Lisa A. Napolitano, J.D., Ph.D.

Founder and Director

Dr. Lisa Napolitano

Dr. Lisa Napolitano is a licensed psychologist in New York and Florida, and the Founder and Director of CBT/DBT Associates. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Hospital, and a fellow and Certified Trainer/Consultant of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, honors bestowed on only 346 and 161 therapists respectively in the world for their expertise in cognitive therapy.

When she founded CBT/DBT Associates in 2009, Dr. Napolitano envisioned a group of like-minded, behaviorally trained psychologists bringing the highest quality, evidence-based treatments to clients of all ages. Ten years later, that vision has been realized. At CBT/DBT Associates she has assembled a team of practitioners across specialties, offering cognitive behavioral therapy and comprehensive dialectical behavior therapy for children, adolescents, and adults.

Early in her career, Dr. Napolitano gravitated towards dialectical behavior therapy and other newer mindfulness-based treatments. These approaches squared nicely with her own mindfulness practice and study of Buddhism. For this reason, an important part of her vision for the practice was the creation of a DBT program for high-functioning people. This program reflects her belief that high-functioning individuals can benefit from DBT and shouldn’t have to surrender their jobs or academic pursuits to obtain treatment.

Dr. Napolitano is an expert in the treatment of emotion regulation problems, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and impulse control disorders. She is co-author of the book Emotion Regulation in Psychotherapy: A Practitioner’s Guide, with Dr. Robert Leahy and Dr. Dennis Tirch. The treatment approaches employed at CBT/DBT associates reflect Dr. Napolitano’s strongly held belief that therapy clients present with psychological problems rather than illnesses and that these problems do not define them; these treatments are designed to empower clients by teaching them how to change the patterns in thinking, behavior or emotional responding that cause distress so they can improve the quality of their lives. Read more about Dr. Napolitano’s therapy approach.

As Director, Dr. Napolitano enjoys her multifaceted role. In addition to seeing individual clients, leading groups and leading DBT consultation team, she is actively involved in the supervision and training of early career psychologists and psychiatry residents. Dr. Napolitano enjoys writing and research collaborations with colleagues in the US and in China, and over the years, these collaborations have generated research articles and other publications on a range of topics, including borderline personality disorder and emotion regulation. Dr. Napolitano is passionate about disseminating evidence-based treatments and for the past 7 years has taught DBT at the NYU School of Medicine and conducted training workshops in the US and in China.

Previously, she served as Chair of the International Training Committee of the International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy, the Director of CBT Training in China for the Beijing Suicide Prevention Project, and as an Adjunct Clinical Instructor and Clinical Supervisor for the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. She has given numerous workshops in cognitive therapy to professionals in the United States and trainings for psychiatrists in Beijing, with topics including the cognitive therapy of personality disorders and emotion regulation in cognitive therapy.

Dr. Napolitano is a Founding Fellow and past Membership Chair of the NYC-CBT Association. She is an Ambassador and Program Committee Member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She graduated from Barnard College with an A.B. in political economy and earned her doctorate in clinical psychology under the mentorship of Dean McKay, Ph.D., at Fordham University. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Center and a postdoctoral fellowship at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy (AICT) where she founded and directed the DBT program for five years. Prior to entering the field of psychology she graduated cum laude from the Cardozo School of Law.

Dr. Napolitano is an avid yoga practitioner, certified in Ashtanga yoga and trained in Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans. She is a volunteer yoga teacher for Land Yoga, a non-profit in Harlem. A part-time Florida resident and Miami heat fan, Dr. Napolitano’s mindfulness practice and love of the outdoors find her traveling and hiking upstate and abroad, including trips to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan.

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