Meet Our Team
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.
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.
Adamo is a pre-doctoral clinical psychology intern. His clinical interests include a passion for couple-based interventions and innovative treatments involving digital mental health technology. Adamo has experience providing evidence-based individual, couple, and group therapy. He hopes to build a career supporting others in being better partners in the relationships most important to them and expanding access to mental health resources using the technologies that shape our daily lives. Adamo serves as a couples therapist at the Cohen Military Family Clinic.
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.
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.
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.
Nicole is a fifth year doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). She earned her M.S. in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology and M.S in Clinical Psychology from PCOM. Nicole is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) in Pennsylvania. She recently completed her fourth year practicum experience at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia. While serving veterans at the opioid treatment program and addiction recovery unit, Nicole was trained in Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). She is eager to further refine her skills in these evidenced based treatments during her internship year at Penn Psychiatry and 12 month rotation at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic.
Ms. Osheen Jacob is a Licensed Professional Counselor with extensive experience working with the Philadelphia community in outpatient and inpatient settings, as well as schools. As staff therapist at the Cohen Clinic, Osheen works with individual adults, children and families. She has always had an interest in working with the veteran and military community and was drawn to the clinic's mission after training in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) for adults. Her clinical specialization has focused on trauma, sexual abuse, and problematic sexual behavior in children and youth. Osheen has significant clinical expertise in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, dual diagnoses, and mood disorders in adults. Osheen's clinical training also includes Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with adults and adolescents and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) with children, adolescents, and families. Osheen earned her M.S.Ed and M.Phil.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
As marketing and communications strategist, Chelsea manages the clinic's strategic communications. She also helps shape fundraising and development campaigns and works closely with the outreach and care coordination teams. Her career has focused on serving mission-driven organizations, and her work includes conceptualizing #DebtFreeJustice, a national campaign to end fines and fees in the juvenile justice system; steering a major re-brand for a national public interest law firm; and supporting youth- and community-led advocacy. Chelsea grew up in a military family: her father is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and her brothers are both active duty service members.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Ms. Genya Toney serves as the Front Desk Coordinator 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.
Mariam Trent supports the Cohen Clinic as the Client Services Associate. She connects callers to the Cohen Clinic’s case management, behavioral health, and medical record services, handles appointment scheduling for current clients, and ensures that all clients have a safe and smooth experience while engaging with us. Her work at the Cohen Clinic aligns with her mission of reducing health disparities, by improving access to high-quality health care services. She joined the Cohen Clinic in 2020 after completing her undergraduate program in sociology at Howard University.
Betsy is a fifth-year clinical psychology PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. As a Psychology Extern with the Cohen Clinic, Betsy provides evidence-based treatments including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for depression and anxiety in adults. She has experience using cognitive behavioral therapies to treat conditions like depression, generalized anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, and insomnia in adults. Betsy was drawn to the Cohen Clinic's mission of providing high-quality treatments that work to veterans and their family members. Betsy conducts research on worry and rumination, negative thinking patterns that frequently occur in anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Betsy received her B.A. in Psychology and Religion from Barnard College and her M.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
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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