Virginia O’Hayer, Ph.D. (she/her) is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She is a Clinical Associate Professor at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and serves as the Director of Jefferson’s Center City Clinic for Behavioral Medicine. Her research and clinical work involves the application of acceptance-based behavioral therapies to healthcare provider teams and to patients with chronic illness.
Dr. O’Hayer obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Duke University, where treatment developer Dr. Thomas Lynch served as one of her clinical mentors. She served on Faculty at Duke University Medical Center for 5 years, working closely with patients awaiting and recovering from solid organ transplantation. At that time, she began to notice a difference in how patients cope with major medical upheaval, depending on their tendency toward under- or overcontrol. This led Dr. O’Hayer to pursue intensive training in RO DBT.
Dr. O’Hayer is a Senior Clinician and Trainer in RO DBT. She was first intensively trained in RO DBT in 2018 by treatment developer Dr. Thomas Lynch. Dr. O’Hayer specializes in the clinical training and supervision, as well as clinical practice of RO DBT for people with medical illness and problems related to overcontrol. Overcontrol and medical illness can intersect in ways that can be very helpful (we OCs remember to take our meds as prescribed!) and can at times prove problematic (we OCs may mask pain or other experience of symptoms, reject help, and isolation can exacerbate the painful experience of illness).
In efforts to improve accessibility and protect the health of immunocompromised patients, Dr. O’Hayer has been providing and supervising the delivery of RO DBT via telehealth (using HIPAA-compliant Zoom) since the COVID-19 pandemic began. She also applies strategies from RO DBT, including activation of social safety, to teams of healthcare professionals to guard against burnout while improving connection and satisfaction at work.
Dr. O’Hayer and her family moved to Philadelphia in 2012. She now lives in Bryn Mawr, PA with her husband, 2 kids, and 2 rescue mutts: Sandbox and Dogbert.
Contact: Please contact Dr. O’Hayer directly for enquiries about consultation and trainings via OHayerPsych@gmail.com
Location: Philadelphia, PA