry Access Line: 617-724-7792

 

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