Teresa Ostler

Educational Background

Dr. Ostler is a Professor and directs the Master’s Program in the School of Social Work at UIUC. She was a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of California at Berkeley where she received her bachelor’s degree, MA and PhD in psychology. Before coming to the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and a clinical internship at the Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago. A licensed clinician in the State of Illinois, she was a faculty member for nine years in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a lead member of the Parenting Assessment Team, a multidisciplinary team that evaluated parenting competency in individuals with severe and chronic mental illness and child protective service involvement. She has been a core faculty member in Social Work for over 15 years.

Research and Practice Interests

Dr. Ostler’s research focuses on at risk attachment bonds, parenting, and separation and loss, and loneliness often in the context of mental illness. Grounded in the fields of attachment theory, psychoanalysis and developmental psychopathology, she is currently working on the etiology and maintenance of segregated systems of thought in the context of maternal loss and prolonged separations. She is particularly interested in the constructs of loneliness and support in relation to containment, fear of breakdown and their links to unlived experience.

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