Andy D Bernstein
- Clinical Director, Health and Wellness Center
- Clinical Professor, Family and Community Medicine
In my roles as a community psychologist, a licensed clinical psychologist, and a psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner and educator, I’ve been able to work in and study both the professional-help and the mutual-help paradigms. Before coming to Arizona in 2011 I practiced for many years as an independent psychotherapist and organizational consultant with a transactional epistemology and a family systems orientation, acquired in part from my graduate training at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. In that role, I had the unusual opportunity to be involved as an ally for three-and-a-half decades in the mental health consumer movement, perhaps best characterized as “nothing about us without us.”
This movement, often likened to other liberation movements such as those empowering women, people of color, people with disabilities, and sexual minorities, has had a natural outgrowth in the emergence of peer supporters or peer specialists as a growing part of the behavioral health workforce, especially in public mental health systems. Sometimes calling themselves consumer/survivor/ex-patients, these people with lived experience of mental illness and addiction are now taking their place alongside traditionally-trained human service providers, using their personal stories of recovery to help others move forward on their journeys. They are being recognized increasingly as members of a legitimate helping discipline—peer supporters–and indeed the work they do is being acknowledged by researchers as an emerging best practice.
I’ve often served as a bridge-builder and a kind of translator between the lay and professional communities, and—coming from the northeast and drawn to numerous forms of diversity–I’ve been privileged to be accepted as a colleague, a helper, and an ally by people in marginalized and stigmatized populations--not only folks with serious mental illnesses (SMI), but also people with HIV/AIDS, and those who self-identify as ethnic, racial and sexual minorities.
That has always been a specialty niche within my clinical practice, and here in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, I am able to work collegially with peer-supporters, practice integrated health with people who have SMI, and supervise wonderful family medicine residents in their communication skills and their attunement to the behavioral health issues which inevitably arise with their clinic patients.
I also maintain a small psychotherapy practice in town, and have been welcomed into the larger Arizona psychology and psychiatric rehabilitation communities in a way which left no doubts that leaving New Jersey for the desert southwest was one of the wisest decsions that my wife and I ever made. We are also quite fortunate in that both of our grown children now live in the Denver area, and our visits with them and our two grandchildren are among the greatest joys of our almost 50-year life together.
- Ph.D. psychology
- Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States
- A Comparison of Successful and Unsuccessful Attempts to Start Self-Help Groups Using a Self-Help Clearinghouse
- M.Ed. Community Mental Health Counseling
- Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- B.A. Psychology
- Univeristy of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States
- University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona (2017 - Ongoing)
- UA RISE Health and Wellness Center (aka Camp Wellness) (2013 - Ongoing)
- Peter Attarian Award
- Southern Arizona Psychological Association, Fall 2017
- Riki Jacobs Award for Social Justice
- Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, Fall 2011
- Wellness and Recovery Transformation Award
- New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Fall 2008
Licensure & Certification
- Registrant, National Register of Health Service Psychologists (1999)
- Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP), Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (2003)
- Licensed Psychologist, State of Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners (2011)
- EMDR Level I Clinican, Eye Movement and Desensitization Restructuring (EMDR) International Association (2000)
- HOPE Trainer, HIV Office of Psychology Education (HOPE) of the American Psychological Association (1996)
- Certification of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ), Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (2000)
provider-patient communication; attunement to and treatment of behavioral health issues in primary care.
peer support in behavioral health and physical health care settings
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