Friday, February 26, 2010

A Clinical Psychologist in Training

Since graduating, Brian Denietolis ’05 has been studying at Antioch University New England in a combined master’s/doctoral program in clinical psychology. Brian isn’t sure he’d be where he is if it weren’t for his academic advisor at Gordon, Dr. Kaye Cook, professor of psychology.
When he was a freshman in Psychology 101, Dr. Cook pulled Brian aside and told him he should be a psychology major because she saw potential in him. Dr. Cook continued to bolster his professional and academic development; in fact, Brian says the faculty and courses offered at Gordon provided him with “an extremely solid foundation in general psychology, enabling my success as a graduate student. Working alongside students who got their undergraduate degrees at Boston University, Boston College, Tufts, Brown and Duke, I have always felt Gordon prepared me as well as my colleagues to rise to the challenges. But the dedication and commitment of Gordon’s faculty was the most crucial factor in my decision to become a clinical psychologist.”
What else has contributed to leading Brian down this path? He worked as a research assistant for the Multicultural Center for Research and Practice at Antioch and was a student reviewer for the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. He served as a student leader for the Support Group for Ethnic and Racial Diversity and was a student leader for the Psychoanalytic Discussion Group and the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual Discussion Group. He was a team member of Antioch University’s Disaster Shakti, an organization that offers social-justice outreach services to disaster-stricken communities. “With the help of my academic advisor,” says Brian, “I designed a treatment outcome study for my dissertation examining whether or not ‘mindful foster-parenting’ cultivates attachment security and adaptive emotion regulation among foster children.” Brian also received training at some of the leading teaching hospitals and medical schools in New England: Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Brown Medical School and UMass Medical School, among others.
“I have also sought specialized training in treating children, adolescents and families faced with chronic psychological suffering in general, and child maltreatment/post-traumatic stress disorder in particular,” Brian says. “As a predoctoral intern in clinical child and adolescent psychology at Dartmouth, I am receiving specialized training in implementing evidence-based practices to treat the cognitive, emotional and behavioral sequelae experienced by children exposed to interpersonal traumas (i.e., sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence).”
He also joined a team of clinicians with Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center, committed to distributing evidence-based practice for treating post-traumatic stress in children 1–4 years old. The treatment model, called Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), is a dyadic, attachment-based manualized treatment.
Brian Denietolis received his degree in psychology with a minor in youth ministries at Gordon. He and his wife, Kristina Whitehead-Denietolis ’06, will celebrate their fifth anniversary this July. Brian says, “Our love, commitment and support for each other is a far greater accomplishment than any of our academic and professional achievements.”

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