Carla D. Chugani, PhD, LPC

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Casual Pool Therapist, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital

Chugani's research interests lie broadly at the intersection of mental health and educational environment. She is interested in suicide prevention and early intervention and is most well-experienced in working with collegiate populations, including marginalized populations such as students with disabilities and LGBTQ+ youth.

Her current research includes a multi-site trial investigating the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of a 3-credit undergraduate course designed to teach college students evidence-based skills for improving mental health and wellbeing.  Chugani is also working with a local school district to bring the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT STEPS-A) curriculum to high school health classes.

Chugani is a clinical expert in the practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and a Linehan Board Certified DBT therapist.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Counseling Association, 2008-2020
  • American College Counseling Association, 2011-2020
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, 2015-2020
  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, 2016-Present
  • Research Society on Alcoholism, 2017-Present
  • WHO World Mental Health Initiative, 2019-Present

Education & Training

  • BM, Opera Performance, Mannes College, 2006
  • MA, Mental Health Counseling, Florida Gulf Coast University, 2010
  • PhD, Counselor Education, University of South Florida, 2016
  • Postgraduate Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2016-2018

Selected Publications

Kannan D, Chugani CD*, Muhomba M.  A qualitative analysis of college counseling center staff perceptions of the utility of dialectical behavior therapy programs on campus. *Co-First Author. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. Published online ahead of print May, 2019:

Uliaszek AA, Hamdullahpur K, Chugani CD, Rashid T. Mechanisms of change in group therapy for emotionally dysregulated university students.  Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2018; Oct.(109):10-17.

Anderson JC, Jones KA, Coulter R, Chugani CD, Chung T, Miller E.  Characteristics of pre-college sexual violence victimization and their associations with sexual violence revictimization during college.  Journal of American College Health.  Published online ahead of print March, 2019:

Chugani CD, Goldstein TR, Salk R, Poling K, Sakolsky D, Brent D.  Group intervention for youth with mood and anxiety disorders transitioning to college.  Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 2020; Mar. 26(2):120-125. 

Bamwine PM, Jones KA, Chugani CD, Miller E, Culyba A.  Homicide survivorship and suicidality among adolescents.  Traumatology. In Press.

Coulter RWS, Siconolfi DE, Egan JE, Chugani CD. Advancing sexual and gender minority health equity via human-centered design.  Psychiatric Services, 2020; 71: 1-2.

Corcoran C, Miller E, Sohn L, Chugani CD.  Beyond “Build it and they will come”:  Increasing access and usage of campus online sexual violence resources.  Health Education and Behavior.  In press. 

Miller E, Jones KA, McCauley HL, Rofey D, Clark DB, Talis J, Anderson JC, Chugani CD, Coulter RWS, Abebe KZ.  Cluster- randomized trial of a college health center sexual violence intervention.  American Journal of Preventive Medicine.  In press.

Anderson JC, Feinstein Z, Edwards C, Jones KJ, Van Deusen C, Kehr V, Burrell C, Coulter RWS, Miller E, Chugani CD. Implementation of a brief intervention to reduce alcohol-related college sexual violence. Journal of American College Health.  In press.

Chugani CD, Anderson JC, Richter RA, Bonomi A, DeGenna N, Feinstein Z, Jones KA, Miller E.  Perceptions of college campus alcohol and sexual violence prevention among students with disabilities: “It was a joke.”  Journal of Family Violence. In press.

Chugani CD, Jones KA, Coulter RWS, Anderson JC, Talis J, Goldstein TR, Chung T, Miller E.  Increased Risk for Binge Drinking Among College Students with Disability who Report Sexual Violence. Journal of American College Health.  In press.

Research Interest Summary

Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention

Research Grants

Developing a Measure of Student Self-Regulation Style, Co-Investigator (5% effort), 2020-2021, Coalition for Life-Transformative Education (CLTE), $25,000 direct.

Using Environmental Scans to Guide Campus Sexual Misconduct Prevention, Co-Investigator (3% effort), 2020-2021, University of Pittsburgh Momentum Fund, $50,000 direct.

Translating TGQN Campus Climate Findings into Practice, Co-Investigator (2% effort), 2020-2021, University of Pittsburgh Seed Funding-Special Cycle for Prevention of Sexual Misconduct, $49,639 direct.

Evaluation of a College Mental Health Course Curriculum, Principal Investigator (75% effort), 2019-2020, Citrone 33 Foundation, $501,586 direct.

Preventing Suicide in Homeless Youth, Principal Investigator (13% effort), 2019-2020, University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute-Pain Research Challenge, $50,000 direct.

NIH R03AA025780 Sexual Violence and Alcohol Misuse Among College Students with Disability, Principal Investigator (10% effort), 2018-2020, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, $100,000 direct.

Creating LGBTQ Mental Health Ambassadors, Co-Principal Investigator (2% effort), 2019-2020, University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute wordOUT Dissemination Grant. $6,500 direct.

Interventions for Sexual Minority Youth, Co-Investigator, 2019-2020, University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute-Research Initiative for Special Populations (CRISP) Pilot Program, $30,000 direct (PI: Coulter).

NIH R01MH100056 Dissemination and Implementation Field Trial of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder, Co-Investigator - Consultant, 2018-Present, National Institute of Mental Health PECASE Supplement (PI: Goldstein).