Experts: Mental Health

Deborah Ebener

Professor and Director of Clinical Training

Ebener is Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems. Ebener’s research focuses on psychological and social factors that influence an individual’s coping and adaptation to disability and chronic illness, as well as recovery from substance use disorders. Her current research examines positive psychology constructs of humor, spirituality and optimism as coping mechanisms in recovery and adaptation.

(850) 644-1789

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Nicole Gabana

Assistant Professor of Sport Psychology

Gabana’s research focuses on developing applied sport psychology programs to enhance athlete mental health, well-being and performance.

(850) 645-2444

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Nancy Gerber

Specialized Teaching Faculty, Art Therapy Program, Florida State University

Dr. Nancy Gerber currently works as teaching faculty at Florida State University in the Art Therapy Program; and, is an Associate Clinical Professor Emerita from Drexel University.  Dr. Gerber has been a practicing art psychotherapist, educator, researcher, and innovator for the past 40+ years.  Her expertise spans clinical, academic, and research domains.  As a   clinician for over 22 years, her expertise has been in using art psychotherapy to help adolescents and adults facing psychological challenges and trauma.  More recently, Dr. Gerber’s expertise has been in higher education and specifically doctoral education. She created, developed, and directed one of the first doctoral programs in Creative Arts Therapies while also directing and teaching a master’s degree program in art therapy.

Alongside her commitment to doctoral education is her research expertise in the areas of arts-based research and mixed methods research. Aligned with her interest and expertise in ABR, she co-founded the Arts-Based Research (ABR) Global Consortium. The ABR Global Consortium is a group of global arts-based research scholars who are working towards increasing the visibility, accessibility, valuation and aesthetic impact of research that can elucidate and communicate major global issues through aesthetically powerful socially engaged arts-based investigation and dissemination.  The ABR Global Consortium is currently embarking upon its first global research project: Sustaining Life on Earth: Arts-based responses to the lived experience of COVID-19.

Gerber, N., Biffi, E., Biondo, J., Gemignani, M., Hannes, K., & Siegesmund, R. (2020). Arts-Based Research in the Social and Health Sciences: Pushing for Change with an Interdisciplinary Global Arts-Based Research Initiative. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21(2),

Gerber, N., Kapitan, L.,Gussak, D., Forinash, M., Kaimal, G., & LaCivita, J. (2020). Doctoral Education in Art Therapy: Current Trends and Future Directions.  Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. DOI:10.1080/07421656.2020.1761735

Gerber, N., Bryl, K., Potvin, N., & Blank, C. A. (2018). Arts-based research approaches to studying mechanisms of change and transformation in the Creative Arts Therapies [Special issue].Frontiers in Psychology Special Issue:  The state of the art in Creative Arts Therapies


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Tomi Gomory

Associate Professor

Dr. Gomory has over 35 years of experience as a clinician, administrator, and educator in the areas of social work, mental health, and homelessness. He has co-authored an award-winning book on mental health titled Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, diagnosis, and drugs along with more than three dozen articles and chapters.”

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