Psy.D. Wright Institute, (Dissertation Title: The Prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injury in Battered Women Residing in Northern New Jersey Shelters)
M.A. Psychology, Harvard University
B.A. Psychology, Pace University
Born and raised in New Jersey, Eleni is of Greek descent, and the first U.S. born member of her family. When she isn't working, she enjoys downhill skiing and working out.
Q: How did you decide to become a psychologist?
A: I decided this at a very young age because I was fascinated with cultural differences and curious about what makes people do what they do.
Q: Why did you choose to attend the Wright Institute?
A: I interviewed at six schools, and chose the Wright because of its strong psychodynamic foundation and homey atmosphere. Students know professors personally and have more choices in selecting classes than at other schools. I also wanted to experience living in California; I really love outdoor opportunities and the great weather.
Q: What is your current work?
A: I am a clinical psychologist for the State of New Jersey. I work at the Special Treatment Unit, an inpatient maximum security locked facility for high-risk, civilly committed sex offenders. This work is the crux of forensic psychology. I run anger management groups, as well as groups for sex offenders and families of origin. I also complete progress reviews for the courts, and testify in court. I plan to get licensed in New York and New Jersey, and add a private practice to my work.
Q: Please describe your APA Internship.
A: I worked in the Forensic Unit of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital (New Jersey) with sex offenders and people found not guilty by reason of insanity for crimes they committed. I ran anger management groups and provided individual therapy as well as forensic assessments for the court to determine the level of violence, psychopathy and sex offense recidivism. In another rotation, I also worked in admissions running groups and individual therapy, and providing psychological and neuropsychological assessments. My internship was wonderful because I was able to focus on my deepest interest, which was assessment. The experience with crisis intervention gave me skills in thinking on my feet, and treating and diagnosing various psychopathologies. My supervisors were very supportive, knowledgeable, and flexible in letting me follow my interests...they understood the way I needed to learn.
Q: What was your best experience at the Wright?
A: My year-long courses in adult assessment and neuropsychology were excellent. In general, I received very good training, and I got every practicum I wanted. I have a great job now, and I know the Wright helped me to achieve my career goals.
Q: Can you provide some advice to potential Wright students?
A: You will get excellent therapy training at the Institute. They do a wonderful job of teaching people to be ethical and to be very aware of the professional guidelines and laws in the field. They also do a great job of teaching assessment including adults, children, and neuropsychology . . .what else can you ask for? It's a small school, which definitely generates a supportive environment; there are always people there to solve any problems you have. They actually require you to work with different types of populations so your experience is more broad than that of students at other schools. If you can decide your specialty early, the internships will provide an excellent foundation for your career.