International Disaster Psychology Faculty
The MAIDP faculty are committed to providing students first-hand relevant experience both in the classroom and in field placements.
Judith E. Fox
Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1981
Director, International Disaster Psychology Program
Dr. Judith Fox has been involved in University teaching and practice of psychotherapy with children, adolescents and family throughout her career. She has practiced and supervised mental health professionals in training in community, hospital inpatient and emergency room, and private practice settings. Taking an integrative theoretical approach, Dr. Fox has significant expertise working with many clinical populations including those affected by trauma.
Dr. Fox has presented globally on many subject areas including the discipline of international disaster psychology, attachment theory, trauma and peace building, therapist vicarious-trauma and post-traumatic growth, and postpartum depression. Her publications include articles, chapters & books related to mental health stigma and psychotherapy, attachment theory & trauma, psychotherapeutic technique, international disaster psychology training, developing international internship partnerships, stress and coping in childhood, and health psychology.
Dr. Fox works internationally in such contexts as Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Belize, Ghana and India determining ways in which our graduate students may facilitate agency goals through their involvement as international summer interns. Prior to directing the MAIDP Program, she was Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center where she directed the Adult Outpatient Psychological Services at National Jewish Hospital, worked with veterans affected by HIV and AIDS, and taught residents and interns as an attending on the psychiatric inpatient service at Denver V. A. Medical Center. She has consulted with Head Start and supervises ongoing parent-child groups providing psychosocial services to Denver refugee communities.
Ph.D., West Virginia University, 1973
Dr. Tom Barrett received his M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from West Virginia University. Dr. Barrett taught international disaster psychology at the University of Zagreb in Croatia as a Fullbright professor in the spring of 2011. He also received a scholarship to complete Senior Government Executive Training and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in June, 2002.
Dr. Barrett is a full clinical professor in the International Disaster Psychology Program in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP) at the University of Denver. He has taught program evaluation in the doctoral program in GSPP since 1980. Previously, he was senior medical officer and consultant for the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department in the World Health Organization. Between 1994 and 2004 he was the mental health director for the state of Colorado. He is also past president of the National Association of State Mental Health Directors.
Dr. Barrett has authored or co-authored many journal articles and made keynote addresses at many national and international professional conferences. He is currently on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America in Colorado. Dr. Barrett has a strong mental health evaluation background and his current work focuses on evaluating and improving mental health systems in the United States and in low and middle income countries around the world.
MSW, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2012
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Leah James received her MSW in 2007 and her Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Psychology in 2012, both from the University of Michigan. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor & the Field Placement Director for the International Disaster Psychology M.A. program. She also works with the Natural Hazards Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Dr. James’ interests are in clinical practice and applied research focused on culturally-adapted services for trauma and disaster survivors. She has particular interest in trauma among military veterans, women’s mental health, and the use of traditional healing practices and recovery, peer-leadership, and social action approaches in intervention development. Leah teaches the Loss and Grief course for the IDP program.
Dr. James has engaged in international mental health research and humanitarian work in Haiti, Ghana, South Africa, and the DR Congo. She is a co-founder of alay mental health worker training program for earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and has conducted multiple evaluations of this project. She also has considerable domestic clinical experience, including as a staff social worker with the PTSD Clinical Team at the Ann Arbor VA hospital, and as co-leader of a therapy group for incarcerated female survivors of sexual assault.
L.P.C, Ph.D., University of Denver, 2012
Dr. Courtney Welton-Mitchell received an M.A. in Counseling in 1997, and an MA and a Ph.D in Affect/Social Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience from the psychology department at the University of Denver in 2010 and 2012 respectively. She is a licensed mental health therapist in the State of Colorado and Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, teaching primarily in the Master’s program in International Disaster Psychology.
Dr. Welton-Mitchell conducts applied research on trauma, memory, and refugees domestically and internationally. She teaches the following courses at GSPP: Gender Based Violence; Crisis Intervention; International Disaster Psychology Foundations and Preparation for International Internship; Cognitive and Affective Models. In addition, she coordinates disaster simulations, and has trained students in conducting psychological evaluations for asylum seekers, T and U Visas and mentored local clinicians in the same through HealthRight international.
Dr. Welton-Mitchell has worked for many years as a trainer, consultant, and program evaluator for humanitarian organizations including UNHCR, UNWFP, and HRRC in various locations including Egypt, Turkey, Tanzania, Nepal, The Gambia, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Most recently she was the lead evaluator for a global evaluation of UNHCR’s mental health and psychosocial support for humanitarian staff. She has presented at conferences domestically and internationally and co-authored various publications in peer reviewed journals and book chapters.
Dr. Welton-Mitchell is a former - Peace Corps volunteer and trainer Nepal; Program Manager UNWFP Nepal, Bhutanese Refugee Operation; Head of Sub-office UNWFP Tanzania, Great Lakes Refugee Operation; Acting Head of Psychosocial Unit, AMERA Egypt; Adjunct Faculty, Refugee Studies and Forced Migration, AUC, Cairo. In the U.S. she has provided crisis intervention, psychological assessments, and group therapy in correctional facilities; outreach to homeless chronically mentally ill youth and adults; and individual and group therapy for adult survivors of childhood abuse.