About Us

Martha C. Tompson

Martha C. Tompson, Ph.D.


Martha C. Tompson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston University and Director of the Family Development and Treatment Laboratory. Her research focuses on the role of the family in promoting individual mental health. She is particularly interested in family processes and family treatment among individuals with depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Her goals include identifying strengths and deficits in family systems, which may impact on the course of mental disorders, and developing programs to help families cope. Over the past ten years, Dr. Tompson has developed a strong research program specifically on youth depression and family factors – both processes and treatment. Currently this work focuses on family-based models for treating child depression and on the links between maternal and child depression. This work has received consistent funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). These studies reflect Dr. Tompson’s commitment to understanding family processes and testing family-based treatment models.

Dr. Tompson received her B.A. in Psychology/History from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University for California, Los Angeles in 1992. She completed her internship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute & Hospital and her postdoctoral training in the Psychology Department at UCLA. She arrived at Boston University in Fall 1997. Dr. Tompson is also an Associate Professor in the Boston University School of Medicine and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston.

In terms of mentorship, her research has included the involvement of students, both graduate and undergraduate. Dr. Tompson has also mentored post-MD and post-Ph.D. trainees at Harvard University and BU School of Medicine. Students are involved at each level of the process, including review and synthesis of research literature, data collection, data analysis and preparation of manuscripts. As projects are collaborative, students are encouraged to contribute their ideas at each phase of designing and implementing research protocols. Each student in Dr. Tompson’s lab has honed in on specific aspects of the larger research projects in developing their own research ideas. In mentoring student dissertations, she has encouraged students to pursue their own interests, leading to a broad range of dissertation topics in the lab. Dr. Tompson’s students have consistently presented findings from their own research efforts at national and international conferences, including meetings of the Society for Research in Psychopathology, Society for Research in Child Development, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and International Society for Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. Dr. Tompson has also published with her students in several highly ranked psychology journals. Click here to view a list of selected publications.

David Langer

David A. Langer, Ph.D.


David Langer, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston University. He serves as the Clinical Director and Co-Director of Research of the Child Program at the BU Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders and Associate Director of the Family Development and Treatment Laboratory. Dr. Langer’s research explores the efficacy and effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for youth psychopathology, the processes through which psychosocial treatments work, and the applicability of the research literature to non-research clinical settings. He is currently working on developing novel approaches to personalize psychosocial treatments for youth by supporting active collaboration between clinicians and families throughout the treatment planning process (i.e., shared decision-making). Dr. Langer’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and his work has been published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international research conferences. Dr. Langer’s research involves graduate and undergraduate students at all levels, and Dr. Langer mentors graduate and undergraduate students in the development and execution of their own research studies, as well as providing clinical training and supervision.

Dr. Langer graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003, with a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009. He completed his pre-doctoral internship in child psychology at the UCLA Semel Institute and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, and his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Dr. Langer has received specialized training in the treatment of childhood anxiety and depression, co-morbid anxiety and autism spectrum disorders, social skills training, family therapy, and disruptive behavior disorders. Click here to view a list of selected publications.

Gail Kemp

Gail Kemp, M.A., M.P.H.


Gail is a fifth year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at BU. She graduated from Harvard College in 2001 with a B.A. in African-American Studies, and from BU in 2008 with an M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health. Through a number of years of youth-work in various settings, she developed an interest in child/adolescent development and the broader psychosocial contextual factors that contribute to healthy development versus psychopathology. Bringing in her Public Health background, particular interests lie in the area of childhood treatments that take into account the family and broader community at large.

Erin O'Connor

Erin O’Connor, M.A.


Erin O’Connor is a third year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at BU. She graduated from Boston College in 2010 with a B.A. in psychology. After graduating from BC, she worked for two years as a research assistant at Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston, MA. Her research interests include how family processes affect the etiology and treatment of child and adolescent mood and anxiety disorders.

Tessa Mooney

Tessa Mooney, B.A.


Tessa Mooney is a second year student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at BU. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduating from Georgetown, she worked for two years as a research coordinator at the Center for Psychotherapy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include identifying risk and protective factors of child and adolescent psychopathology, examining how the parent-child interaction influences the psychological well being of the family and using this interaction to inform family process and treatment research.


  • Fawn McNeil Haber, Ph.D.
    • Dissertation: Parent Control and African-American Adolescents
    • Internship: Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth, NJ
  • Jason Fogler, Ph.D.
    • Dissertation: Expressed Emotion, Perceived Criticism, and Depression as Predictors of Outcome in Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder
    • Internship: Boston Consortium, Boston, MA
  • April Groff, Ph.D.
    • Dissertation: Frontal lobe deficits and eating pathology
    • Internship: Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Palo Alto, CA
  • Kathryn Dingman Boger, Ph.D.
    • Dissertation: Maternal Expressed Emotion In Early Childhood
    • Internship: May Institute, Randolph, MA
  • James McKowen, Ph.D.
    • Dissertation: Predictors Of The Prospective Associations Between Depressive Symptoms And Problematic Substance Use In Youth
    • Internship: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Rachel Freed, Ph.D.
    • Dissertation: Psychopathology in the Offspring of Parents with Bipolar Disorder: Three Studies Exploring Risk
    • Internship: Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI
  • Priscilla Cheung, Ph.D.
    • Dissertation: Children with Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Developing a Mindfulness Intervention
    • Internship: Boston Consortium/VA Boston Healthcare System