Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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While working on his master’s degree, Nathan Thoma, Ph.D., GSAS ’08 and ’11, was under the tutelage of John Cecero, S.J., associate professor of psychology at Fordham, and his research was published in the journal Psychotherapy. His thesis explored how psychological treatments borrowed from other disciplines, and he found there was a particular leaning on the humanistic approach.

For his doctorate work, Thoma greatly appreciated the mentorship of Dean McKay, Ph.D., associate chair of graduate studies and professor of psychology, Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Professor McKay “fostered leadership [in him] rather than taking control of the project” and allowed him to be more independent in his research pursuits. In fact, it was in a class with McKay that Thoma first learned about cognitive behavioral therapy.

Thoma attributes his time at Fordham for cultivating his interest in cognitive behavioral therapy and for having the opportunity to do his internship at the Weill Cornell Cognitive Behavior Therapy Clinic. Fordham offered him the opportunity to learn more about research methods, how to conduct research, and to develop clinical skills which led him to discover what his interests where in psychology. He particularly liked Fordham’s approach to science learning, in which science and evidence are used to inform research endeavors that can then be applied to therapy. He eventually came to see how research can answer clinical questions, and this set into motion his pursuit of “finding a symbiotic relationship between research and clinical practice.”

Today, Thoma is a clinical psychologist working out of a private practice in the Weill Cornell Cognitive Therapy Clinic, where he conducts research projects with Weill Cornell Medical College. He mentors the psychiatry residents and the psychology interns of the Weill Cornell Medical Center. He specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy treating anxiety, depression, mood disorders, PTSD, and other issues relating to mental health.

He is also working on an independent project, editing a book, which focuses on integrating experiential techniques into cognitive behavior therapy. He believes this work is important because “historically, cognitive behavior therapy focused on regulating emotions rather than activating emotions.” Thoma hopes that book highlights techniques for future use in cognitive therapy.

He received his undergraduate degree from University of California in Santa Cruz and earned his master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology from Fordham University.

To learn more about Fordham alumnus Nate Thoma:

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