The therapists at the Manhattan Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy include psychologists, postdoctoral fellows, and clinical externs. Each of them has different areas of expertise and training backgrounds. Learn more about our CBT therapists by clicking on any of the links below.
- Austin Harrison, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
- Nicole Wildstein, Psy.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
- Anna Womack, Ph.D., Psychologist
- Kristen Piering, Psy.D., Psychologist
- Jenny Choi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
- Amoha Bajaj-Mahajan, Ph.D., Psychologist
- Michelle Pavony, Ph.D., Psychologist
- Justin Arocho, Ph.D., Psychologist
- Rachel Chang, Psy.D., Psychologist
- Joun Lee, M.S., Extern
- Gabrielle Ilagan, Extern
- Sara Wilkerson, M.S., Extern
- Paul B. Greene, Ph.D., Director
Austin Harrison, Ph.D.
Dr. Harrison specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for adults with mood and anxiety disorders — namely, depression, generalized anxiety, panic disorder and agoraphobia, social anxiety, health anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He also has a particular interest in working with individuals pursuing creative endeavors who struggle with procrastination, productivity blocks, fear, and self-doubt. Dr. Harrison has training in a broad range of evidence-based interventions, including behavioral activation, exposure and response prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), CBT for insomnia, and mindfulness-based approaches.
Dr. Harrison received his B.A. from The College of New Jersey in Clinical Psychology and Philosophy, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University, where he conducted research on misophonia and collaborative care interventions for PTSD. He completed his predoctoral internship at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in outpatient and intensive outpatient clinics focused on individual and group-based treatment of mood, anxiety, personality, and trauma-related disorders. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Harrison gained extensive research experience in labs at Columbia University and Duke University Medical Centers investigating psychiatric and neuroscience applications of brain stimulation technology (e.g. transcranial magnetic stimulation) and neuroimaging.
Nicole Wildstein, Psy.D.
Dr. Wildstein has extensive experience with patients across the lifespan who struggle with a variety of experiences and symptoms. Specifically, she works with people suffering from panic attacks, social anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, emotion regulation difficulties, generalized anxiety, body-focused repetitive behaviors, and more. She uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). She is curious and respectful when it comes to working with those from diverse cultural or religious backgrounds. She is also mindful of systemic factors, such as racism and sexism, and how they may affect her patients’ lives.
Dr. Wildstein received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and her Psy.D. from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. Her research projects have focused on personality disorders in older adults and on the validity of a newly proposed diagnostic system for Borderline Personality Disorder. She completed her internship at Brooklyn College Personal Counseling Center. She also has previous training in neuropsychology, group therapy, and serious and persistent mental illness.
She will begin accepting patients in September 2022.
Dr. Womack specializes in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety disorders and related concerns (e.g., intrusive worry, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, OCD, panic attacks), and chronic pain. She also enjoys working with individuals as they navigate life transitions and is highly skilled in career counseling. She utilizes cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based approaches, emphasizing evidenced-based interventions such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Her approach to therapy is highly collaborative. Dr. Womack has extensive experience working with LGBT individuals, women, and early career professionals.
Dr. Womack completed her Ph.D. in the APA-accredited Counseling Psychology program at the University of Southern Mississippi. She completed postdoctoral training at the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, where she received training in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). She also works at Columbia University in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. There she provides guidance on career planning and professional development to postdoctoral researchers.
Dr. Piering works with children, teens, and adults with a wide range of emotional difficulties, including OCD, insomnia, anxiety, panic, emotion regulation, and depression. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at The School at Columbia University. She has provided therapy to adults at the McShane Center for Psychological Services and worked with children, teens, and young adults on psychiatric inpatient units at Kings County Hospital, as well as in school settings.
Dr. Piering received her B.S. in Psychology from Fordham University, her M.S.Ed. from Pace University, and her Psy.D. in Clinical Child and School Psychology from Pace University. She has conducted research examining the role of familial support and creativity on the identity development of young adults with cancer. Her other research has focused on the role of creativity and parenting in both academic achievement and delinquency. Dr. Piering has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on family psychology and assessment and has led workshops on social emotional learning and development, as well as on executive functioning skills and strategies.
Dr. Piering is also the Lower School Psychologist at The Chapin School where she works with students in Kindergarten through third grade, as well as their families, individually and in groups. She also teaches skill-based social emotional lessons, provides consultation to teachers and families, leads workshops, and collaborates with teachers and other educators.
Dr. Choi specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders (including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks), depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and body-focused repetitive behaviors (including trichotillomania and skin picking). She also has expertise working with individuals who struggle with self-esteem, fear of failure, perfectionism, and procrastination. She works with teens and adults using a warm, collaborative approach. She provides culturally sensitive treatment. Dr. Choi has extensive experience providing integrative evidence-based interventions, including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and mindfulness-based approaches.
Dr. Choi received her B.A. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University, and her M.S.Ed. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University. Her research has focused on the experience of acceptance and identity development of Korean American LGB adults. She completed her predoctoral internship at the Baruch College Counseling Center. She has also provided treatment to adults and adolescents in psychiatric inpatient, medical, outpatient, and community mental health settings. Dr. Choi is fluent in Korean.
Dr. Bajaj is an expert in the area of stress and health in adults, especially as it relates to depression, anxiety, and adjustment to medical illness. She specializes in the treatment and management of insomnia, depression, anxiety, OCD, chronic pain, smoking cessation, women’s health and intimacy, and adjustment to medical illnesses. In addition to these areas, Dr. Bajaj has experience helping those who struggle with perfectionism, rumination or negative thinking, low self-esteem, and other emotional difficulties. Dr. Bajaj has training and experience with Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and mindfulness-based interventions. Her clients have commented on her warm, genuine, and collaborative approach as she tailors treatment to each individual’s needs.
Dr. Bajaj received her B.A. from Rutgers University. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Clinical and Biological Health Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral residency in Behavioral Medicine at Yale University’s School of Medicine. She has published in high-impact, peer-reviewed medical journals in the areas of social relationships, stress management, and health outcomes. Her research has been recognized and supported by academic and medical institutions including Rutgers University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Yale University’s School of Medicine. Dr. Bajaj has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of biological psychology and stress and health.
Dr. Arocho specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders (including panic attacks/disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder/worry, phobias, and social anxiety disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, insomnia, illness/health anxiety and body-focused repetitive behaviors (including trichotillomania and skin picking). He also has expertise working with individuals with a history of vasovagal syncope. His approach to therapy is encouraging and collaborative, and he employs evidence-based treatments including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I), and Habit Reversal Training (HRT), among others. He is fluent in Spanish and is highly experienced in working with LGBTQ and ethnic minority individuals.
Dr. Arocho received his B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology from The College of William and Mary, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University, where he conducted research on the role of moral disgust in OCD and PTSD. He completed his predoctoral internship at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, where he trained in outpatient, partial hospital, and HIV-clinic mental health services, as well as psychological assessment. He has also worked in inpatient hospital, university counseling, forensic, and community mental health settings.
Dr. Arocho serves as an adjunct faculty contributor to the Predoctoral Psychology Internship Program at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care in Newark, New Jersey. In this capacity, he interviews prospective interns, leads training for interns on diversity issues, and serves as an expert evaluator for intern case competency exams.
Dr. Pavony specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of depression, OCD and other anxiety disorders, and is certified in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD. She utilizes Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills to address eating disorders, social phobias, and interpersonal conflicts. She takes an individually-tailored and collaborative approach in her work with adolescents, adults, and couples, and has further clinical interests in life transitions and identity struggles.
Dr. Pavony completed her B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. at Binghamton University, where she conducted and published research on pain perception and borderline personality disorder. Her pre-doctoral internship included training in the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and The UConn Health Center’s School of Medicine. She then completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital — Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she received training in Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFP). TFP is an empirically-supported treatment for personality disorders. She also has experience in correctional health, having served as Clinical Supervisor and Associate Director of Mental Health in a specialty forensic program.
Dr. Chang specializes in treating adults experiencing depression, insomnia, as well as anxiety problems including social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, intrusive thoughts, health anxiety, procrastination, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She also treats trichotillomania, skin picking, emotion regulation difficulties, relationship problems, and eating disorders. Dr. Chang has extensive experience in providing evidence-based CBT treatments such as Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) for PTSD. She regularly integrates Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and mindfulness-based interventions into her work. Her clients note her warm and genuine manner and her emphasis on their individual goals, values, and needs.
Dr. Chang received her B.S. from Virginia Tech, her M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her Psy.D from La Salle University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Trinitas Regional Medical Center. She also received comprehensive training in providing DBT with adults, teens, and families. She has trained in community mental health and school settings. Dr. Chang is fluent in Mandarin and has a research interest in cultural influences on mental health-seeking attitudes amongst minority populations.
Mr. Lee is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University. He works with people suffering from anxiety, depression, OCD, trichotillomania and other disorders.
Prior to joining MCCBT, Mr. Lee completed training at the Counseling and Psychological Services of Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, providing individual therapy to undergraduate and graduate students suffering from a wide array of symptoms and disorders. He is also actively involved in a research study where he provides counseling designed to help cigarette smokers make the switch to e-cigarettes using a form of CBT called Motivational Interviewing. Mr. Lee holds a B.A. in Psychology from Emory University.
Ms. Ilagan is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University. She works with people who have difficulty managing intense emotions, such as depression, anxiety, and related problems. She also treats people with body focused repetitive behaviors, insomnia, and OCD. Prior to MCCBT, Ms. Ilagan worked for three years at McLean Hospital in Boston, MA, with women who experienced depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic distress. There, she attended trainings in dialectical behavior therapy, mentalization-based treatment, and good psychiatric management.
She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Williams College in Williamstown, MA. Her research at Fordham’s Bronx Personality Lab investigates how identity and social interactions influence mental health, especially for individuals from marginalized backgrounds.
Ms. Wilkerson is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Fordham University. She works with individuals suffering from anxiety, OCD, panic attacks, mood disorders, misophonia, body focused repetitive behaviors, and chronic stress. She has a particular interest in helping individuals who also experience deficits in executive functioning. She is trained in providing exposure and response prevention therapy.
Prior to joining MCCBT, Ms. Wilkerson completed extensive clinical training in the provision of short- and long-term psychodynamic therapy to college students at Fordham University. She has also completed rigorous training through the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis VA for structured clinical assessments with veterans.
Ms. Wilkerson holds a B.A. in Psychology from St. Olaf College and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University. Her research at Fordham University investigates individual differences that impact the efficacy of various cognitive-behavioral therapies for adults with anxiety disorders, with a goal of advancing the practice of empirically driven treatment matching.
Dr. Greene is an expert in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), OCD, depression, overeating, panic attacks, health anxiety, and the applications of mindfulness and meditation in the treatment of anxiety. He specializes in helping survivors of rape, assault, and accidents who develop posttraumatic anxiety. He has training in the use of exposure and response prevention, cognitive processing therapy (CPT), prolonged exposure therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia. He is also certified in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Boston University and completed postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Greene served as an assistant professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine for six years. At Mount Sinai, he conducted research and supervised medical residents. He served as principal investigator of an NIH-funded research project that trained over 300 social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other clinicians in cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Dr. Greene has been invited to speak about his research in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is a certified meditation instructor and a teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Dr. Greene has been quoted and his work described in popular media, including Cosmopolitan, Salon, WABC-TV, the New York Times Magazine, and Forbes. Follow him on Twitter at @anxietyocd.