We hope that this page gives you a sense of the kind of work that we are doing in our lab here, the PTSD Treatment and Research Program – and the opportunities for students that are available. Our work is focused on intervention studies, primarily in the area of PTSD, but also in mood disorders. We are a busy, productive group. Below are the names of everyone currently working in the lab, with introductions from some of the lab members.
Norah Feeny, Ph.D., Professor, Director, PTSD Treatment & Research Program
Dr. Norah Feeny is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Psychology. She specializes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is the Director of the PTSD Treatment and Research Program. She has concentrated her research on evaluating treatments for PTSD, and understanding what predicts who will develop PTSD. Her clinical and research work has involved her in sexual assault programs, and treatment programs for anxiety and depression.
Nina Rytwinski, Ph.D.
I'm a postdoctoral fellow with the PTSD research and treatment program. Before coming to CWRU, I completed my undergraduate studies at Queen's University in Ontario, my graduate school training at Kent State University in Ohio, and my predoctoral internship at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Virginia. My research has largely explored factors that contribute to the onset and maintenance of mood and anxiety disorders. And my clinical work has focused on the treatment of individuals with comorbid psychological concerns and medical illnesses. I am delighted that this fellowship will allow me to combine these interests and explore the relationships between PTSD, depression, and physical health.
Sue Baab, RN
I am a clinical nurse specialist in mental health/ psychiatry with the PTSD Treatment and Research Program. I hold a BS in psychology and a BSN and MSN in nursing. I have been involved in research for over ten years. My involvement has been in the area of the treatment and prevention of mental health disorders during pregnancy and post birth including issues related to treatment during lactation. I remain involved in research involving adolescents and major depression. Currently I am involved in child and adult PTSD research protocols. I do initial assessments and serve as an independent evaluator.
Elle Brennan, B.A.
I am the research coordinator for the PTSD Treatment and Research Program. I graduated from Case in May 2010 with a BA in psychology. For my senior project submission, I co-created a measure to look at people's use of exercise as an emotion regulation device, hypothesizing that exercise could be used to manage or mismanage emotions similarly to how some people use food. I am excited to now be looking at PTSD and to be a part of this team, and to garner experience both working with participants as well as handling much of the more technical aspects of conducting research. My specific interests lie in people's perceptions of self-efficacy before, during, and after treatment. I am excited to be working in a lab focused on anxiety and mood disorders.
Loren Post, M.A., 5th year graduate student
My name is Loren Post and I am a 5th year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program. I graduated from New York University receiving my B.A. in Psychology and Gender and Sexuality Studies. After graduating, I worked as the intake coordinator at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City, as a research associate at UCLA on a study testing a biopsychosocial model of social responses to stress, and as a volunteer crisis line counselor at the Suicide Prevention Center through Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center. Currently, I am interested in examining the roles of emotion regulation processes and negative mood regulation expectancies in the relationship between PTSD+MDD and negative affect. I have broad interests in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. I am excited to be a member of the PTSD Treatment & Research Program and look forward to continuing research and clinical work in the treatment of PTSD.
Stephanie Keller, M.A.
I am a 3rd year student in the clinical psychology program at Case. I graduated from Case in 2008 with a B.A. in Biology and Psychology. During my undergraduate career, I conducted an Honor's Thesis with Dr. Norah Feeny, and examined cognitive factors involved in depression and PTSD in a sample of trauma exposed children. My Master's focused on examining how depression symptoms change over the course of treatment for individuals with PTSD. My primary interests involve understanding the patterns and processes of change that occur during psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatment for PTSD. I am also interested in examining client characteristics, namely social support, that may contribute to change during therapy. CWRU is a great program and the faculty are very supportive!
Erin Clifton, B.A., 2nd year graduate student
I am a second year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Case. I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation I worked at the Veteran's Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare Center as the Project Coordinator of a study that looked at mechanisms of change over the course of two randomly assigned psychotherapies, Prolonged Exposure Therapy and Present Centered Therapy, for the treatment of PTSD in returning veterans. Currently, I'm interested in the development and treatment of PTSD and comorbid disorders, along with how negative emotions, such as anger and guilt, might affect the PTSD treatment process and outcome. I'm excited to be a part of the PTSD Treatment and Research Program and enjoy conducting research and doing clinical work.
Hannah Bergman, B.S., 1st year graduate student
I am a first year graduate student in the clinical psychology program at Case. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009 with a B.A. in History, B.S. in Psychology, and a Certificate in Russian and East European Studies. After graduation, I moved back home to D.C., and was a Cancer Research Training Award fellow at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. As a fellow, I worked on several projects, which included the development of a comprehensive heart disease knowledge questionnaire and a review of smokeless tobacco use studies in the U.S. military. Currently, I am interested in the development and treatment of PTSD across different populations, better understanding the treatment choice process, and the stigma associated with a PTSD diagnosis. I am very excited to be a member of the PTSD Treatment and Research Program and start my first year of graduate work!
Current Undergraduate Research Assistants:
Are you interested in working with our group? We have positions available for interested, enthusiastic students who would like to work as research assistants in our lab for credit or as volunteers. research assistants in the PTSD Treatment & Research Program are involved in many aspects of the day-to-day functioning of the ongoing treatment studies, assist with writing and editing manuscripts, conduct literature reviews, and participate in our bi-weekly PTSD Journal Club meetings during the academic year.
If you are interested, please contact Dr. Norah Feeny or Elle Brennan.
2007 Research Team
Back Row (L-R): Ed Shirley, Lisa Stines Doane, Norah Feeny, Sue Baab, Sarah Obral, Allison Burck
Front Row (L-R): Jennifer Fabritius, AnnaMaria Aguirre, Loren Post
2006 Research Team
Back Row (L-R): Norah Feeny, Shoshana Kahana, Sue Baab, Jeanne Duax, Lisa Stines
Front Row (L-R): Melysa Thomas, Jennifer Fabritius, AnnaMaria Aguirre, Ed Shirley