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Faculty

Education

Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) St. John’s University, New York (APA Accredited)
Post-Doctoral Fellow: New York State Psychiatric Institute
Diploma (Clinical Psychology) American Board of Professional Psychology

Professional Activities

Consulting Editor, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Editorial Board, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice & Training
Ad-Hoc Reviewer: Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, Journal of Clinical Psychology,
Primary Psychiatry, Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy and Research

Research Interests

My clinical and research activities are guided by the principles of evidence-based practice, and an emphasis on empirically-supported approaches to treatment. As a supervisor, teacher and researcher, my work is based on a cognitive-behavioral approach to intervention.
My research interests span two major areas: 1) Identifying and studying cognitive vulnerability risk variables for psychopathology (particularly anxiety disorders) and 2) developing strategies to enhance treatment engagement in adolescents referred for psychotherapy.
Much of the work conducted in my lab (the Anxiety, Mood and Personality Studies [AMPS] Lab), has focused on efforts to enhance on-campus mental health. In the past 2 years, we have conducted several studies aimed at identifying cognitive vulnerability risk factors implicated in the development and maintenance of anxiety pathology. Our recent work has centered on the Gateway Project: A series of studies aimed at establishing the feasibility of screening undergraduates for academic anxiety as an entrée to identifying more serious psychopathology. Results from our earlier research have suggested a strong association between the presence of academic anxiety and co-morbid psychopathology in undergraduate students.
I recently received an Innovation Grant (2007-01) from the Jed Foundation, which will fund the second phase of the Gateway Project: A clinical trial of MIND/MATR © , an intervention package combining mindfulness meditation practice and focused study skills training. It is our hope that combining these techniques may provide beneficial gains, not only for academic anxiety, but for co-morbid problems as well.
I am especially proud of the work done by students in my lab. To date, 5 students have completed their dissertations conducting research in the AMPS Lab. An additional 7 are nearing completion of their studies. Students have presented their work nationally, at meetings of the American Psychological Association, Anxiety Disorders Association of America and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. In addition, several students have authored poster presentations at these meetings.
My interest in treatment engagement with adolescents stems from my post-doctoral training, in which I specialized in adolescent suicide prevention research. I developed TEEN©, an empirically-based model in which negotiation skills are taught to teens and their families, to enhance treatment engagement. I recently completed work on an edited text on empirically-based treatment engagement approaches with adolescents currently undergoing editorial review, and scheduled for publication by the APA in 2008.

Recent Publications

Castro-Blanco, D.R.(2007) What’s your hat size? Multiple roles and ethical dilemmas. The Behavior Therapist, 30, 162-166.

Castro-Blanco, D. (Ed) Empirically-based treatment engagement with high-risk adolescents. (Edited text currently undergoing editorial review. Scheduled for publication in 2008). American Psychological Association Books.

Castro-Blanco, D. (2005) Cultural sensitivity in conventional psychotherapy: A comment on Martinez-Taboa. Psychotherapy, 35, 14-17.

Presentations

Castro-Blanco, D., Furr, T., Henry, I. & Ryzewicz, L. (2007) Academic anxiety as a cognitive marker of anxiety pathology in undergraduates. Symposium presentation at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association (August, San Francisco)

Castro-Blanco, D. (2008) Cognitive vulnerability risk models in anxiety. Symposium accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (March, Savannah, GA).

Castro-Blanco, D. (2008) Focal and broad cognitive vulnerability risks in anxiety. Symposium accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. (March, Savannah, GA).

Castro-Blanco, D., Warren, I., Chiechi, J, Ryzewicz, L. & Furr, T. (2006, March) Cognitive vulnerability to test anxiety and co-morbid disorders. Miami, FL.

Boudreau, G., Ellis, J., Warren, I., Chiechi, J. & Castro-Blanco, D. (2006, March) Test anxiety as a gateway to co-morbid disorders. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Miami, FL

Ellis, J., Warren, I., Mance, M., Conrad, J. & Castro-Blanco, D. (2006, March) Cognitive vulnerability models in test anxiety and co-morbid pathology. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Miami, FL

Furr, T., Ryzewicz, L;, Boudreau, G., Mance, M. & Castro-Blanco, D. (2006, March) Focal worry as a cognitive vulnerability factor in test anxiety and related disorders.Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Miami, FL

Ryzewicz, L., Warren, I., Chiechi. J., Ellis, J. & Castro-Blanco, D. (2006, March) Intolerance of uncertainty as a cognitive vulnerability risk factor in test anxiety and related disorders. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Miami, FL

Warren, I., Ryzewicz, L., Boudreau, G., Furr, T. & Castro-Blanco, D. (2006, March) Dimensional specificity of test anxiety and diagnostic subtypes. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Miami, FL.

Warren, I., Castro-Blanco, D. & Chiechi, J. (2005, November) Test anxiety dimensions and co-morbid psychopathology. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Washington, D.C.

 

Long Island University

Brooklyn Campus

Psychology Department