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Flint M. Espil, Ph.D.


Dr. Espil received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association and accepted into the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. He subsequently completed a predoctoral residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a National Institute of Mental Health T32 fellowship in clinical services research training within the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco.  After completing his fellowship, Dr. Espil accepted a position as a research psychologist within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Espil is an expert in the treatment of Anxiety, OCD, Tics (including Tourette's), and Repetitive Behavior Disorders (Hair Pulling, Skin Picking, Nail Biting). Specifically, he uses evidence-based behavioral approaches, grounded in science, to address these problems in children and adolescents.  Dr. Espil has extensive experience treating these disorders in university clinics, community mental health centers, and hospital settings. His approaches to treatment include the following: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety, Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD, Acceptance-Enhanced Behavior Therapy for repetitive behaviors, and the Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) for tic disorders. Dr. Espil received his training in OCD treatment by working at Rogers Memorial Hospital for several years during graduate school, and was a student of Dr. Douglas Woods, an international expert in assessing and treating Tic Disorders and Repetitive Behavior Disorders using behavioral approaches. Additionally, Dr. Espil has trained and supervised several clinical psychology trainees in these approaches to therapy. 
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Dr. Espil’s research focuses on mental health problems within youth, with particular emphasis on phenomenology, assessment, and the dissemination of behavioral interventions for psychological disorders. Dr. Espil is currently the Principal Investigator of a study examining ways to partner with local community organizations to improve school-based mental health care for students in East Palo Alto. Dr. Espil also recently received a grant from the American Academy of Neurology and Tourette Association of America to study neurofunctioning as a predictor of behavior therapy outcomes for pediatric tic disorders. As an advocate of the scientist-practitioner model, Dr. Espil strives to use science to inform his practice, and his practice to inform his scientific research. 
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  1. Espil, F. M., Elkin, T. D., & Young, J. (2016). Manualized and modular behavior therapy for a child with Tourette’s disorder, inattention, and disruptive behavior: A case example. Clinical Case Studies, 1534650116679732.

  2. Espil, F. M., Viana, A. G., & Dixon, L. J. (2016). Post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptoms among inpatient adolescents: The underlying role of emotion regulation. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 33(1), 51-68.

  3. Woods, D. W., Snorrason, I., & Espil, F. M. (2011). Cognitive-behavioral therapy in adults. In J. E. Grant, D. J. Stein, D. W. Woods, & N. J. Keuthen (Eds.), Trichotillomania, Skin-Picking, and other Stereotypic Disorders. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

  4. Jacobi, D. M., Riemann, B. C., & Espil, F. M. (2012). Exposure based cognitive behavior therapy for pediatric OCD with comorbid ADHD in a residential setting: Treatment outcome in an intent-to-treat sample of 13-17 year olds. Presentation at the 46th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies conference, Baltimore, MD.

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