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Faculty & Staff

Edward Alessi

Associate Professor and Chancellor’s Scholar of LGBTQ Mental Health, Trauma, and Resilience

MSW, Columbia; Ph.D., New York University

Dr. Alessi's research and scholarly interests include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) mental health issues and clinical social work practice.


Dr. Alessi’s research aims to improve (a) understanding of stress and trauma among sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations, and (b) enhance clinical practice with SGM and other marginalized populations. In June 2017, he was named Rutgers Chancellor’s Scholar, an award created to support faculty excellence at the Associate Professor level. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of Traumatic StressPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Psychotherapy, and Psychotherapy Research. Dr. Alessi’s current projects examine how traumatic stress among SGM migrants (immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers) intersects with psychosocial and structural issues in the host country to impact health and mental health outcomes. Additionally, he is focused on developing community-based interventions to buffer the negative effects of integration-related stressors on SGM migrants’ health and mental health. He has led studies in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and is currently conducting research in South Africa. He served as guest editor for the Clinical Social Work Journal’s first special issue on Clinical Practice with LGBTQ Populations. Dr. Alessi has also been recognized for his teaching. He was awarded the Rutgers University Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 2017. In addition, he received the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award four years in a row (2013-16). A clinical social worker since 2001, he has worked primarily in outpatient mental health and has been an independent practitioner since 2004.

Courses Taught: 

•    Clinical Social Work I
•    Clinical Social Work II
•    Psychopathology
•    LGBTQ Issues in Contemporary Society

Selected Recent Publications: 

Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., Giwa, S., & Cheung, S. (2020). “Those tablets, they are finding an empty stomach:” A qualitative investigation of HIV risk among sexual and gender minority migrants in Cape Town, South Africa. Ethnicity & Health. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1080/13557858.2020.1817342

Wieland, R. & Alessi, E. J. (2020). Do the challenges of LGBTQ asylum applicants under ‘Dublin’ register with the European Court of Human Rights?  Social & Legal Studies. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1177/0964663920946360

Alessi, E. J., Greenfield, B., Manning, D., & Dank, M. (2020). Victimization and resilience among sexual and gender minority homeless youth engaging in survival sex. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1177/0886260519898434

Alessi, E. J., Greenfield, B., Kahn, S., & Woolner, L. (2019). (Ir)reconcilable identities: Stories of religion and faith for sexual and gender minority refugees who fled from the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia to the European Union. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1037/rel0000281

Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., Greenfield, B., Woolner, L., & Manning, D. (2020). A qualitative exploration of the integration experiences of LGBTQ refugees who fled from the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and South Asia to Austria and the Netherlands. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 17, 13-26.

Alessi, E. J., Dillon, F. R., & Van Der Horn, R. (2019). The therapeutic relationship mediates the association between affirmative practice and psychological well-being among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer clients. Psychotherapy, 56, 229-240.

Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., Woolner, L., & Van Der Horn, R. (2018). Traumatic stress among sexual and gender minority refugees from the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia who fled to the European Union. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 31, 805-815.

Kahn, S., Alessi, E. J., Kim, H., Olivieri, C., & Woolner, L. (2018). Facilitating mental health support for LGBT forced migrants in Canada: A qualitative inquiry. Journal of Counseling & Development, 96, 316-326.

Kahn, S. & Alessi, E. J. (2018). Coming out under the gun: Exploring the psychological dimensions of seeking refugee status for LGBT claimants in Canada. Journal of Refugee Studies, 31, 22-41.

Alessi, E. J., & Kahn, S. (2017). A framework for clinical practice with sexual and gender minority asylum seekers. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4, 383-391.

Kahn, S., Alessi, E., Kim, H., Olivieri, C., & Woolner, L.  (2017). Promoting the wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender forced migrants in Canada: Providers’ perspectives. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 19, 1165-1179.

Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., & Van Der Horn, R. (2017). A qualitative exploration of the premigration adult victimization experiences of sexual and gender minority refugees and asylees in the United States and Canada. The Journal of Sex Research, 54, 936-948.

Alessi, E. J. (2016). Resilience in sexual and gender minority forced migrants: A qualitative analysis. Traumatology, 22, 203-213.

Alessi, E. J., Dillon, F. R., & Kim, H. M. (2016). Therapist correlates of attitudes toward sexual minority individuals, affirmative counseling self-efficacy, and beliefs about affirmative practice. Psychotherapy Research, 26, 446-458.

Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., & Chatterji, S. (2016). 'The darkest times of my life': Recollections of child abuse among forced migrants persecuted because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Child Abuse & Neglect, 51, 93-105.

Alessi, E. J., Dillon, F. R., & Kim, H. M. (2015). Determinants of lesbian and gay affirmative practice among heterosexual therapists. Psychotherapy, 52, 298-307.

Alessi, E. J. (2014). A framework for incorporating minority stress theory into treatment with sexual minority clients. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 18, 47-66.

Alessi, E. J. (2013). Acknowledging the impact of social forces on sexual minority clients: Introduction to the special issue on clinical practice with LGBTQ populations. Clinical Social Work Journal, 41, 223-227.

Alessi, E. J., Martin, J. I., Gyamerah, A., & Meyer, I. H. (2013). Prejudice events and traumatic stress among heterosexuals and lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 22, 510-526.

Alessi, E. J., Meyer, I. H., & Martin, J. I. (2013). PTSD and sexual orientation: An examination of criterion A1 and non-Criterion A1 events. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5, 149-157.

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