Dr. Lukens is an expert in psychoeducational interventions for adolescents, adults, and families with members who are facing severe mental health challenges. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City, she adapted these interventions for treating the mental health needs of directly affected individuals and families.
Ellen Lukens has developed, applied, and tested educational and psychoeducational interventions that are designed to improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals and families dealing with trauma, mental illness, and other significant challenges. She is involved in adapting these interventions in the context of applied clinical, community, and international practice, and as a technique for “training the trainers” and supervision.
Dr. Lukens’s research centers on the needs of families, adolescents, and children who are coping with various forms of severe mental illness. She is particularly interested in the use of group interventions and how the combined professional and practical knowledge of leaders and participants can enhance the educational and therapeutic aspects of treatment, strengthen resilience and coping skills, and reduce stress. She completed a collaborative study with colleagues at the New York State Psychiatric Institute to assess the challenges faced by persons who are diagnosed with severe mental illness and who also have young children. She works with colleagues in the United States and Tanzania to develop and test culturally syntonic psychoeducational family group interventions for persons with schizophrenia.
Dr. Lukens teaches courses in Integrated Practice and Programming, Evidence-Based Practice for Persons with Mental Health Conditions, Advanced Clinical Practice, Psychoeducation, Supervision, and Psychopathology and Pathways to Wellness. She holds a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Earlham College, an MSW from Fordham University, and a PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University.