Military Family Center Team
The care team at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center offers support and treatment for veterans and their families experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, and other mental health conditions.
Charles Marmar, MD, Chair of Psychiatry
Internationally recognized for his expertise in post-traumatic stress, Dr. Marmar treats veterans, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, who have combat-related conditions. He also works with refugees and earthquake survivors. Learn more about Dr. Marmar.
Irina Wen, PhD, Clinic Director
Dr. Wen is the Military Family Center director and a clinical assistant professor in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and another at NYU Langone. Dr. Wen joined the Military Family Center in 2012, helping to establish its robust clinical program. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic stress, complex trauma, depression, anxiety, and relationship difficulties. Learn more about Dr. Wen.
Amanda Spray, PhD, Assistant Director
Dr. Spray is a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant director of the Military Family Center. She is the clinic’s liaison to the Veterans Health Administration and a clinical assistant professor in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry. She provides individual cognitive behavioral psychotherapy to adults in the Military Family Center and specializes in health psychology. Learn more about Dr. Spray.
J. David Stiffler, MD, Medical Director, Psychiatrist
Dr. Stiffler is a clinical assistant professor in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry. He completed his medical degree at Penn State College of Medicine. After finishing his psychiatric residency training at NYU Langone as chief resident, he went on to complete a fellowship in addiction psychiatry. Dr. Stiffler has worked with veterans in inpatient, outpatient, and group settings and specializes in treating adults who have both psychiatric and substance-related disorders. Learn more about Dr. Stiffler.
David Austern, PsyD
Dr. Austern is a licensed clinical psychologist and a clinical instructor in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry. Before joining the Military Family Center, he completed an American Psychological Association-accredited internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, both emphasizing the treatment and research of PTSD. Dr. Austern provides evidence-based, cognitive behavioral interventions for anxiety and related disorders, including co-occurring conditions like substance use disorder and insomnia. He has specialized training in exposure therapies, cognitive therapies, and mindfulness-based therapies. Other areas of clinical and research interest include therapeutic writing, stepped care service delivery, and treatment engagement. Learn more about Dr. Austern.
Margo Kakoullis, PsyD
Dr. Kakoullis has worked with veterans and active duty military personnel in multiple inpatient and outpatient settings. She specializes in providing integrative, individually tailored, evidence-based treatment to adults affected by traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, relationship problems, and other mental health issues.
Ariane Ling, PhD
Sonia Mbabazi, PhD
Dr. Mbabazi is a licensed clinical psychologist treating children, adolescents, and adults at the Military Family Center. She uses an integrative orientation, primarily attachment based, psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Dr. Mbabazi specializes in providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families who experience depression, anxiety, complex trauma, racial trauma, parent–child attachment concerns, challenging life transitions, and interpersonal difficulties, as well as parenting and co-parenting challenges.
Kamal Nayak, MD
After finishing medical school, Dr. Nayak completed her psychiatry residency training at Temple University Hospital as chief resident. She went on to complete a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone. Dr. Nayak has worked in various settings, including inpatient and outpatient settings and the psychiatric emergency room. She specializes in treating children, adolescents, and adults who have mood disorders, trauma, difficult life adjustments, and relationship challenges. She provides psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment.
Laura Price, PhD
Lauren Rocheleau, LCSW
A licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Rocheleau has a post–master’s degree certificate in child and family therapy and has been trained in evidence-based treatment models specifically designed for children and families exposed to trauma.
Gabriela Sarrate, MA
Ms. Sarrate is the clinic’s program associate. Before joining the Military Family Center, she completed her externship at the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, working with defendants with serious and persistent mental health diagnoses, conducting intake interviews, and matching them to appropriate long-term counseling and service programs as an alternative to incarceration. She holds a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Jennifer Sawaya, PsyD
Dr. Sawaya is a licensed clinical psychologist with the Dual Diagnosis Program of the Military Family Center. Before joining the Military Family Center, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in PTSD and substance use disorders at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and worked with military veterans in inpatient and outpatient settings in New York. She specializes in integrative and evidence-based treatments addressing substance use disorders and co-occurring psychological and psychosocial difficulties, including PTSD and complex trauma, mood and anxiety disorders, and readjustment and relationship difficulties. She provides individual, group, and couples psychotherapies to veterans, active duty service members, and their families.
Jared Sterk, MA
Mr. Sterk is the program manager for veterans outreach. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2004 and attended recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. He received an honorable discharge in 2008, leaving the military after attaining the rank of corporal. He holds a master’s degree in public policy and international affairs.
Jessica Stern, PhD
Dr. Stern is a licensed clinical psychologist and clinical faculty member in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Stern completed her predoctoral internship at the Crescenz VA Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship at the Military Family Center at NYU Langone. She specializes in individually tailored, evidence-based, cognitive behavioral interventions for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders, as well as support with relationship distress, reintegration concerns, and chronic medical concerns. She has advanced training in inpatient and outpatient individual and group therapies.
Linnea Vaurio, PhD
Dr. Vaurio is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist and clinical assistant professor in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry. She conducts comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for brain-related syndromes. In addition, she provides cognitive training to veterans with cognitive challenges as a result of mild traumatic brain injury and concurrent PTSD or other mood disorders. Learn more about Dr. Vaurio.