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Tessa Kritikos

Tessa Kritikos, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology,
College of Human Sciences and Humanities

Contact number: 281-283-3464


Tessa Kritikos, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of clinical psychology. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Boston University; completed a pre-doctoral internship in child, adolescent, and pediatric psychology at Rush University Medical Center; and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Loyola University Chicago. 

Dr. Kritikos is the director of the MAGNIFY (Meaning And Growth Nurtured In Families & Youth) Lab. The core mission of the lab is to understand and improve the psychological health of families experiencing stress as a result of trauma, medical conditions, or mental health concerns. This program of research draws from clinical psychology, pediatric psychology, and developmental psychology. Lab projects aim to magnify the strengths of populations that are often characterized in terms of their vulnerabilities through intervention research and the development of new measures. 

Dr. Kritikos has experience conducting individual, family, and group therapy using principles from a variety of evidence-based treatments, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and behavioral parent training. 

She has an active research lab and is committed to mentoring students in the master’s clinical psychology and doctoral health psychology programs.  

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

  • Clinical psychology
  • Pediatric psychology
  • Parenting
  • Family-focused assessment and intervention
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Trauma and coping 


1) Kritikos, T.K., Winning, A.M., Smith, Z.R., & Holmbeck, G.N. (2022). Trajectories of marital satisfaction among parents of youth with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsac059

2) Kritikos, T.K., Stiles-Shields, C., Winning, A.M., Starnes, M., Ohanian, D., Clark, O.E., del Castillo, A., Chavez, P. & Holmbeck, G.N. (2021). A systematic review of benefit-finding and growth in pediatric medical populations. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 46(9): 1076-1090.

3) Kritikos, T.K., Stiles-Shields, C., Shapiro, J.B., Holmbeck, G.N. (2021). Benefit-finding among young adults with spina bifida. Journal of Health Psychology, 27(5), 1176-1186. doi: 10.1177/1359105321990804

4) Stiles-Shields, C., Kritikos, T. K., Ridosh, M. M., Starnes, M., & Holmbeck, G. N. (2021). “We Are Anxious Every Day”: COVID-19 Impacts on Youth with Spina Bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 46(9): 1040-1050. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsab070

5) Stiles-Shields, C., Kritikos, T. K., Starnes, M., Smith, Z. R., & Holmbeck, G. N. (2022). The transition from pediatric to adult healthcare in young adults with spina bifida: Demographic and physician-related correlates. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 43(3), e179-e187. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000001001

6) Kritikos, T.K., Driscoll, C.F.B. & Holmbeck, G.N. (2021). Discrepancies in parent perceptions of child vulnerability in youth with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 46(4), 392-403. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsaa115.

7) Ohanian, D.M., Kritikos, T.K., Clark, O.E., Shirkey, K.C., Starnes, M., & Holmbeck, G.N. (2021). Stress and coping in youth with spina bifida: A brief longitudinal study in a summary camp setting. Frontiers in Psychology 12:682169. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.682169. 

8) Holmbeck, G.H. & Kritikos, T.K. (2021). Psychosocial adjustment in emerging adults with and without Spina Bifida: A 14-year, longitudinal follow-up. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. doi 10.1097/dbp.0000000000000956

9) Kritikos, T.K. & Holmbeck, G.N. (2020). Family functioning guidelines for the care of people with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Approach, 13, 535-542. doi: 10.3233/PRM-200720.

10) Kritikos, T.K., Smith, K., & Holmbeck, G.N. (2020) Mental health guidelines for the care of people with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Approach, 13, 525-534. doi: 10.3233/PRM-200719.

Courses (Current Academic Year)

  • Clinical Practicum 
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Personality Assessment