Counseling and Psychological Services
Meet CAPS Staff
Our clinical staff is composed of ten licensed psychotherapists including seven psychologists, one social worker, and two professional counselors. We also employ three part-time psychiatric providers. In addition to permanent professional staff, CAPS has several therapists in training including psychology pre-doctoral interns, graduate psychology practicum students and psychiatry residents from the UVA residency program. Our diverse group of trainees and staff allows for a dynamic cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas. We are strongly committed to meeting the highest standards of clinical care as well as training for future independently practicing mental health providers.
Deepti Athalye, Ph.D.
Deepti is a licensed clinical psychologist who joined the CAPS staff in 2014 after completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester Counseling Center. Prior to this, she completed her predoctoral internship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Counseling and Psychological Services and received her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Deepti loves working with graduate and undergraduate students, and university counseling center work has been a primary focus in her doctoral and postdoctoral training. While she is a generalist in training, her areas of special interest include eating disorders and body image concerns, trauma, family of origin issues, and multicultural issues. She also has a strong interest in group therapy and has robust experience facilitating various types of groups for college students. Her therapeutic approach draws from psychodynamic, interpersonal process, and mindfulness theories. In her spare time, Deepti enjoys reading, watching movies, dancing, and exploring different cuisines.
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Elaine Bailey, Ph.D.
Elaine received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona in 2006. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia Health System’s Behavioral Medicine Center in 2008, she stayed on as a faculty member and continues to work there today. She enjoys helping patients with a variety of issues, but has a particular specialty in treating insomnia and other sleep disorders; she is certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Bailey joined CAPS in 2013 as a part-time staff psychologist and is excited by the opportunity to work more directly with the university’s student population. During her own undergraduate days at Duke University, she studied biology, psychology, and college basketball fandom.
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Lenny Carter, LPC
Lenny received his M.A. in clinical and community psychology in 1983 from California State University, Northridge. A member of CAPS staff since 2001, he serves as the Crisis Management Coordinator and Suicide Prevention Co-Coordinator. A generalist by nature, interest areas include suicidology, bipolar disorder and personality disorders. He came to CAPS with 20 years experience in community mental health centers. Lenny’s hobbies include sports, gardening and traveling; he’s visited over 30 countries.
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Nicole L. Fischer, Ph.D.
Nicole is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Previously, she was Staff Psychologist and Outreach Coordinator at Marymount University. Dr. Fischer completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine, and her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Virginia Counseling and Psychological Services. Dr. Fischer utilizes an integrative approach including psychodynamic, interpersonal, and cognitive-behavioral theories. She enjoys clinical exploration of multicultural and acculturation concerns, trauma and abuse, substance use disorders, and group dynamics. Dr. Fischer maintains a small private practice in NOVA, and engages in scholarly activity related to cross-cultural psychology and social justice. She is an avid runner, yoga enthusiast, and UVA sports fan.
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Katherine Gibson, Psy.D.
Kate is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her doctorate from The George Washington University in 2007. She joined the CAPS staff in 2006 as a predoctoral intern. Her areas of clinical interest include psychodynamic theory, developmental challenges and identity formation, women’s issues, cultural and multicultural issues, graduate and professional school challenges, and mood disorders. She worked in Washington, D.C. for eight years before entering the profession of psychology.
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Jeff Jennings, Ph.D.
Jeff is a licensed clinical psychologist who received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, which included completion of an internship at CAPS in 2012-2013. He returned to CAPS in 2015 to coordinate substance abuse services and serve as a staff psychologist, bringing with him over 17 years of clinical experience. Before pursuing doctoral studies, Jeff was a licensed professional counselor in Georgia, where he worked in a variety of mental health settings with diverse populations. His clinical interests include substance abuse, emerging adulthood and identity development (including the intersection of sexual/religious identity), relationship issues, positive psychology (including life goals, values, religious/spiritual struggles, well-being, and forgiveness) depression and anxiety, stress management, and men’s issues. Jeff’s theoretical framework is rooted in relational and psychodynamic theory, while incorporating mindfulness and CBT-based interventions based on the needs of his clients. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing with family and friends, mountain biking/cycling, hiking, and exploring new places to eat.
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Michael Gerard Mason, Ph.D., LPC
Michael received his M.Ed. in School and Community Counseling from the University of New Orleans and his doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Virginia. His research and clinical interests include qualitative explorations of the experience of minority students in higher education, culturally relevant psychotherapy, utilizing film in psychotherapy training, implementing and evaluating systemic mental health interventions in academic institutions, and understanding and treating online gaming addiction. His theoretical orientation is rooted in British Object Relations and informed by family systems theory. As Director of Project RISE, Dr. Mason teaches two courses that comprise the Hoos Helping Hoos Curriculum through the Counselor Education Department in the Curry School of Education. Both EDHS 3895: Peer Counseling Theory and Skills and EDHS 5294: Peer Support Program Research, Design, and Evaluation will be taught each semester. For more information, contact Dr. Mason.
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Lillian Mezey, M.D.
Lillian received her B.A. from Cornell University and her M.D. from Columbia University. She completed residency training in Psychiatry at the University of Colorado in 1994. Since then, she has worked as a community psychiatrist in Colorado and Virginia. She has lived in Charlottesville since 1998, working as a psychiatrist in the local community mental health centers. She has special expertise in mood disorders and psychotic disorders as well as dual diagnoses of substance abuse disorders and mental illness.
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L. Kelley Midkiff, NP, CS
Kelley joined CAPS in 2010. She received her degrees from University of Virginia: BA in 1990, BSN 1994, and MSN in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner certificate in 1996. Since 1997, she has provided psychiatric care at the local community mental health clinic. Ms. Midkiff teaches part-time at UVA's School of Nursing. At CAPS, she provides medication consultation and enjoys working collaboratively with students.
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Belinda Overstreet, Ph.D.
Belinda is a licensed psychologist and a staff psychologist at CAPS. She has worked predominately in university settings since 1993. Dr. Overstreet received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University. Consistent with her degree, she focuses on building upon the strengths of the individual, couple, or group. Her areas of clinical interest include transitional problems, family difficulties, relationship building, and mood disorders. She has experience treating a wide range of psychological problems in adolescents and adults.
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Karen is a lifelong resident of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. She holds an M.A. and an Ed.S degree from James Madison University since 2001. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Auricular Acupuncture Specialist. As the CAPS clinical case manager and community inpatient liaison, she provides tools, support, awareness, and advocacy so that students (and families) can receive what they need in order to feel empowered and better navigate UVA on grounds and community mental health resources. Karen brings 15+ years of clinical experience, including working with dually diagnosed populations in inpatient and outpatient community mental health settings, private practice, providing clinical supervision, and creating peer recovery/alumni supports. Her compassion has played out in her work with clients and families planting seeds of collaboration, hope and recovery. Her areas of clinical interest/ specialties include: mind-body issues, identity development, family dynamics, codependency and addiction, mood disorders, working with transgendered individuals, veterans, life transitions, crisis intervention, trauma and abuse.
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Brandon Phillips, Psy.D.
Brandon completed his doctoral studies at the American School of Professional Psychology in Washington DC. Dr. Phillips enjoys university counseling, and his interests are in working with anxiety, stress management, grief and loss, and relational issues. His approach is integrative, and he is active and collaborative in helping to facilitate change and understand ourselves and relationships. Personally, Dr. Phillips enjoys the central Virginia outdoors. If you have not walked the Saunders-Monticello Trail he recommends you check it out.
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Nicole Ruzek, Ph.D.
Nicole is the Director of CAPS. She joined CAPS in 2012 after working at Cal Poly Pomona University as a clinical psychologist and research coordinator for six and a half years. Nicole received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in 2004 and completed a postdoctoral residency at San Jose State University. Nicole has extensive experience working with students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and particularly enjoys helping individuals with romantic relationships, spiritual questions, trauma, mood and anxiety concerns. She works from a developmental-integrative perspective, incorporating psychodynamic, humanistic, somatic, and cognitive approaches to treat the whole person. Nicole also enjoys running psychotherapy groups and teaching mindfulness practices to students in individual and group settings.
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Sean Sembrowich, NP
Sean is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. He received his BSN and then his Masters in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in 2000. As a Family Nurse Practitioner, he worked in internal medicine, and the emergency department. He transitioned to addiction research in 2001, while also teaching pharmacology to graduate nursing students. Sean currently works as a certified Psych Mental Health NP at the U.Va. Center for Leading Edge Addiction Research (CLEAR). He also performs medication management through telemedicine for a community services board and an addiction treatment center here in Virginia. Sean also sits on the board for the Virginia Health Practitioners’ Monitoring Program. He is currently working towards his doctorate at the U.Va. School of Nursing. He enjoys fishing, and loves spending time with his wife and two children.
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J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., M.D.
Andy is a part-time staff psychiatrist. He received his B.A. from Duke University (1970), his M.D. from the University of Virginia (1974) and did his adult psychiatry training at U.Va. (1974-77). His private practice is oriented toward individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy, forensic psychiatry, and medication consultation. He was the Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction at U.Va., which involved interdisciplinary intervention and research in large group ethnic and political conflict, primarily in the former Soviet Union. He serves on the clinical faculty at The Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at U.VA. He has publications on narcissistic personality disorder, evolutionary theories of depression, antidepressants, criminal behavior, the function of serotonin, post-traumatic stress disorder, religion, suicide terrorism, and the psychology of racism. In 2010 his work on an evolutionary theory of depression was featured in Scientific American Mind and in the New York Times Magazine, “Depression’s Upside.” He co-authored Facing Bipolar:The Young Adult's Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder (2010) and authored Why We Believe In God(s): A Concise Introduction to the Science of Faith (2011), which has been translated into Spanish, German, Polish, and Urdu. His current research interest is evolutionary psychology and its application to religious belief, well-being, resilience, suicide and psychiatric illnesses.
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Erin Tracy, Ph.D.
Erin is a licensed clinical psychologist who joined the CAPS staff in 2015. She previously worked as a staff psychologist at Appalachian State University. She completed her doctoral internship at the University of California-Davis Counseling Center where she specialized in the treatment of eating disorders in college students. She gained additional experience with eating disorders at the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center in Massachusetts and as Clinical Director of La Luna Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. Erin received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Colorado State University. Erin’s clinical interests include eating disorders, anxiety, trauma, emotion regulation, interpersonal concerns, multicultural and gender issues, and group therapy. She strives to help students understand their struggles in the context of their unique developmental histories and cultural identities. In her non-professional life, Erin enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, mountain biking, trail running, watching movies, and reading fiction.
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Rafael Triana, Ph.D.
Rafael is a Senior Staff clinician at CAPS. He is also a Psychoanalyst, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences. He received a Master’s and Ph.D. degree in Clinical Social Work from Smith College School of Social Work. Dr. Triana also holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. His education includes a four year fellowship in the Mental Health Division at Yale University Health Services and completion of psychoanalytic training at the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis where he continues his affiliation as an instructor. Dr. Triana is the former Division Head of Mental Health Services and former Director of Counseling and Psychological Services in the Department of Student Health. In the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities he is the faculty director for Medical Spanish and Culture. He also teaches first year medical students in the Practice of Medicine course. In the Department of Psychiatry he teaches Psychodynamic theory and practice to residents. His theoretical area of interest is in the interface between contemporary psychoanalytic theory and neurobiology. Clinically he provides treatment for a broad range of psychiatric disorders. His specialty is late adolescence development and treatment and combat trauma and PTSD in veterans. As a marine sergeant long range reconnaissance patrol leader, Dr. Triana served for two tours of duty in Viet Nam and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor. He was raised in an inner city Barrio in New York and comes from a family of Cuban immigrants and refugees.
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Jackie Woods, Ph.D.
Jackie is a psychologist who joined CAPS in 2014. She serves as the Group Coordinator and manages the group psychotherapy program at CAPS. Jackie received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her clinical interests include LGBTQ student issues, trauma, eating and body image concerns, identity exploration, and relationship issues. Jackie’s clinical style is emotion focused and multiculturally grounded. She incorporates relational, psychodynamic, and feminist theories into her work with students. Jackie also has strong interest and experience in group therapy. She currently facilitates the Understanding Self and Others and the Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning Men’s Support groups at CAPS. In her free time, Jackie enjoys running, cooking, and exploring Charlottesville.
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Baozhen Xie, Ph.D.
Baozhen is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2007. She joined CAPS staff in 2008 after completing her postdoctoral fellowship in psychology at Stanford University. She practices from an integration of humanistic, relational, and cognitive behavioral approaches. She also has a passion for multicultural counseling, and enjoys working with students from diverse cultural backgrounds, including international, ethnic minorities, children of immigrants, and other underserved student populations. She co-facilitates cultural psychology seminar for doctoral interns. Her clinical interests include personal and ethnic/cultural identity issues, cross-cultural adjustment, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and eating disorders. During her spare time, she enjoys hiking, practicing meditation, travel, and watching TV.
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Matt Zimmerman, Psy.D.,
ABPP - Director of Training
Matt is the Director of Training at CAPS, where he oversees doctoral interns in an American Psychological Association accredited program and doctoral level practicum students. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University 's Center for Psychological Studies, and completed his internship at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst . His areas of interest include eating issues and body image concerns, relational difficulties and clinical training. He is Board Certified in Clinical Psychology and has taught courses on the philosophical basis of psychology and treatment of eating disorders. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children, hiking, singing, reading evolutionary biology and playing basketball.
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Derek is currently in his fourth year of psychiatry residency training at the University of Virginia, and one of the current psychiatry chief residents. He graduated from UVa with majors in Biology and Spanish Linguistics. He attended medical school at the American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten and completed his clinical clerkships in the South Bronx in New York City. After completing residency in June 2017, he plans to pursue a fellowship in addiction psychiatry and then a career in academic psychiatry with both clinical and research interests. His current clinical interests include addiction psychiatry, particularly alcohol use disorders and opioid use disorders, and LGBT mental health. He additionally has research interest and involvement in clinical trials for medication to treat addictive disorders. In his free time, Derek enjoys traveling abroad, especially to warmer climates, going to UVa basketball games, and spending time with his friends, family, and two dogs Jack and Oliver.
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Erin received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tulane University. After working as a consultant in California, she decided to return to New Orleans to pursue a career in medicine. She received her M.D. from Tulane University. She is now in her 4th year of psychiatry residency training at the University of Virginia where she is a chief resident. After completing residency, she plans to pursue a career in academic psychiatry. Her interests are in community mental health and improving systems of healthcare, as well as clinical interests in psychotic disorders and resiliency. In her spare time, Erin enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling, and Saints football.
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Danielle Ivanova is originally from Arizona and completed medical school there. She chose UVa for its renowned reputation for training excellent physicians, and because Charlottesville is a friendly town with lots of fun things to do in her spare time. She has enjoyed her training at UVa and has made great friends from both within her program and outside of work. Her interests include inpatient psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, and working with the college-age population.
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Lauren received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Tennessee and her M.D from East Tennessee State University. She is currently in her fourth year of psychiatry residency training at the University of Virginia. After completion of residency in June 2017, she plans on pursuing a career in adult psychiatry. Her current clinical interests include psychotic disorders, particularly new onset, and the combination of psychotherapy and medication management. Lauren loves traveling, college football, and spending time with her family and friends.
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Claire Holland, M.A.
Claire is a doctoral intern at CAPS. She received her B.S. in English Literature from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Claire is currently completing her doctorate in clinical psychology at The George Washington University, where she also received her M.A. in clinical psychology. She has experience working in a variety of settings, including university counseling centers, community mental health, and hospital settings. She draws from psychodynamic and interpersonal theories in her work with clients. Claire’s clinical interests include identity formation, interpersonal relationships, and somatic manifestations of anxiety and depression. She enjoys spending time with her two cats, listening to music, reading, practicing martial arts, and horseback riding in her free time.
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Laura Reid, M.A., Psy.M.
Laura is a doctoral intern at CAPS. She received her B.A. in psychology, Spanish, and German from Middlebury College and her M.A. in Linguistics from Indiana University-Bloomington. Laura is finishing her doctorate in clinical psychology at the George Washington University, and she has worked in medical, community health, and university counseling settings. Additionally, she enjoys conducting assessments, particularly for clients who seek political asylum and other social justice claims. While her theoretical orientation is primarily psychodynamic, she also works interpersonally and relationally. Her primary areas of clinical interest are in trauma and cross-cultural psychology. Laura is also a writer and editor and has published a novel, several short stories, and essays.
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Alison Tripptree, Psy.M
Alison is a doctoral intern at CAPS. She received her B.A. in psychology from Binghamton University. Alison is currently completing her doctorate at Rutgers University, where she also received her Psy.M. She has experience working in a variety of settings, including university counseling centers, high schools, community mental health, and partial hospitalization settings. Alison’s therapeutic approach incorporates relational psychodynamic, interpersonal, and humanistic elements based on the needs of the client. Alison’s clinical interests include attachment and relationship issues, trauma, multicultural concerns, LGBTQ+ concerns, and crisis intervention. In her free time, Alison enjoys reading, trying new foods, taking road trips, and watching crime TV shows.
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Mandi is a doctoral practicum student at CAPS. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in Clinical and School Psychology at James Madison University. Her areas of interest include anxiety and depression in college students as well as human consciousness and how this informs a unified theory of mindfulness. Mandi comes from an integrative theoretical orientation, which includes cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and humanistic perspectives. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, spending time with family and her dogs, and reading.
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Andrea Xisto, J.D.
Andrea is a practicum student at CAPS. She received an A.B. in Sociology from Princeton University and a J.D. from Washington and Lee School of Law. She is currently completing her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology at UVa. She has experience working in university and community mental health as well as in schools. Her clinical interests include depression, anxiety, stress, adjustment and transitions, multicultural concerns, and relationship issues. Andrea loves working with students, including those who are seeking therapy for the first time. Her orientation is integrative, drawing upon psychodynamic, interpersonal, and cognitive approaches. Andrea is passionate about a number of social justice issues, and in her spare time, she enjoys lettering, calligraphy, and diy projects.
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