The Catholic University of America

Brendan A. Rich, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology              

MA Program Director


331 O'Boyle Hall      202-319-5823

Curriculum Vitae

Lab: Child Cognition, Affect, and Behavior 




My interests focus on mood disorders in childhood and adolescence, in particular anxiety disorders, autism, and ADHD. My current research explores two domains: 1) the effectiveness of a group therapy program for children with anxiety, ADHD, and autism, and; 2) the neural mechanisms of childhood mood disorders.

1) The first domain of my research seeks to determine the efficacy of a group therapy program for children with deficits in social skills and self-regulation. In collaboration with Mary Alvord, PhD, this project investigates the effectiveness of a resilience-based group therapy program in improving social competence and emotional and behavioral self-regulation in children. Most of these youth have diagnosed anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or Autism Spectrum Disorders. This study explores the efficacy of this group therapy based on parent, teacher, and child report using measures of internalizing and externalizing symptomatology, emotional arousal and control, and family functioning. In addition, therapeutic outcome is assessed using measures of cognitive and psychophysiological functioning.  We are exploring if adding an online-based face processing intervention further improves social functioning in these youth. Finally, we have expanded this program to schools in Washington DC to determine if this group therapy is effective in the school setting, with youth who are primarily ethnic minorities and from disadvantaged communities.

2) The second domain of my research seeks to use various forms of neuroimaging, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as well as other forms of psychophysiology, such as eye movement, to identify the neural correlates of core deficits of childhood psychopathology, including pediatric bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and autism. My research seeks to develop tasks that can assess the primary symptoms of these disorders and use neuroimaging to elucidate the neural aspects of these impairments. A focus of the lab is to understand how the misinterpretation of emotional facial expressions contributes to these disorders and how psychotherapeutic interventions that target face emotion processing may improve social functioning.  We are conducting a study of a computer-based intervention that teaches youth with autism and anxiety disorders to better understand face emotions. 

Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Mood and Anxiety Program, NIMH, Bethesda, MD (2008)

Internship: Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC (2003)

Ph.D.: Clinical Child Psychology: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (2003)

M.S.: Clinical Psychology: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (2000)

B.A.: Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY (1993)


Recent Honors, Awards, & Grants

American Group Psychotherapy Association: Research Grant

State Stats Organization: Top 20 Psychology Professors in Maryland

CUA Young Faculty Award for Achievement in Research (2012)

CUA Grant-in-Aid Award: Targeting Face Emotion Processing Treatment to Improve Social Functioning in Children with Autism (2010)

CUA Grant-in-Aid Award: Improving Social Competence and Self-Regulation in Children Through a Resilience-Based Group Therapy Program (2009)

NIMH K22 Grant: Neural Mechanisms of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: The Impact of Comorbid Anxiety (2007)

NIMH Pediatric Bipolar Disorder Conference: Excellence in Research Award (2007)

NIMH Kety Memorial Fellowship Training Award for Excellence in Clinical Research (2005)

Society of Biological Psychiatry: Eli Lilly Fellowship Award (2005)

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: Career Development Award (2005)

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology: Career Development Award (2005)

NIH: Fellows Award for Research Excellence (2004)

American Psychological Association: Scientific Directorate Dissertation Research Award (2002)

American Association for Higher Education: Cross Future Leaders Award (2001)

University of Florida: Harrower Award for Excellence in Psychodiagnostic Assessment (2001)

University of Florida: Shafer Award for Excellence in Psychotherapeutic Counseling (2001)



Watson, C., Rich, B. A., Sanchez, L., O’Brien, K., & Alvord, M. K. (2014).  Preliminary study of resilience-based group therapy for improving the functioning of anxious children.  Child and Youth Care Forum. 

Aduen, P., Rich, B. A., Sanchez, L., O’Brien, K., & Alvord, M. K. (2014).  Resilience Builder Program therapy addresses core social deficits in youth with high functioning autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Psychological Abnormalities in Children. 

Alvord, M. A, Rich, B. A., & Berghorst, L.  (2014).  Developing social competence through a resilience model.  In S. Prince-Embury (Ed.). Resilience Enhancement for Children; Diverse Interventions for Diverse Populations.  New York: Springer. 

Rich, B. A., Hensler, M. A., Rosen, H. R., Watson, C., Schmidt, J., Sanchez, L., O’Brien, K., & Alvord, M. K. (2014).  Attrition from therapy effectiveness research among youth In a clinical service setting.  Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. 

Rich, B. A., & Rosen, H. R. (2013).  Face emotion processing deficits in pediatric bipolar disorder and other childhood psychopathologies.  In N.B. Moore (Ed.), Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Management and Risk Factors (pp. 33-66). New York: NOVA Publishers. 

Rich, B. A., & Rosen, H. R. (2013).  Family dysfunction in pediatric bipolar disorder and associated family-based interventions.  In E. Trejos-Castillo (Ed.),  Youth: Practices, Perspectives and Challenges (pp. 245-262). New York: NOVA Publishers. 

Alvord, M. K., & Rich, B. A. (2012).  Resilience Builder Program:  Practice and research in a private clinical setting.  Independent Practitioner, 32, 18-20. 

Rich, B. A., Carver, F., Holroyd, T., Rosen, H. R., Mendoza, J. K., Cornwell, B. R., Fox, N. A., Pine, D., Coppola, R., & Leibenluft, E.  (2011).  Different neural pathways to negative affect in youth with pediatric bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation.  Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45, 1283-1294. 

Rich, B. A., Brotman, M. A., Dickstein, D. P., Mitchell, D.,  Blair, R. J. R., &  Leibenluft, E. (2010).  Deficits in attention to emotional stimuli distinguish youth with severe mood dysregulation from youth with bipolar disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38, 695-706. 

Rich, B. A., Holroyd, T., Carver, F., Onelio, L., Mendoza, J. K., Cornwell, B., Fox, N. A., Pine, D., Coppola, R., & Leibenluft, E.  (2010).  A preliminary study of the neural mechanisms of frustration in pediatric bipolar disorder using magnetoencephalography.  Depression and Anxiety, 27, 276-286.  

Rosen, H. R., & Rich, B. A. (2010).  Neurocognitive correlates of emotional stimulus processing in pediatric bipolar disorder: A review.  Postgraduate Medicine, 122(4), 94-104.





Psychology and the Media (PSY 261)

Abnormal Child Psychology (PSY 382)

Developmental Psychopathology (PSY 735)

Clinical Assessment of Children and Adolescents (PSY 807)

Psychotherapy with Children: Conceptual Approaches and Practical Techniques (PSY 810)

Practicum in Individual Psychotherapy  (PSY 907)

Practicum in Individual Psychotherapy  (PSY 908)