Support Group

Our Team

DIRECTOR

Jennifer Freeman, Ph.D.
Director

Jennifer Freeman, PhD is the Director of the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) at Bradley Hospital. Dr. Freeman is also an associate professor (research) of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Freeman received her BA from Wesleyan University. She completed her doctoral training at the State University of New York at Buffalo, completed a predoctoral internship at the Brown University clinical psychology training program, and was a postdoctoral fellow in child and pediatric psychology at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

Dr. Freeman's research interests are in the area of child and adolescent anxiety disorders. Her particular interests include obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), cognitive behavioral family interventions, and developmental psychopathology. Her current research focuses on dissemination of treatment and training programs for treatment providers in the area of exposure therapy. She was the PI on an NIMH-funded multisite trial of exposure-based treatment for young children with OCD, site PI or Co-I on a number of past treatment trials for childhood OCD, and currently, and an MPI on an NIMH funded R21/R33. In her free time, Dr. Freeman enjoys running with her golden retriever, Cora.

 

 psychologists & psychiatrists

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Kristen Benito, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist

Dr. Benito is an Assistant Professor (Research) at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a Staff Psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital. She received her B.A. from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida in 2010. Dr. Benito completed post-doctoral training in Pediatric OCD/Anxiety that was supported by a T32 award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

 

Dr. Benito is also the PI on an NIMH-funded R01 testing the Exposure Guide as a practical measure of quality in exposure therapy, and the MPI on an NIHM-funded and the R21/R33 testing training methods for community therapists learning to deliver exposure therapy.Dr. Benito’s research interests are related to understanding treatment quality and mechanism of change in exposure-based treatments and using this knowledge to 1) disseminate efficacious treatments into community settings, 2) augment existing treatments, and 3) develop new treatments. Dr. Benito also has research interests related to developing behavioral treatments for families of youth with medical problems, such as Congenital Heart Disease and Orthostatic Intolerance. Dr. Benito provides Clinical Psychology services in the Bradley Hospital OCD Intensive program and in the Hasbro Children’s Hospital Pediatric Heart Center and Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. Dr. Benito enjoys spending time with her family and her grumpy French bulldog named Walter.

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Elizabeth Brannan, M.D.
Staff Psychiatrist

Elizabeth Brannan, MD, is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Pediatrician working in the Intensive Program for OCD and Related Disorders at Bradley Hospital. A native of California, Dr. Brannan earned her BA from Stanford University in Human Biology and her Medical Degree at the University of California at Davis School of Medicine. She pursued combined residency training in Psychiatry and Pediatrics through the Triple Board Program (pediatrics, general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry) at Brown, where she focused on pediatric anxiety disorders and the medical-psychiatric interface.

 

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Brannan is active in medical education and social justice and health equity in the medical system. Dr. Brannan is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and serves as the Associate Training Director for the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and Triple Board Residency programs. She teaches courses on pediatric mental health to medical students, residents, and fellows, as well as to community pediatricians through the Pedi PRN Intensive Program. In addition to serving as Co-Director of the first-year medical student Brain Sciences course and the longitudinal third-year medical student Integration Seminar for the past 6 years, she co-chairs the Subcommittee on Educational Programming for the Department of Psychiatry’s Anti-Racism Steering Committee and has co-developed social justice and mental health equity curricula for trainees and faculty. In her time outside of work, she loves spending time with her daughter, being outdoors, and experiencing the fundamental both/and moments of life.

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Amy Egolf, M.D.
Staff Psychiatrist

Amy Egolf, MD, is a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist working in the Intensive Program for OCD and Related Disorders at Bradley Hospital, as well as in the outpatient setting. Dr. Egolf is an Assistant Professor and the Associate Director of Medical Education for the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School (AMS) of Brown University. 

 

Dr. Egolf earned her BA from Wesleyan University in Classics and her medical degree from The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She completed her adult psychiatry residency training at Mount Sinai and her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Brown. Dr. Egolf joined the OCD Program following the completion of her training at Brown.

 

In her free time, Dr. Egolf enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband in the great outdoors, traveling, and trying all the wonderful food the world has to offer both close to home in Providence and farther afield. She has a particular fondness for cappuccinos and always appreciates giving and receiving food and drink recommendations.

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Andrea Gold, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist

Andrea Gold, Ph.D. is a Staff Psychologist at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Brown University Alpert Warren School of Medicine. Prior to joining PARC, she completed a postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She received her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her doctorate in clinical psychology at Yale University. She completed (and loved!) her clinical internship in the dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) specialization track at the Yale School of Medicine.

 

In her doctoral and postdoctoral training, Andrea used functional neuroimaging, psychophysiology, and behavioral methods to study the neural mechanisms of pediatric and adult anxiety disorders. In addition to her clinical research on anxiety, she simultaneously gained learned DBT, an evidence-based treatment for severe, pervasive emotion dysregulation, suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), and borderline personality disorder (BPD). 

 

As a member of the PARC team, Andrea is passionate about her goal to integrate clinical research, exposure and response prevention (E/RP), and DBT. She is currently developing an adaptation of DBT targeting exposure (DBT-X) for the subpopulation of adolescents with OCD and other fear disorders co-occurring with emotion dysregulation, self-injurious behaviors, and BPD. For this subpopulation and along with the PARC team, Andrea is developing a DBT-X track within the Intensive Program for OCD and Related Disorders. Her research also examines the development of BPD in adolescent girls and boys. 

Jennifer Herren, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist

Dr. Jenny Herren is a staff psychologist at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) and Associate Professor (Clinician Educator) in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. She is a part of PARC’s leadership team and coordinates outpatient services at PARC.  Dr. Herren’s clinical expertise and research interests broadly focus on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices for youth, with an emphasis on exposure-based treatment for OCD and anxiety.

Dr. Herren received her B.A. from Maryville College and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and post-doctoral fellowship specializing in child and adolescent psychology at Judge Baker Children’s Center and Harvard University. She is an active member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). Dr. Herren’s research interests focus on improving therapist training and service delivery models of exposure therapy in order to optimize clinical outcomes and increase access to care. She has served as a Co-Investigator on multiple grants at PARC.

 

Dr. Herren was born and raised in Tennessee and now lives in Rhode Island. Some of her most favorite things include traveling to new places, going to the beach, trying new foods, spending time with her family, and reading a good book!

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Joshua Kemp, Ph.D. is a staff psychologist at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center at Bradley Hospital. He received his Bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Wyoming.

Josh has extensive experience researching and delivering exposure therapy for anxiety disorders. His graduate training focused on the study of methods for optimally delivering and disseminating exposure therapy across a variety of service settings, including outpatient, partial hospital, and residential levels of care with both children and adults. Dr. Kemp has also co-authored publications on strategies for training exposure therapists as well as procedural strategies for increasing the effectiveness of exposure therapy.

Joshua Kemp, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
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Bryana Killion, Ph.D.
Clinical Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Bryana Killion is a clinical postdoctoral fellow at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) at Bradley Hospital. Dr. Killion received her B.A. from Stonehill College and her Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. She completed her predoctoral internship at Central Regional Hospital in North Carolina, where she gained experience working with children and adolescents with severe mental illness. 

 

Dr. Killion's clinical interests include the assessment and treatment of pediatric anxiety and obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders. Her research interests include the risk and protective factors contributing to outcomes associated with childhood anxiety disorders, as well as the effectiveness of exposure-based treatments in community mental health settings.

 

In her free time, Dr. Killion enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter, going to the beach (no matter the season!), and snuggling up on the couch with a good book.

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Ingrid Lauer-Arnold, M.D.
Staff Psychiatrist

Ingrid Lauer-Arnold, MD, is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist in the Intensive Program for OCD and Related Disorders at Bradley Hospital.

 

Dr. Lauer-Arnold completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. She completed her post-baccalaureate premedical program at Columbia University and earned her medical degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. Dr. Lauer-Arnold completed her General Psychiatry Residency & Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.


Dr. Lauer-Arnold co-leads the Psychopharmacology course for 1st year Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows at Brown.  She is also a faculty mentor for psychiatry residents and fellows through the Resident as Teacher program (RAT) through the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

 

In her free time, Dr. Lauer-Arnold enjoys spending time with her dogs Lulu & Rosie. 

Sarah Morris, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist

Dr. Sarah Morris is a staff psychologist at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) at Bradley Hospital and a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. Dr. Morris received her B.A. from Haverford College and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship through the Clinical Psychology Training Program at Brown University.

 

Dr. Morris specializes in the use of exposure and response prevention therapy for pediatric OCD and related disorders. Her research interests include better understanding the underlying mechanisms of pediatric OC-spectrum disorders, including OCD, trichotillomania, and tic disorders.

 

In her free time, Dr. Morris enjoys spending time with her wife and son, being active outdoors, cooking new recipes, and traveling to see family and friends in different parts of the country.

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Dr. Erin O’Connor is a staff psychologist at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) at Bradley Hospital and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. O’Connor received her B.A. from Boston College and Ph.D. from Boston University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship through the Clinical Psychology Training Program at Brown University.


Dr. O’Connor’s research interests include the etiology and treatment of pediatric anxiety and obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders. She has a particular interest in increasing the effectiveness of exposure-based treatment, specifically in the context of family interventions. In her free time, Dr. O’Connor enjoys baking and finding the best pizza spot in town!

Erin O'Connor, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
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Michael Walther, Ph.D., is a psychologist at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Bradley Hospital. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Walther is currently completing a fellowship under the T32 National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.

 

Dr. Walther joined PARC in 2011 as part of his pre-doctoral internship at Brown University. Dr. Walther is interested in the phenomenology, etiology, and treatment of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), hair pulling disorder (trichotillomania), and tic disorders. Even though he dislikes vegetables, he does his best to eat them; they are good fuel for when he runs with his dog Bentley.

Michael Walther, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist
 
 

Research assistants

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Kristen Gardiner, B.S.
Clinical Research Assistant

Kristen started working at PARC in June 2021 after receiving her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish and a concentration in American Catholic Studies from Fordham University. During her time at Fordham, Kristen worked at a lab with Montefiore Medical Center. The lab focused on developing a mentalizing-focused group treatment for caregivers that focused on attachment science and developmental psychology. The lab aimed to help caregivers break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and form more secure attachments with their children.

 

Kristen’s research interests include examining the impact adverse childhood experiences have on individual’s psychological well-being, and how trauma, anxiety, and other mental health disparities can be addressed at a younger age to end the cycle of intergenerational trauma.  She is also interested in how skills in exposure and cognitive behavioral therapy can be taught to parents so that they can be resources for helping children with their anxiety.

In her free time, Kristen enjoys spending time with friends, exploring new restaurants, taking walks, and reading psychological thriller novels! After working at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center, Kristen plans to pursue a PhD in Counseling Psychology.

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Zoe began working at PARC in June 2021 after receiving her B.A. in Psychology from Whitman College. At Whitman, Zoe worked in a lab studying the role of disgust in anxiety disorders. In her senior thesis, Zoe used an online eye tracking tool, Mouseview.js, to examine disgust as a mechanism underlying female sexual dysfunction.

Her research interests include examining the relationship between disgust and arousal in sexual pain disorders, using eye tracking to understand disgust in the context of anxiety disorders, and increasing access to evidence-based mental health treatments, particularly in rural areas. 

In her free time, Zoe enjoys snowshoeing, yoga, and experimenting with vegetarian recipes. After her time at PARC, Zoe is interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology, psychiatry, or public health.  

Zoe Brown, B.A.
Clinical Research Assistant
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Kiany started working at PARC in June 2021 after receiving his B.S. in Biochemistry at Bowdoin College. Kiany conducted an independent study examining the roles of mental health, emotional well-being, and environmental support on the success of minority students who attend private independent schools. He also researched the effects and prominence of mental health in low socioeconomic minority communities. 

His research interests include exploring multicultural recruitment and access to mitigate systematic and cultural barriers contributing to the disparity in minority mental healthcare access. He is also interested in mindfulness-based therapies and exploring how mindfulness can help in creating a transdiagnostic approach for psychotherapy. Kiany is interested in personalized treatment and using evidence-based treatments for patients with varying mental health diagnoses. 

After working at PARC, Kiany plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. 

Kiany Probherbs, B.S.
Clinical Research Assistant
Kathrin Renschler, M.A.
Clinical Research Assistant
Mitchell Jackson, B.S.
Clinical Research Assistant

Mitchell started working at the PARC in June 2022 after receiving his B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Xavier University Of Louisiana. Mitchell completed his senior thesis on converting noticeable and distracting stimming behaviors in children with ASD to more covert or invisible behaviors to aid in social acceptance from peers. He also worked in the JUST lab examining racial discipline disparities in a local middle school.

 

His research interests include improving access, awareness, and overall interventions for evidence-based treatment of anxiety and related disorders, especially for children and adolescents of racial minority groups. He is interested in personalized treatment for those seeking help with mental health.

In his free time, Mitchell enjoys being in or on the water, playing video games and spending time with friends and family. Mitchell plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical or School Psychology after his time at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center. 

Marika Marklin, B.A.
Clinical Research Assistant

Marika joined PARC in June 2022 after receiving her B.S. in psychology and Spanish at Creighton University. At Creighton, Marika studied neural and structural patterns in nonpathological trait dissociation. She also researched women's studies, examining moral injury and pervasive princess media in female identity development and normalization of gender roles. Clinically, Marika was introduced to CBT for child OCD at Rogers Behavioral Health. This formative experience sparked an interest in studying thought appraisal, treatment accessibility, and longitudinal treatment success for OCD. Marika hopes to study these increasingly prominent facets of OCD at both the PARC and, eventually, a graduate school lab in a clinical psychology PhD program. 

 

In her free time, Marika enjoys spotting as many dogs as possible at Rhode Island's plentiful parks, spending time with loved ones, singing, reading memoirs and babysitting. 

 

A selection of

alumni

Aishvarya Arora, Research Assistant

Grace Cain, Research Assistant

Matthew Carper, Trainee

Anna Charlton, Research Assistant

Lauren Edwards, Research Assistant

Caroline Forest, Research Assistant

Hannah Frank, Research Assistant

Christopher Georgiadis, Research Assistant

Maddi Gervasio, Research Assistant

Robert Holloway, Trainee

Zohaib Jessani, Research Assistant

Erin Mamaril, Research Assistant

Lauren Milgram, Research Assistant

Rebecca Mirhashem, Research Assistant

Briana Paulo, Research Assistant

Kesha Perkins, Research Assistant

Amrita Ramanathan, Research Assistant

Elena Schiavone, Research Assistant

Kaitlyn Schneider, Trainee

Kate Sheehan, Research Assistant

Jenna Sung, Research Assistant

Elyse Stewart, Research Assistant

Brianna Wellen, Research Assistant