Meet Our Team
Leah Blain, PhD
Clinic Director and Licensed Clinical Psychologist (She/Her)
Dr. Leah Blain serves as the Clinic Director for the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Penn, where she oversees all clinical, administrative, and outreach operations. Dr. Blain earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where she conducted research in the effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She completed internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Maryland Healthcare System, where she trained in Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for depression, anxiety and panic disorder, and chronic pain, and mindfulness-based interventions. She previously served as Director of Behavioral Health at Chase Brexton Health Care’s Columbia Center where she continued to serve veterans and military family members. Her clinical work focuses on trauma-recovery, working with survivors of assault, abuse, and combat, on issues including depression, guilt and shame, anger, dissociation, and PTSD.
Ashleigh Adams, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Assistant Director (She/Her)
Dr. Ashleigh Adams is a psychologist and an individual and couples therapist at the Cohen Clinic. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia and has worked with veterans in multiple capacities for over 10 years, including as research coordinator at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and an internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. She completed specialized training in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorders, chronic pain, and aging issues. She can provide Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD and has a special interest in concerns related to moral injury, combat exposure and sexual assault, including Military Sexual Trauma. Dr. Adams also has extensive experience in couples therapy, including IBCT and CBCT for couples where one partner has PTSD. She is also experienced and interested in treating mood, anger, and aggression-related concerns.
Pankhuri Aggarwal, M.A., M.A.
Psychology Intern (she/her)
Pankhuri Aggarwal is a final year doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology program at Miami University, Ohio. Ms. Aggarwal is extensively trained in providing evidence-based and culturally-informed psychotherapy, and clinical assessment in both inpatient and outpatient settings, nationally and internationally. Ms. Aggarwal's clinical and research interests include biopsychosocial processes, comprehensive management of depression and suicide, global mental health disparities, and the development of cutting-edge models for education and training in the field of Psychology. Pankhuri engages clients in the management of mental health concerns utilizing mindfulness, trauma-informed, and acceptance-based approaches.
Intake Coordinator (She/Her)
Frehiwet Alfa (pronounced: Frĕ-HĒ-wĕt) supports the Cohen Clinic as Intake Coordinator. In this role, she reviews the clinic's program with potential clients, conducts intake phone screenings, and preps callers for the best next step -- whether that's a first appointment or connecting callers to other care options that are more appropriate for their needs. Frehiwet has pursued work opportunities in spaces focusing on accessible care and resources for communities in need, including Bread & Roses Community Fund and Women’s Opportunities Resource Center. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Elaine R. Augustine, Psy.D., LPC
Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow (She/Her)
Dr. Elaine Augustine earned her M.A. at LaSalle University and M.S. and Psy.D. at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). She completed her internship at Friends Hospital where she gained experience working with acute psychiatric presentations. Prior to pursing her Psy.D., Dr. Augustine served as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the greater Philadelphia area. She has 15 years of experience working in the field of psychology having worked with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, with varied clinical presentations in inpatient, outpatient, and school-based settings. She possesses a strong foundation in assessment, evidence-based interventions, including certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from the Beck Institute and Trauma-Focused CBT. Dr. Augustine is dedicated to serving those who may not have access to effective, evidence-based care. At the Cohen Military Family Clinic she will continue in her commitment to providing trauma-informed and recovery-oriented care as a postdoctoral fellow.
Leilani Bell, M.S, MEd, NCC
Psychology Extern (She/her)
Leilani is a fourth-year School psychology PhD student at Temple University. She received her Bachelor's degree in History from The College of New Jersey and her Master's degrees in Counseling from Villanova University and School Psychology from Temple University. Leilani has previously worked in school settings as well as hospital settings where she has experience working with individuals and families in diverse populations. Leilani's research interests and passions include mental health disparities in underserved communities and trauma informed care. She hopes to build a career supporting clients in building healthy relationships with themselves and others.
Iris Ka-Yi Chat, M.A.
Psychology Extern (she/her/they/them)
Iris is a fifth-year clinical psychology PhD student at Temple University. Iris received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles and her Master’s degrees in Psychology from Boston University and in Clinical Psychology from Temple University. As a Psychology Extern with the Cohen Clinic, Iris provides evidence-based treatments including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) for PTSD and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for adults and adolescents with depression and anxiety. Iris has previously worked at Psychological Services Center at Temple and Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at Penn, where she has experience using cognitive behavioral therapies to treat conditions including generalized anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, and major depression. Iris conducts research on brain function and physical health linked to mood disorders and comorbid conditions.
Joanna Goldstein, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (She/Her)
Joanna Goldstein is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 25 years of clinical experience. As staff therapist at the Cohen Clinic, Ms. Goldstein works with adults, children, adolescents, and families. She conducts clinical assessments and provides evidence-based psychotherapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), as well as parent guidance/management and family therapy. Ms. Goldstein was drawn to the clinic's mission to decrease barriers to engaging in care, decrease stigma about mental health, and to the clinic's commitment to serving those who serve and their family members. She is bilingual in Spanish. Her clinical background includes providing biopsychosocial assessments; individual, group and family therapy; and case management in a variety of settings, from community mental health to outpatient psychiatry and schools. Ms. Goldstein earned her Master's degree in Social Work from Simmons College and completed post graduate training in Cognitive Therapy and Diagnostic Interviewing at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as training in Couples and Family Therapy at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.
Care Coordinator (She/Her)
Corrine supports the clinic as a member of the care coordination team. In her role assisting both intake and front desk positions, she discusses the clinic’s resources with potential clients, conducts intake phone screenings, and ensures clients have everything they need for upcoming appointments. Corrine received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Albright College and has pursued outreach opportunities with the National Alliance on Mental Illness bringing awareness to mental health resources that are local in the community. Corrine is a part of a military family whose service to the country goes back generations.
Client Services Associate (He/Him)
David Lee supports the Cohen Clinic as the front desk receptionist. He served for 5 years in the Army National Guard as a medic and is a proud veteran. As a medic, he recognized a passion for mental health services and was drawn to the clinic's mission to help service members and their families. He is currently working towards a bachelor's degree in addictions counseling.
Tim Overton, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist (He/Him)
Dr. Tim Overton is an individual and couples therapist at the Cohen Clinic where he works on a wide range of concerns, including depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance use concerns, interpersonal relationship distress, and life transitions. With three years of experience working with the veteran and military community, Dr. Overton provides a range of evidence-based psychotherapy to his clients, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Dr. Overton has a special clinical interest in forensic psychology and the psychology of masculinity and its relationship to trauma. Dr. Overton earned his M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Widener University and completed his internship at the Widener University Biofeedback Center, where he conducted biofeedback assisted psychotherapy for anxiety, while working part-time as a diagnostician for the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Psychotherapy Research. He completed his postdoctoral residency at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New Orleans where he specialized in treating rural and underserved veterans. He also holds a M.A. in Criminal Justice from Widener University.
Lisa Marie Persaud, M.S.Ed., M.Phil. Ed.
Counseling Intern (she/her)
Lisa Marie is a Professional Counseling student in her final year at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE). Lisa Marie was drawn to the Clinic’s mission to provide therapeutic support, at no cost, to service members and their families coping with PTSD, anxiety, depression, life-transitions, and re-integration within their communities. She has experience in trauma-informed care, Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction (MBSR), ecotherapy (nature-based therapies), one-to-one peer-counseling, and therapeutic modalities within the expressive arts. Lisa Marie utilizes a person-centered approach alongside the bioecological model to gain a holistic understanding of clients’ goals and needs. She completed her M.S. Ed. in Counseling and Mental Health Services at Penn GSE and is a member of the Association of Humanistic Counseling and the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling divisions within the American Counseling Association. Lisa Marie is a family member of a U.S. Marine, friend of a Vietnam Veteran, and is an LGBTQIA+ ally.
Jason Pirrung, LCSW (He/Him)
Outpatient Case Manager
Mr. Jason Pirrung is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner in Pennsylvania. He received his Masters in Social Work from West Chester University and has spent ten years working in community mental health. Mr. Pirrung is the case manager for the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, assisting clients in accessing community resources to broaden support networks. He previously partnered with the Boston VA Healthcare System to facilitate SSVF, GPD, HUD-VASH, and other veteran homeless support services in Southeastern Massachusetts. Mr. Pirrung is also an alumni of AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA.
Richard Ross, MD, PhD (He/Him)
Dr. Richard Ross is a Psychiatrist at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic and a Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ross joined the Cohen Clinic team with extensive experience serving veterans at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, where his clinical practice and research focused on posttraumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) and sleep disorders. He completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, before going on to complete his M.D. and Ph.D. in Physiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency in Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Steven Sayers, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist (He/Him)
Dr. Steven Sayers is a Psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sayers received his clinical and research training at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. He has trained couple and family therapists for almost 30 years and has worked with Veterans and their partners for the last 18 years. He is also the Director of Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Health Research and Treatment at the Corporal Michael Crescenz VA Medical Center and directs the national VA call center for family members concerned about the Veteran in their lives called Coaching Into Care.
Steven Syvick, LPC, NCC
Licensed Professional Counselor (He/Him)
Steven Syvick is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Board-Certified Counselor (NBCC). As a staff therapist at the Cohen Clinic, he utilizes evidenced-based practices such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT) to work with adults and couples. He has broad clinical experience working within academic, hospital-based, and outpatient community mental health settings and with a broad range of populations. His primary foci and specializations include trauma, problematic sexual behavior in adults, sexual-identity and gender-identity affirmative treatment, and military competence. Additionally, he has comprehensive assessment experience; and has pursued additional training focused on serving diverse communities. Steven earned a M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling from Thomas Jefferson University where he currently maintains an adjunct position in the Community and Trauma Counseling graduate program. In addition to his clinical experience, Steven served in the United States Army in both Active Duty and National Guard capacities.
Michael Thase, MD
Dr. Michael Thase is a Professor of Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania with a dual appointment at the Corporal Michael Crescenz VA Medical Center. A 1979 graduate of the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Dr. Thase is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, a Fellow of the American College of Neuropharmacology, a Fellow of Penn Medicine’s Academy of Master Clinicians, the Immediate Past President of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, and a member of the American College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Thase's research focuses on the assessment and treatment of mood disorders, including studies of the differential therapeutics of both depression and bipolar affective disorder. Dr. Thase is Medical Director and treating psychiatrist at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic.
Client Services Manager (She/Her)
Ms. Genya Toney serves as the Client Services Manager for the Cohen Military Family Clinic. Genya holds an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from the Community College of Philadelphia and completed additional education and training at Temple University in Communications and Journalism. She most recently served as the Office Manager for Green Valley Cleaning Services, and held prior roles as a Data Entry Specialist and Office Manager in local non-profit organizations. Genya is also a proud Army Veteran and military family member, whose family's service dates back to WWII.
Rebecca Welch, LSW
Licensed Social Worker (She/Her)
Rebecca Welch is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW), and works as a staff therapist at the Cohen Clinic. She earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked in both community behavioral health and academic settings with diverse client populations. Rebecca has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with extensive trauma histories and with challenges including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and relationship and life transition distress. She is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and utilizes CBT, mindfulness, and person-centered interventions. Rebecca approaches her work from a strengths-based perspective and is dedicated to serving traditionally under-resourced communities.
Outreach Manager, USA Major, (Ret.) (He/Him)
Mr. Pete Whitney serves as the Outreach Manager for the Cohen Clinic at Penn. Pete holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a Minor in History, from Temple University. He recently retired from the military with 30 years of service. Pete’s military experience provides him with insight to several communities served by the clinic, including 17 years enlisted, 13 as an officer, seven years in the Army Reserves, and 23 years active duty. As a Civil Affairs Officer, Pete was able to build partnerships between civilian and military communities at home and abroad. His life-long devotion to his comrades and success in building partnerships make the Outreach Manager a perfect fit to continue his service.
David Oslin, MD
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