Danielle R. Balzafiore, MA

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Adjunct Professor 

Contact Information:


Faculty Status:

Adjunct Professor 
Writing Tutor/Coach, Office of Student Services




PhD, Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University (Anticipated graduation 2016)
MA, General Psychology, Adelphi University (2010)
BA, Psychology, St. Joseph’s College (2007)


Ms. Danielle R. Balzafiore is an Adjunct Professor in the B.S. program in Psychology and Social Action and also serves as a writing tutor/coach for the Office of Student Services at Palo Alto University (PAU).   Ms. Balzafiore is the recent recipient of the Student Assistantship Award in Teaching Excellence.  

She teaches Psychological Writing in the undergraduate program and is a teaching assistant for Ethics in Clinical Psychology in the Ph.D. program.  She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at PAU, with an emphasis in Women’s Health and Neuroscience at the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University.  She prepares to advance to candidacy in May of 2014.  She is presently training at the Institute on Aging, providing home-based psychological services to adults and older adults with chronic medical conditions in the San Francisco community.

Ms. Balzafiore arrived to PAU in 2011 from Long Island, New York where she completed her undergraduate education at St. Joseph’s College in 2007 and received her M.A. from Adelphi University in 2010. She is particularly drawn to working with populations experiencing acute levels of suffering, with her clinical and research experiences focused on reducing stigma in underserved groups.  In 2010, under the mentorship of Michael O’Loughlin, Ph.D., Ms. Balzafiore examined the ethical issues of working with marginalized groups suffering from psychosis and offered arguments for how investigators can develop collaborative research approaches that are respectful of patients’ voices. Currently, she is involved in a multi-site randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of a skills-based narrative intervention in women with posttraumatic stress disorder from childhood abuse at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Palo Alto VA Healthcare System.  Inspired by her previous experience facilitating support groups for women in recovery from an eating disorder, her dissertation research will focus on the influence of an eating disorder history on the presence and severity of menopause-related symptoms in women diagnosed with binge eating disorder.  Ms. Balzafiore hopes that her research will bring greater awareness to the presence and clinical implications of eating disorders later in life. 

Areas of Interest:

Psychological writing; women’s health; eating disorders; schizophrenia and psychosis; psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory in clinical practice

Talks and Lectures:

Balzafiore, D. R., & Froming, K. B. (2013, July). Complex diagnostic therapy case: Trauma, depression, and brain function. Invited presentation at the Gronowski Center Grand Rounds, Los Altos, CA.

Balzafiore, D. R. (2012, October). A psychoanalytic framework for virtual worlds: Avatars and the illusion of self. Paper session presented at the meeting of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, Rutgers University, NJ.

O’Loughlin, M., Biehl, J., Charles, M., Balzafiore, D. R., Castelhano, A., Indelicato, H., & Merchant, A. (2010, October). Research in zones of social abandonment. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, Rutgers University, NJ.

O’Loughlin, M., Charles, M., Balzafiore, D.R., Castelhano, A., Indelicato, H., & Merchant, A. (2010, July).  Researching schizophrenia and psychosis: A social justice and human rights orientation.  Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Boston, MA.