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Medicine for mental Disorder

Syndromes / February 23, 2022

I received my B.A. in Sociology from the University of Florida in Gainesville FL, and my M.A. and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA.

I have been a member of the Counselor Education Faculty at Boston University School of Medicine for over 20 years. For the past 12 years I have served as Director of the Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program as well as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Graduate Medical Sciences. I am the current Chair-Elect of the faculty at Boston University. I am the past Chair of the American Mental Health Counseling Associations Professional Development Committee and past Chair of the APA Counsel on AIDS. I am an active clinician who primarily counsels gay men. My research interest has focused on HIV and serious mental disorders where I have led or been part of several federally funded projects. I am currently the Principal Investigator for an NIH R01 study for 2010-2015 examining Motivational Approaches for HIV prevention for mentally ill and homeless adults.

I would describe my theoretical orientation as “technical eclecticism” which utilizes a variety of empirically supported treatment strategies which are selected based upon client need rather than a therapists’ “a priori” assumptions about behavior change. I have been very fortunate to work with a wide variety of clients including the medically ill, the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled and those with more everyday problems of living. I am currently utilizing a cognitive behavioral intervention in my HIV research as well as in clinical practice. I also routinely utilize ego psychology and existential psychotherapy and counseling in clinical practice.

Regarding my teaching I emphasize a “see one” “do one” and “teach one” approach to clinical mental health counseling. The courses I have taught most frequently emphasize experiential learning. After an initial brief lecture with ample clinical examples I frequently demonstrate a clinical intervention and then have students demonstrate the intervention either in a role-play scenario or conducting a workshop in class.

Q: Why did you choose to be faculty in the Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program?

I cannot imagine a more interesting role than being part of a counselor education program. I was trained and have embraced the scientist-practitioner model which emphasizes teaching, supervision, research and clinical care. The reasons why I became a Counselor Educator are numerous. I love being busy and truly embrace teaching, research and clinical work. I grew up as the eldest child in a volatile but loving family where I often played the role of peace-maker. I had an opportunity to work with the developmentally disabled in college which allowed me to see the power of “helping”. I worked as a mental health assistant in a forensic center after college and was encouraged to be a mental health provider. I was lucky.

Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching in the Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Program?

It is very rewarding to train the next generation of clinical mental health counselors. I am at stage in life where being generative and nurturing new clinicians is highly meaningful to me. I have spent 20+ years in the field and feel as if I now have a lot to offer as a scholar-practitioner. As the field of mental health counseling has come to embrace a range of clients, not just the worried well, I believe the bio-psycho-social approach of our program is the best way to train the next generation. I also love the diversity of our student’s backgrounds which includes degrees in such areas as education, psychology, human development, biology, neuroscience, genetics and sociology. I think the diverse academic background of our students creates a more vibrant learning environment from which I have also learned a great deal.

Berger-Greenstein, J; Burnham, K; Rollason-Reese, C; Brady, S. “Gender-Specific Approaches to HIV Risk Reductions” manuscript in preparation

Brady, S., Berger-Greenstein, J., Devine, E., Richardson, M., Skolnik, P., Keane, T., Desena, T., Maskulka, M., Levy-Bell, R“Skill Building + Motivational Interviewing for HIV Primary and Secondary Prevention in the Seriously Mentally Ill” manuscript submitted for publication .

Brady, SM (in press). The impact of child sexual abuse on sexual identity formation in gay men. In R. McMackin T Keane and P Kline Understanding the Impact of Clergy Sexual Abuse. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group