REACH (Resilience, Empowerment, Advocacy & Allyship, Cultural Responsiveness, and Healing)
With a focus on communities of color, we also explore barriers to quality and effective healthcare including access, systemic racism, mental health stigma, and help seeking behaviors.
Dr. Jessica Graham-LoPresti
To learn more about Dr. Graham-LoPresti and her work, please visit her faculty page.
If you are an undergraduate seeking a volunteer or independent research experience, please email Dr. Graham-LoPresti directly.
- Graham-LoPresti, J., Walker-Gautier, S., Sorenson, S. Hayes-Skelton, S. (2017). Culturally sensitive adaptations to evidence-based cognitive behavioral treatment for social anxiety disorder: A case paper. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.
- Graham, J., West, L., Martinez, J., & Roemer, L. (2016). The mediating role of internalized racism in the relationship between racist experiences and anxiety symptoms in a Black American Sample. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 22, 369-376.
Sample Book Chapters
- Graham-LoPresti, J., Abdullah, T., Calloway, A. (in press). Culturally responsive assessment and treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. In L. Benuto, F. Gonzalez, & J. Singer (Eds.). Handbook for Cultural Factors in Behavioral Health: A Guide for the Helping Professional. Springer Press.
- Graham-LoPresti, J., Williams, M., (in press). Culturally responsive assessment and diagnosis for clients of color. In D. Rosen & J. Kanter (Eds.). Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities: Using Contextual Behavioral Science to Achieve Equity and Excellence Across Settings and Communities. New York: New Harbinger Press
Current Graduate Students
I am a third-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Suffolk University. I received my BA in Psychology from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, where I participated in research on rural mental health needs, sexual consent, and perception of rape victims. My research and clinical interests include trauma, coping, and the overlap between traumatic experiences and revictimization for underserved and marginalized communities. I am passionate about working with survivors of sexual assault, and researching how to improve mental health services for sexual assault victims of color.
Trauma, mental health stigma, alternative healing, sexual health, sexual trauma, rural mental health, and increasing mental health utilization within underserved and marginalized communities.
Linsey is currently a third-year clinical psychology doctoral student in the REACH lab. She is originally from Pleasantville, New York and graduated from the George Washington University In 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology. Prior to coming to Suffolk, she worked as an intake coordinator/research assistant at the Meltzer Center, a community behavioral health clinic in Washington, DC. Her broader research interests focus on mental health help-seeking behaviors among racial and ethnic minority populations, including the effects of racism on help seeking. Her Early Research Project examined the effects of cultural orientation and generation status on help seeking in Asian and Asian American college students. She has a particular interest in examining help seeking and generational trauma within the South Asian population. She recently completed her first practicum at the New England Center for OCD and Anxiety. She is currently training at Boston Medical Center’s Integrated Behavioral Health Clinic.
Mental health help seeking, effects of racism on mental health, generational trauma, barriers to care
Onuoha, Alexandria C., Miller, Alexandria N., Ramanayake, Natasha P., Mathew, Linsey R., Sawdy, Molly, & Escobar, Katherine I. (2021). Social justice in the Ivory Tower: Is Academia antithetical to activism? Virtual roundtable at the Teachers College, Columbia University Winter Roundtable 2021 in New York City, New York.
Mathew, L.R., Browne, R.K., Austin, L.J., Schwartz, S., Graham-LoPresti, J.R. (2020). The Link Between Cultural Orientation and Psychological Help Seeking in an Asian and Asian American Undergraduate Sample. [Conference presentation]. Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Virtual Conference.
Mathew, L., Huh, A., Liebenthal, N., Molock, S., Watanabe, M., Prakash, A., & Jean, D. (2018). Asian family values and suicide ideation among Asian college students [Conference presentation]. The George Washington University Research Day, Washington, DC, United States.
Alexandria is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at Suffolk University. She graduated from the University of Iowa (Go Hawks!) with honors in 2017 with a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in music. At Iowa, she was fortunate to spend time in Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA), a program specifically designed to mentor URM students in research as a preparation for graduate studies. This experience influenced her research interests which center around multiculturalism, cultural adaptations for empirically based treatments, and mental health disparities for communities of color.
Currently, she is a co-chair of the Oppression and Resilience Minority Mental Health special interest group at ABCT, an organization focused on supporting and empowering mental health providers with minoritized identities within research, clinical, and academic spaces. She also co-chairs the Graduate Students of Color Collaborative at Suffolk University and volunteers as a mentor for Project SHORT, an organization that offers free, high-quality admissions counseling to help diversify the PhD applicant pool. (Learn more here: Project SHORT - Welcome! (project-short.com))
In her free time, you will find her at farmer’s markets gathering ingredients as she cooks her way through her many cookbooks, you'll hear her singing loud and proud with Boston Choral Ensemble, and see her spoiling her two cats!
Clinical and Research Interests
She is particularly interested in acceptance-based treatments (i.e. ABBT, ACT) and mindfulness for people of color and those with anxiety and stress. Clinically, it is a priority of hers to uplift, empower, and reduce mental health care disparities for communities of color, and she chooses her research projects and practicum placements intentionally to serve those values. She has trained clinically at McLean's Obsessive and Compulsive Disorder Institute, Boston Medical Center Integrated Behavioral Health, VA Boston, Martha Eliot at Boston Children's, and will soon train at Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders and And Still We Rise, LLC.
Dissertation Title: The Mindful Way through Anxiety for Black Populations: An exploration of the potential relevance, acceptability, and effectiveness of a self-help book informed by Acceptance-Based Behavioral Therapy.
The purpose of this project is to understand whether the Mindful Way through Anxiety workbook is relevant, acceptable, and effective for Black people and if self-help is a viable option for Black people who have anxiety.
ERP: Values and Belongingness in Graduate School: Underrepresented Minority Students’ Perspectives. The purpose of this project is to understand the impact that values-based living can have on the belongingness and psychological functioning of students of color in doctoral programs.
Miller, Alexandria N., and Orsillo, Susan M. (2020). The impact of values congruity on underrepresented minority (URM) graduate student psychosocial functioning. Higher Education Research & Development. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1845618
Miller, Alexandria N. and Orsillo, Susan M. (2020). Values, acceptance, and belongingness in graduate school: Perspectives from underrepresented minority students. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 15, 197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.01.002
Srivastava, Akanksha, Miller, Alexandria N., Tai, Ming-Him, Coles, Mandy S., Brigham, Rebecca., Peterson, Erin R., Kreida, E., Mueser, Kim T., and Ng, Lauren C. (2021). Development of a Brief Primary Care Intervention for PTSD in Adolescents.
Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/cpp0000382
Onuoha, Alexandria C., Miller, Alexandria N., Ramanayake, Natasha P., Mathew, Linsey R., Sawdy, Molly, & Escobar, Katherine I. (2021, February). Social justice in the Ivory Tower: Is Academia antithetical to activism? Virtual roundtable at the Teachers College, Columbia University Winter Roundtable 2021 in New York City, New York.
Miller, Alexandria N., Wadsworth, Lauren P., Kleiman, Keryn, Ablorh, Tsotso, McKenna, John L., & Roemer, Liz. (November, 2020). (Chair: A.N. Miller).Assessing demographics in research: How important is it, really?Symposium to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Philadelphia, PA.
Miller, Alexandria N., Graham-LoPresti, Jess R., Sawyer, Broderick, George, Jamilah, Printz, Destiny, & Davis, Darlene. (November, 2020). (Moderator: B. Sawyer). Blackadamia: Challenges for Black graduate students and professionals. Panel discussion to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Philadelphia, PA.
Miller, Alexandria N., Nagy, Gabriela, Hayes-Skelton, Sarah A., Raval, Vaishali, Guzman, Linda, Das, Akanksha, & Bridges, Ana Julia. (November, 2020). (Moderator: A. N. Miller).Supporting doctoral students of color: Practical suggestions for psychology departments. Panel discussion to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Philadelphia, PA.
Miller, Alexandria N., Skinta, Matthew, West, Lindsey, Sawyer, Broderick, and Martinez, Jennifer. (November, 2019). Mindfulness and Acceptance Based Approaches with Marginalized Communities. Symposium presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Atlanta, GA.
Miller, Alexandria N., Graham-LoPresti, Jessica, Grassetti, Stevie, Ledesma, Roselee, Abdullah, Tahira, Phan, Jenny, & Bridges, Ana Julia. (November, 2019). (Moderator: A. N. Miller). Supporting Graduate Students of Color: How to Identify and Overcome Barriers to Success in Predominantly White Institutions. Panel discussion presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Atlanta, GA.
Miller, Alexandria N., Serowik, Kristin, Orsillo, Susan M. (2018, November). Understanding the ABBT Model and Current Functioning. Poster Presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Washington, DC.
Molly is a second-year clinical psychology doctoral student. She graduated from Bates College with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Chinese. After college, she worked as a research assistant at the VA Boston Healthcare System, first at the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research and then later at the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD. She is currently a practicum student at the McLean Hospital’s OCD Institute and serves as a student representative for the Division on Multiracial and Adopted Asian Americans (DMAA), Asian American Psychological Association.
Barriers to accessing effective mental healthcare; minoritized populations; therapist cultural humility.
I am a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program. I graduated from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY as a salutatorian with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. During this time, I was a research assistant in a lab that was actively gathering data for studies primarily examining adolescent suicide ideation. I also worked as a research assistant for researchers outside the field of psychology (e.g. sociology). I then received my M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. While I was completing my course work, I was also a research assistant in a lab that primarily conducted efficacy research regarding Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT), a therapy package developed to treat distress disorders (e.g. MDD, GAD).
My primary research interests are the development, adaptation, and evaluation of culturally-adapted therapy packages for anxiety and depressive disorders for people of various marginalized populations (e.g. racial and ethnic marginalized populations, people of marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities). I am specifically interested in examining the mechanisms through which factors such as forms of discrimination, acculturation, and acculturative stress may be associated with the development, presentation, and maintenance of anxiety and depressive disorders. I hope to use the findings of such research to guide adaptations to therapy packages for people of different marginalized groups. When discussing and conducting this research, I believe that employing a lens of intersectionality is essential.
Current Research Project
- BATES: Black Americans Therapy Experiences Study
- BARCS: Black Americans Resilience and Coping Study