C. Virginia O'Hayer Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. C. Virginia O'Hayer is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Duke University in 2006. She completed her internship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in her hometown of Toronto, Canada, then returned to Duke University Medical Center to complete a clinical post-doctoral fellowship. She served on faculty at Duke, as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Behavioral Medicine. In this capacity, she provided pre-transplant evaluations and ongoing therapy for solid organ transplant patients, including serving as the Medical Psychology representative to the Lung Transplant Team. She worked closely with many patients with cystic fibrosis, developing expertise in the treatment of dyspnea-related anxiety that threatened post-transplant recovery. She also served as the clinical supervisor and lead interventionist on a telehealth RCT of enhanced coping skills for patients with lung disease and their caregivers (INSPIRE study). Dr. O'Hayer moved to Philadelphia in June 2012, in order to serve as the Director of Drexel's Center City Clinic for Behavioral Medicine. Her primary research and clinical passion lies in the application of Acceptance Based Behavior Therapies (Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) for patients living with chronic health conditions. She is DBT- Linehan Board Certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and President and Founding Member of the DBT Society of Philadelphia. She has also trained extensively in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Dr. O'Hayer has collaborated with Drexel's Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic for several years, including in the design and application of a 6-week ACT intervention for patients with cystic fibrosis. Dr. O'Hayer is the author of two treatment manuals for the application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to patients with cystic fibrosis, and patients with HIV. She has also authored many peer-reviewed articles and two book chapters. She is currently serving as the Principal Investigator for a large, multi-site ACT with CF randomized controlled trial. Dr. O'Hayer lives in Bryn Mawr, PA with her husband, two children, and two large rescue mutts: Sandbox and Dogbert.