I fell in love with child clinical psychology in college, when I participated in a study looking at the impact of social and emotional learning programs on children living in the inner city. The project was inspirational and led me to spend more time working with underserved children struggling with behavioral issues.
My graduate work with children and families affected by child abuse and trauma focused on the development of game-based cognitive behavioral therapy. I have found this type of therapy to be more engaging and accessible to children and their families and to increase attendance and participation in therapy sessions.
This approach uses reward systems, positive praise, and structured therapeutic games that allow caregivers, children, and clinicians to collaborate during sessions to achieve goals. I’ve written several articles, book chapters and, recently, a full-length book on the subject.
I now use this therapy approach extensively in my treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and tic disorders and Tourette syndrome, as well as those who’ve experienced trauma. As clinical director of NYU Langone’s Child Study Center in New Jersey, I believe treatment is most effective when caregivers are closely involved, and when interactions are positive and enjoyable.
My treatment methods are anchored in evidence-based principles that incorporate the theory of experiential learning. Children and families learn best by doing. As such, the therapeutic games and activities I use in my practice are designed to provide multiple opportunities to rehearse skills such as anger management, relaxation, and cognitive coping skills.
I was a proud recipient of an Early Career Psychologist Credentialing Scholarship from the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. I am credentialed by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, and a licensed psychologist in New York and New Jersey.
Conditions and Treatments
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- Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Site Director, NYU Langone CSC New Jersey Campus
Education and Training
- PhD from Fordham University, 2010
Locations and Appointments
- United Health Care Options PPO (NYULMC Employees)
- United Healthcare Choice (NYULMC Employees)
Research My Research
game-based cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, child sexual abuse, trauma, anxiety, disruptive behavior disorders
Dr. Misurell has conducted research examining clinical effectiveness of GB-CBT through both individual and group modalities, has served on multiple dissertation committees and has trained and supervised several doctoral and master’s level clinicians. His work has demonstrated how GB-CBT can be modified and successfully applied in various settings and with different populations. Dr. Misurell has presented numerous times on the topics of child abuse, trauma, and the game-based approach and has published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals. Most recently he co-authored, Game-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Child Sexual Abuse: An Innovative Treatment Approach.
Predictors of Group Treatment Outcomes for Child Sexual Abuse: An Investigation of the Role of Demographic and Abuse Characteristics
Hiller, Atara; Springer, Craig; Misurell, Justin; Kranzler, Amy; Rizvi, Shireen Hiller, Atara; Springer, Craig; Misurell, Justin; Kranzler, Amy; Rizvi, Shireen
Child abuse review. 2016 Mar-Apr. 25 (2): 102-114
Game-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for child sexual abuse : an innovative treatment approach
Springer, Craig; Misurell, Justin R Springer, Craig; Misurell, Justin R
Game-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for child sexual abuse : an innovative treatment approach. New York, NY : Springer Publishing Company, 2015. xx, 428 p. ; 28 cm (1448132)
Group treatment for child sexual abuse: treatment referral and therapeutic outcomes
Liotta, Lindsay; Springer, Craig; Misurell, Justin R; Block-Lerner, Jennifer; Brandwein, David Liotta, Lindsay; Springer, Craig; Misurell, Justin R; Block-Lerner, Jennifer; Brandwein, David
Journal of child sexual abuse. 2015. 24 (3): 217-237