Faculty for Tourette Syndrome Behavior Therapy Institute

Training and Certifying Practitioners in CBIT: Our Faculty

Tabatha Blount, Ph.D. 

Tabatha Blount, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and an assistant professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She attended graduated school at Texas Tech University, where she studied environmental, familial transmission of cognitive vulnerability to internalizing disorders. She completed her predoctoral internship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Texas. She graduated with a PhD in clinical psychology in 2011. Currently, she works for the STRONG STAR Multidisciplinary PTSD Research Consortium, which is dedicated to identifying the most effective interventions for combat-related PTSD in active duty personnel and military veterans. During her fellowship, she received extensive training in empirically supported treatments for PTSD and chronic tic disorders.

Michael Himle, Ph.D.

Michael Himle, Ph.D.is an assistant professor in clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah. Dr. Himle received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007. He is an expert in behavioral and cognitive-behavioral approaches for understanding and treating childhood disorders with emphasis on Tourette’s disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and related conditions. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on Tourette Syndrome and related conditions and has received research funding from the Tourette Syndrome Association and the Trichotillomania Learning Center. His current research focuses on understanding mechanisms of tic suppression, behavioral management of the “tic triad” (Tourette syndrome, ADHD, OCD), and the use of technology to enhance and disseminate empirically supported treatments.

Adam Lewin, Ph.D., ABPP

Adam Lewin, Ph.D., ABPP is an Associate Professor and Program Director in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the University of South Florida College of Medicine at St. Petersburg, FL who is particularly interested in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety Disorders, Tic Disorders, Trichotillomania, and related disorders. Adam graduated from the University of Florida in 2007 and completed a fellowship in Psychobiology and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of California at Los Angeles in 2009. His research focuses on treatment outcomes, dissemination of evidence-based interventions and refinement of assessment/treatment to maximize accessibility and portability of services. Efforts include alternative service delivery (e.g., telehealth), stepped care based approaches, treatment augmentation and refinement for new populations (e.g., preschoolers).

Alan L. Peterson, PhD, ABPP

Alan L. Peterson, PhD, ABPP, is a board certified Clinical Health Psychologist, Professor, and Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He also serves as the Deputy Chair for Military Collaborations and the Director of the STRONG STAR Multidisciplinary PTSD Research Consortium. He completed a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Nova Southeastern University under the tutelage of Dr. Nathan Azrin, one of the founding fathers of behavior therapy. Dr. Peterson has clinical and research experience in the areas of behavioral medicine, clinical health psychology, and combat-related stress disorders. He has conducted research in the areas of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological risk and resiliency, Tourette Syndrome, tobacco cessation, pain management, insomnia, weight management, and managing suicidal behaviors.

John Piacentini, Ph.D., ABPP

John Piacentini, Ph.D., ABPP is Professor of Psychiatry and Bio-behavioral Sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine and Director of the Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program at the UCLA Semel Institute. In addition, he is Chief of Child Psychology for the Semel Institute Medical Psychology Program and Chair of the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. Dr. Piacentini’s research, teaching and clinical work focus on the development, evaluation, and implementation of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and other effective treatments, including medication, for children with OCD, other anxiety disorders, tic disorders and trichotillomania. More recently, this work has involved the use of brain imaging, genetics, and EEG to better understand the biological bases of these illnesses and their response to treatment. Dr. Piacentini has played a lead role in several major research studies for child anxiety, tics and related disorders and has published over 160 papers, chapters and books, in outlets such as the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He is Deputy Editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and on the editorial boards of several leading child mental health professional journals. In addition, Dr. Piacentini is on the scientific advisory boards for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and the Trichotillomania Learning Center and Chair of the Behavioral Sciences Consortium of the Tourette Syndrome Association. He is also a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and past-president of the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. He is a Co-Director at the Tourette Association Center of Excellence at UCLA.

Sabine Wilhelm, Ph.D.

Sabine Wilhelm, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program (CBT) and the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Marburg in Germany and completed her internship at MGH. As director of the OCD and Related Disorders Program at MGH, Dr. Wilhelm expanded the scope and size of the program. In addition to OCD, the program specializes in the treatment and research of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), tic disorders, hoarding, and olfactory reference syndrome. Dr. Wilhelm has published over 130 articles or chapters on these disorders and has been the principal investigator of several NIMH – funded treatment studies. She has also written treatment manuals for OCD, BDD, and Tourette Syndrome. Dr. Wilhelm is an Associate Editor for Behavior Therapy and serves on the editorial board of six other journals, including Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.

Douglas Woods, Ph.D.

Douglas Woods, Ph.D. received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University in 1999. He is a recognized expert in the assessment and treatment of tic disorders and trichotillomania and is currently Professor and Chair of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Woods has authored or co-authored over 170 papers and chapters. He has edited eight books describing behavioral interventions for Tic Disorders and Trichotillomania and another book on contemporary behavior analytic models of psychiatric disorders. He has presented his work nationally and internationally, with nearly 300 conference presentations and invited talks, is on the Editorial Boards of seven different journals, and has served as an ad hoc reviewer for over 30 different journals across the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, pharmacology, and neurology. Dr. Woods is the first psychologist ever to serve as a member of the Tourette Association’sMedical Advisory Board, and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC). He has been funded by the Tourette Association Grants program, TLC Grants program, and is currently funded by the NIH to conduct a study evaluating the efficacy of acceptance enhanced behavior therapy for TTM.

Heather Simpson, OTD, OTR/L

Heather Simpson, OTD, OTR/L is an occupational therapist working at the University of Florida at the Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases in Gainesville, Florida. Dr. Simpson received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy, in 2009, from the University of Florida and her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2017. She is an expert in the field of occupational therapy for evaluation and treatment of children and adults living with Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders. Dr. Simpson received specialized training Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) in 2012. She has served as the clinic coordinator for the UF Health Center of Excellence for Tourette Syndrome, running support groups, participating in research and patient advocacy. Dr. Simpson’s research focus is based on occupational therapy management of tic disorders. She has extensive Sensory Integration training and arousal modulation training, as well as daily occupational training related to handwriting and self-care skills. Dr. Simpson is familiar with the IEP and 504 plan process and has training on school modifications necessary to succeed in school.

Jan Rowe, Dr. OT, OTR/L, FAOTA

Jan Rowe, Dr. OT, OTR/L, FAOTA is the Co-Director of the TS Center of Excellence at Children’s of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is an occupational therapist and was the first occupational therapist in the country to implement and coordinate a CBIT clinic for children. Dr. Rowe travels the country to train other occupational therapists in CBIT as well as trains OT students, residents and medical interns in the CBIT clinic. Additionally, Dr. Rowe trains educators in Alabama and the SE who have students with tic disorders and TS to enhance their understanding of classroom strategies for effective management as well as student accommodations. Dr. Rowe participates in clinical research and has published findings in OT literature. She currently has research studies to investigate handwriting issues for children with tic disorders, as well as effective intervention for poor handwriting.

Kenneth Phelps, Ph.D.

Kenneth Phelps, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Prisma Health – University of South Carolina (USC) Medical Group in Columbia, South Carolina. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Phelps worked as a behaviorist with youth living on the autism spectrum. Dr. Phelps then received his MS in Family Therapy and Ph.D. in Medical Family Therapy at East Carolina University. While a graduate student, he published multiple articles on the lived experience of both stress and enrichment for parents of children with autism. He completed additional clinical training at the Dartmouth College’s Concord Hospital program within the Department of Family and Behavioral Medicine. He currently leads the Outpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry experience at USC. Dr. Phelps has published and presented in the areas of neurodevelopmental disorders, obsessive compulsive and related disorders, and tic disorders. He has particular interest in how individuals and families can build resiliency and growth through adversity.