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Bernstein, Amit

Amit Bernstein (University of Haifa) – Social Science

I received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology as a NIH Research Service Award Fellow at the University of Vermont. I completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System, and Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Center for Health Care Evaluation at the VA Palo Alto. In 2008, I was privileged to join the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa, where I am currently an Associate Professor and recently completed my term as Director of Clinical Training. My laboratory is housed in the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa ( In partnership with members of the E. African refugee community and NGOs dedicated to their wellbeing, my team also runs a small satellite laboratory from the South Tel Aviv Central Bus Station – dedicated to the mental health of forcibly displaced persons (e.g., refugees, asylum seekers from E. Africa) who have survived traumatic atrocities and violent conflict. Our lab’s work to-date has only been possible due to generous support of the University of Haifa and a variety of (inter)national funding agencies (e.g., European Union FP-7 – People Programme, Israeli Council for Higher Education, National Institutes of Health, Psychology Beyond Borders, Israel Science Foundation, European Commission – European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, Mind and Life Institute, European Mind and Life). I am interested in the bio-psycho-behavioral  processes underlying the development and maintenance of prevalent forms of suffering and psychopathology. In addition to gaining insights about the nature of the human condition, suffering and thriving, illuminating these processes is important to advancing intervention and prevention science. Accordingly, in recent years my work has focused on topics including: (I) The nature and function of attentional (dys)regulation in suffering and mental health. (II) The mechanisms through which present moment attention and awareness or mindfulness contributes to mental health. (III) Application of our lab’s work to a critical public mental health crisis – the development of novel means to improve the mental health of survivors of mass atrocities and violent conflict.