Dr. DiTomasso, Dean of the School of Professional and Applied Psychology, is Professor of Psychology (tenured) and Director of Institutional Outcomes Assessment. He is board certified in clinical psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, a Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology, a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has extensive experience in cognitive behavioral therapy, graduate-level teaching in psychology, graduate medical education, research and outcomes assessment, psychological research/program evaluation, psychometrics/test development and psychological consultation in medical settings. Dr. DiTomasso has been at PCOM since 1995 and was initially Vice-Chairman and Director of Clinical Research and in 2004 became Chairman of the Department of Psychology.
Prior to coming to PCOM, Dr. DiTomasso served as the associate director of the University of Pennsylvania-affiliated West Jersey Health System Family Medicine Residency and directed the Behavioral Medicine training, taught resident physicians, provided case consultation to physicians, developed and conducted health risk behavior groups, conducted research and treated primary care medical patients suffering from stress and stress related disorders. He also served as an editorial reviewer for the Journal of Behavioral Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry and the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and consulting editor and book review editor of Medical Psychotherapy: An International Journal. In addition, he was also an adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania for many years.
Dr. DiTomasso spearheaded and coordinated the accreditation process which ultimately led to the accreditation of the PsyD program in Clinical Psychology at PCOM in 2003. He also continues to be actively involved in the development of educational outcome assessments and processes and serves as chairman of the college-wide Student Learning Outcomes Committee.
Dr. DiTomasso graduated with a BA in psychology magna cum laude in 1973 from La Salle University and then pursued and completed an MS degree in general-experimental psychology from Villanova University in 1975, where he was the recipient of a research assistantship. This was a rigorous program that provided a solid foundation in scientific psychology and, later, an empirical focus for his clinical work. It was at Villanova where Dr. DiTomasso took his first course in Behavior Therapy and discovered an area of study devoted exclusively to helping people through the use of empirically-derived techniques based upon learning principles - a perfect match for his interests.
The next year he entered the PhD program in professional-scientific psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and over the next four years he refined his interest in behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and research methods. While at Penn he was awarded a teaching fellowship and was mentored in the art of teaching. Subsequently, he attended the June Institute in Behavior Therapy and completed an internship under the direction of Joseph Wolpe, MD at the Behavior Therapy Unit, Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Temple University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Upon graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, he was awarded the William E. Arnold Dean's Award in recognition of outstanding leadership and scholarship. He later obtained postdoctoral training and supervision in cognitive-behavioral therapy and family therapy and completed a certificate in cognitive therapy under the direction of Arthur Freeman, EdD, ABPP.
Dr. DiTomasso's major areas of interest are cognitive-behavioral assessment, therapy, and consultation, anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, primary care psychology, patient non-adherence, developing assessment instruments for health risk behaviors, and research design, measurement, methodology and program evaluation. Over the past several years, Dr. DiTomasso and his dissertation students have been developing and studying a variety of new measures including The MAD-AS, an anger questionnaire, The Inventory of Cognitive Distortions (ICD), and the HABIT (Health Adherence Behavior Inventory).
He has mentored over 75 dissertation students during his tenure at PCOM. He has published 59 book chapters and articles and has delivered 45 professional presentations locally, regionally, national and internationally. He has also published four books including Specialty Competencies in Clinical Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press; The Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Approaches in Primary Care. New York: Springer; Comparative treatments for Anxiety Disorders. New York, Springer; and, Anxiety Disorders: A Practitioner’s Guide to Comparative Treatments.
He is currently Consulting Editor of the Journal of Clinical Psychology and an Editorial Reviewer for Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Dr. DiTomasso is a past recipient of the Dondero Award from LaSalle University, honoring an alumnus who has distinguished himself in promoting the science and/or practice of psychology according to the humanistic values. He and one of his students received the Northrup Award from the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association for their research on empathy in medical students.