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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 understanding of stress and trauma among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) populations and enhance clinical practice with LGBTQ 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 Stress, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and PolicyPsychotherapy, and Psychotherapy Research. Dr. Alessi’s current projects examine how stress and trauma shape the integration experiences of LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees in the United States, Canada, and Europe. 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., 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. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1002/jts.22346

Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., Greenfield, B., Woolner, L., & Manning, D (in press). 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.

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

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.

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., 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. (2017). Using psychodynamic interventions to engage in trauma-informed practice. Journal of Social Work Practice. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1080/02650533.2017.1400959

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

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. (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., 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., 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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