Lieber Clinic Staff
Alice Medalia, PHD
Director, NY State Office Of Mental Health
Cognitive Health Services
Professor of Medical Psychology
Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Dr. Medalia is an international leader in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation, who focuses on the treatment of neuropsychological disorders in psychiatric illness. She developed the widely used NEAR (Neuropsychological & Educational Approach to Remediation) model to help people with mental illness improve their thinking skills in such areas as attention, memory, processing speed and problem solving. She lectures and consults to agencies worldwide and conducts training workshops for clinicians who want to learn how to provide cognitive remediation to psychiatric patients. Dr. Medalia works with policy makers, researchers, clinicians, families and patients to bring awareness about the impact of cognitive dysfunction on recovery. In order to facilitate greater awareness about cognition in the rehabilitation field, she started the largest conference on this topic, Cognitive Remediation in Psychiatry, which takes place the first Friday in June in New York City. Her research focuses on the factors that impact a successful recovery of neuropsychological functions. Dr. Medalia's contributions as a neuropsychologist, researcher and advocate of cognitive remediation have won her awards from professional and advocacy groups.
Tiffany Herlands, Psy.D.
Clinical Director, Lieber Recovery Clinic
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology
Member, Columbia University Academy of Clinical Excellence (ACE)
Dr. Herlands received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Yeshiva University. She completed a clinical internship in neuropsychology on the neuropsychiatric service at Montefiore Medical Center, and was awarded the Marie Kessel Fellowship, a clinical and research fellowship in the neurocognition and treatment of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Following the fellowship, Dr. Herlands became an attending neuropsychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. In 2006, she was promoted to Director of Neuropsychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center. Later that year, she joined Columbia University to take part in the development of the Lieber Clinic and was appointed Clinical Director. Dr. Herlands has academic appointments at both Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and New York Psychiatric Institute, Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research, and was voted into the Academy of Clinical Excellence in the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. Dr. Herlands is an expert on cognition in psychiatric disorders, a published author and lectures regularly on a broad range of topics related to rehabilitation and recovery in psychotic disorders, intrinsic motivation, and cognition, and consults on complex cases.
Michael Avissar, MD PHD
Dr. Avissar completed his medical degree at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania where in addition to his medical degree he also obtained a Ph.D in Neuroscience. He completed his medical internship and psychiatric training at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and a Schizophrenia Research Fellowship at Columbia University. In his current appointment as an Assistant Professor, he conducts research on novel brain stimulation treatments for schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at Columbia and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He also provides psychiatric care through the Columbia Faculty Practice at Columbus Circle and serves as medical director of the Lieber Recovery Clinic. He provides specialty care to those suffering from psychosis as well as more general adult psychiatric care.
Daniel Mancini, LMHC
Lauren Gonzales, PHD
Dr. Gonzales earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from John Jay College and the Graduate Center, CUNY where she specialized in recovery-oriented services for individuals experiencing psychosis. She completed a predoctoral internship and postdoctoral clinical psychology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center where she obtained additional training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Dr. Gonzales has specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) and extensive experience training mental health providers in CBTp and evidence-based approaches to working with psychosis and related experiences. She brings to the Lieber Clinic her expertise in individualized, recovery-oriented, and evidence-based care with a non-pathologizing approach that honors lived experience as expertise.
Mr. Mancini is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who earned two Master's Degrees in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University. He specializes in cognitive remediation, executive functioning skills training, and self-esteem work. Mr. Mancini is a regular presenter at the annual Cognitive Remediation in Psychiatry Conference in New York. Mr. Mancini maintains a private practice in Connecticut.
David Lynch, PhD
David Lynch, Ph.D., is a psychologist and PEERS® Certified Provider, with extensive training in the assessment and treatment of psychotic disorders. Dr. Lynch completed his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. Over the course of his training, he has assessed and treated individuals with psychosis within the contexts of inpatient psychiatry, community mental health clinics, correctional mental health, consultation psychiatry and comprehensive psychiatric emergency services. While completing his graduate training, Dr. Lynch was a staff member at Columbia University’s department of Undergraduate Student Life, training student staff members on mental health first aid and promoting overall wellness. He completed his predoctoral internship at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine site at Elmhurst Hospital Center, providing a vast array of psychiatric services within the multiculturally diverse context of Queens, New York. Dr. Lynch’s research focuses on the conditions necessary to promote positive outcomes within psychotherapy, particularly aspects related to the therapeutic alliance between the client and clinician. His dissertation research identified in-session predictors of self-harm behaviors within Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) treatment. Dr. Lynch is a current Marie Kessel fellow who leads several groups at the Lieber Recovery Clinic, including Men’s Group, DBT, Harm Reduction and Coping Through Music.
Brian Mueller, PhD
Family and Couples Therapist
Dr. Mueller completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the City University of New York. His dissertation research focused on emotion regulation in parents and children. He trained at Columbia University Medical Center for his predoctoral internship and at the Columbia Day Treatment Family Therapy program for his postdoctoral fellowship. In addition to working with individual families and couples, Dr. Mueller leads support groups for family members and loved ones of clients at the Lieber clinic.
Sheyla Delvecchio studied Special Education at the University of Rio de Janeiro. She received additional training in ADHD, Autism, and Learning Disabilities at Columbia University's Graduate School of Education. Ms. Delvecchio, a senior skills coach, has specialized training in teaching social skills to people with schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and to utilize LEAP and Motivational Interviewing techniques. Ms. Delvecchio works as a skills coach with individuals and small groups to promote social skills, executive functioning skills, and independent living skills. Ms. Delvecchio is fluent in English and Portuguese.
Alice Saperstein, PhD
Dr. Saperstein received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland at College Park where she specialized in the study and treatment of people with schizophrenia. She completed a pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and joined Columbia University as a post-doctoral Marie Kessel Fellow to pursue her interests in rehabilitation, recovery, and the treatment of cognitive impairment. Dr. Saperstein maintains an active role in the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry within the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She has collaborated on numerous federally funded research grants and local clinical initiatives, all which center on providing evidence-based, personalized cognitive health services for people receiving care in community-based settings. Dr. Saperstein brings to the Lieber Clinic her expertise in cognitive and behavioral skills training and enthusiasm for addressing cognitive health to promote recovery.
Emily Hubbard, MA
Supported Employment/Education Coach
Emily received her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University's Teachers College. Emily works at the Lieber Clinic as a supported employment and education coach, as well as a Recovery Coach, focusing on improving clients' social, creative, and team communication skills. Emily's research interests include treatment for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in both group and private psychotherapy settings. She is also interested in early detection and proactive treatments for such disorders.
Nick Faulconer, BA
Nick studies cognitive science at Columbia University where he was also a peer mentor. Nick informs his work as a recovery coach by combining his knowledge of neuroscience with the empathy and teamwork he gained in his career as an award-winning singer-songwriter, producer, and professional musician. Nick works as an individual coach and runs social experiential groups at the Lieber Clinic.
Genevieve Torricelli, BA
Genevieve Torricelli is a recovery coach and social experiential group facilitator at the Lieber Recovery Clinic. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Oregon, and she is currently pursuing a Master's degree at the Florida Institute of Technology. With an endless curiosity for the principles of behavior, Genevieve provides patients with personalized support.