Maren Westphal, PhD

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Dr. Westphal  is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University and completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Westphal is a licensed psychologist with extensive experience practicing, supervising, and teaching cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). She has worked as a clinician at the American Institute of Cognitive Therapy (AICT) in New York since 2014 and is a Diplomate in the American Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies. She is also intensively trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and integrates mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) into her clinical work.

Dr. Westphal has presented over 10 workshops on CBT to psychologists and other mental health professionals, including four at national conventions. She served as CBT instructor and clinical supervisor to graduate and doctoral students at Yeshiva University and Teachers College Columbia University and contributed to the education and training of medical and graduate students in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic as part of research studies conducted in the Trauma and PTSD Program at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Dr. Westphal currently teaches CBT and other evidence-based therapies to graduate and doctoral students at Pace University. She is also involved in the education and training of graduate students in the Depression Evaluation Service (DES) at NYSPI where she provides clinical supervision and consultation on maintaining clinician’s adherence to CBT protocol in clinical trials.

Dr. Westphal has presented her research at national and international conferences, including the Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (ABCT), Association of Psychologists (APA), Association of Psychological Sciences (APS), the International Association for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and the Word Congress of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (WCCBT).

She is available for media interviews and inquiries related to her research and areas of clinical expertise and can be contacted at


Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT)
  • Depression
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Relationship Problems
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Stress Management
  • Work-Related Stress

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry


  • Female

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Dr. Westphal’s research focuses on emotion regulation processes and personality traits that influence coping with adversity. As a doctoral student of George Bonnano at Teachers College Columbia University, she conducted experimental research on flexibility in expressing and suppressing emotion and attentional biases to emotional faces and examined personality traits associated with resilience to trauma.

At Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), she collaborated with Yuval Neria, director of the PTSD and Trauma Program at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) and researchers from CUMC’s Departments of Epidemiology and General Medicine on NIMH-funded studies on posttraumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder in trauma-exposed Hispanic primary care patients. Dr. Westphal was also involved in grant-funded projects to promote adjustment and reintegration of veterans returning from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In collaboration with faculty from the CUMC’s Mailman School of Public Health, she examined mindfulness as a buffer against the effects of interpersonal stress on depression and burnout in emergency care nurses and self-compassion as a mediator of the relationship between childhood adversity and mental health in psychiatric outpatients. She has served as a co-investigator of a study conducted in the Depression Evaluation Services at NYSPI on the relation between mindfulness, psychological mindedness and treatment outcome among patients undergoing CBT for depression.

Most recently, she examined mindfulness as a prospective longitudinal predictor of better mental health in emergency care physicians.

Research Interests

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp)
  • Mindfulness Based Treatments
  • Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Selected Publications

Westphal, M., Ehlert, U., Wall, M., Zimmerli, L., Brodman, M., Exadaktylos, A., Bingisser, R., Kleim, B. (2021). Mindfulness predicts less depression, anxiety, and social impairment in emergency care personnel: A longitudinal study. PLoS ONE, 16(12), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0260208

Westphal, M., Aldao, A., & Jackson, C. (2017). Emotion dysregulation in comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders: A narrative review. Military Psychology, 29, 216 – 233.

Westphal, M., Leahy, R. L., Norcini Pala, A., & Wupperman, P. (2016). Self-compassion and emotional invalidation mediate the effects of parental indifference on psychopathology. Psychiatry Research, 242, 186–191. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.05.040

Westphal, M., Bingisser, M.-B., Feng, T., Wall, M., Blakley, E., Bingisser, R., & Kleim, B. (2015). Protective benefits of mindfulness in emergency room personnel. Journal of Affective Disorders, 175, 79-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.12.038

Westphal, M., Olfson, M., Bravova, M., Gameroff, M. J., Gross, R. Wickramaratne, P., Pilowski, D. J., Neugebauer, R., Shea, S., Lantigua, R., Weissman, M., & Neria, Y. (2013). Borderline personality disorder, exposure to interpersonal trauma, and psychiatric comorbidity in urban primary care patients. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 76(4), 366-381. doi: 10.1521/psyc.2013.76.4.365

Kleim, B., & Westphal, M. (2012). Mental health in first responders: A review and recommendation for prevention and intervention strategies. Traumatology, 17(4), 17-24. doi: 10.1177/1534765611429079

Westphal, M., Olfson, M., Gameroff, M., Wickramaratne, P., Pilowsky, D., Neugebauer, R., Lantigua, R., Shea, S., & Neria, Y. (2011). Persisting functional impairment in adults with past PTSD. Depression and Anxiety, 8, 686-95. doi: 10.1002/da.20842

Bonanno, G. A., Westphal, M., & Mancini, A. (2011). Resilience to loss and trauma. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7, 511-535. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104526

Westphal, M., Seifert, N., & Bonanno, G. A. (2010). Expressive flexibility. Emotion, 10, 92-100. doi: 10.1037/a0018420

Westphal, M., & Bonanno, G. A. (2007). Posttraumatic growth and resilience to trauma: Different sides of the same coin or different coins? Applied Psychology: An International Review, 56, 417-427.

Bonanno, G. A., Papa, A., O'Neill, K., Westphal, M., & Coifman, K. (2004). The importance of being flexible: The ability to enhance and suppress emotional expression predicts long-term adjustment. Psychological Science, 15, 483-487. doi: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00705.x