Ann Bender, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist who received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. She joined Alliance Psychological Services in 2007. She has conducted research at the University of Pittsburgh, looking at how people’s personalities influence how they interact with their medical treatment. Prior to her psychology degree, she worked as college faculty, teaching and conducting medical research, including gene therapy treatment for Parkinson’s disease and work in the genetics of cancer at the University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Bender works with adult and young adult individuals (age 16+), as well as with couples. In therapy, she welcomes and encourages curiosity about life’s difficult situations or relationships, fostering an open and accepting exploration of ideas and feelings. She uses a blended approach that employs psychodynamic theory (which looks at the influence of previous experiences on the current feelings and thoughts), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which looks at the relationship between thoughts and feelings with a perspective of nonjudgmental mindfulness (self awareness). As a part of her psychology training, Dr. Bender has completed specialized work in guided mindfulness and in providing treatment both for geriatric patients and trauma survivors, including training in EMDR (Eye Movement Deprocessing and Desensitization) to alleviate difficult trauma memories.