Mila Kirstie Kulsa

Mila Kirstie C. Kulsa is currently a 5th Year Ph.D. Student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, Adelphi University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with Honors from New York University, a Master’s degree in Psychology from Teachers College Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology en passant from Adelphi University. Struck by the realities of care which she encountered while collaborating with psychiatric sufferers, Mila Kirstie advocates for these persons who comprise one of the most marginalized, vulnerable, and misunderstood populations. Her ongoing dissertation work involves an extensive, biographical study of one individual who has struggled with severe psychiatric distress, been exposed to the psychiatric care system, and who has used their life experience to establish themselves as a creative person. This pioneering project integrates a narrative, portrait-based approach and a clinically-focused dialogical


Mila Kirstie earned first prize of the 2022 George Stricker Fellowship Award as recognition for her research. Notably, this is the first time a student with qualitative work has earned a win for this competitive honor. In addition, Mila Kirstie presented her developing doctoral work during various individual paper presentations at national and international meetings, such as the 2020/2021 and 2022 APA Division 39 Annual Spring Meetings and the 2022 International Conference of ISPS in Perugia, Italy. She also recently published a peer-reviewed journal article discussing her dissertation research methodology in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods (, a peer-reviewed book review in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society (, and another peer-reviewed book review with Michael O’Loughlin which is currently in press.

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