Relevant Training and Experience, John Ferrera Ph.D.

Psychological Assessment and Treatment

  • Received doctorate from the Clinical Neuropsychology Ph.D. subprogram of the CUNY Graduate Center/Queens College, which features a dual-track of Neuropsychological assessment and basic neuroscience research.
  • Completed several clinical Externships throughout the tri-state area, including the NYU Child Study Center and the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, amongst others.
  • Completed a yearlong predoctoral Internship on the pediatric unit of Rusk institute at NYU Langone Medical Center.
  • Completed a two-year postdoctoral training placement at the Brooklyn Learning Center.
  • Served as the Director of Psychology and coordinator of support services (i.e. Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapies) at the Child School on Roosevelt Island.

Learning and Behavior Specialist

Prior to attending graduate school:

  • Employed as a Math and Science teacher in a High School program for students with learning challenges due to learning and developmental disorders.

During graduate school:

  • Worked part-time at same HS to provide counseling services. Also provided learning & behavior support.
  • Learning support: In response to the overwhelming learning needs of the population, received training in empirically-based, multi-sensory reading remediation techniques and founded the Ryken Reading Program, an after-school reading remediation program for reading disabled HS students. The Ryken Reading Program used standardized testing to divide students into different reading groups. Each group received customized reading instruction designed to increase their ability to decode and/or comprehend written material.
  • Behavior support: In response to the environmental stress caused by negative patterns of interaction between students and staff, consulted with a supervisor who was qualified in the area and instituted a 'time-out room' for disruptive/disrespectful students coupled with a behavioral intervention that trained teachers and teacher assistants to track certain behaviors and to give consistent feedback to students. Overall the program was unsuccessful and was aborted before years end, but important lessons were learned!
  • Received training in Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT) and volunteered as a behavior coach to utilize PCIT-based techniques with Kindergarten and First graders in NYC public schools. Work was part of the ParentCorps research initiative at NYU (Spring of 2007). The ParentCorps program is still offered at NYU and is on SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP):in placehttp://www.aboutourkids.org/research/institutes_programs/institute_prevention_science/programs

After completing graduate school:

  • Postdoctoral training placement at the Brooklyn Learning Center, received first-class mentoring and maintained a dense caseload with children of varying ages, diagnoses and levels of ability

While at the Child School:

  • In response to the environmental stress caused by negative patterns of interaction between students and staff, developed specific protocols to help teachers manage disruptive classroom behaviors through the use of focused positive attention, clear expectations and realistic goals all delivered within a predictable, consistent environment. 

Functional Brain Imaging Research and Neurofeedback

For master's and doctoral research requirements:

  • Completed an extended placement at the Columbia University fMRI lab using modern brain imaging techniques to learn more about the functional architecture of the human brain
  • Master's thesis: Used functional Magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the subdivisions of the visual system on a single-subject basis (i.e. fMRI retinotopic mapping). Technique was used as part of a larger research study that compared fMRI (which measures blood-flow to specific regions of the brain) with Visual Evoked Potentials (which measures the brain's electrical activity (or EEG) produced in response to a visual stimulus.
  • Doctoral thesis: Used fMRI in conjunction with Transcranial Magnetic Stimuation (TMS) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to learn more about the human language system

Postdoctoral research and clinical experience:

  • In response to reports of positive clinical results, began exploring field of Neurofeedback. Received training and mentorship from a local neurofeedback expert and began a pilot program at the Child School in April of 2011.
  • The Child School Neurofeedback program utilized a specialized subtype of neurofeedback that was found to be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and/or mood dysregulation associated with autism spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders and/or chronic anxiety, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and disorders of attention.