Aaron Mishara

Aaron Mishara

Department Faculty
  • Department Faculty
    Clinical Psychology
  • The Chicago School Chicago
Clinical Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
617 W 7th St Los Angeles, CA 90017
617 W 7th St
Office Location
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.
Aaron Mishara received an M.A. in clinical phenomenological psychology from Duquesne University, and a doctorate in philosophy (Pennsylvania State University) by researching phenomenological-descriptive approaches to psychopathology, especially schizophrenia. To undertake this research in Germany, he received two successive Fulbright-Hays grants where he studied with leaders in the field, including W. Blankenburg, A. Kraus, R. Kuhn, H. Lang, and D. Wyss, and met for ongoing discussions with H.-G. Gadamer. He then taught medical psychology and philosophical psychology (in German) at the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg, Germany. He returned to the U.S. to complete a second doctorate (Psy. D.) in clinical psychology and a certificate in cognitive science at Rutgers University where he trained in psychodynamic and experiential-phenomenological psychotherapy. At the Beth Israel Medical Center Brief Psychotherapy Research Center, New York, NY, he served as research psychotherapist in the Relationship Psychotherapy (Jeremy Safran) module. Following this, he trained in the neuropsychology of psychiatric and neurologic disorders in Danny Weinberger's (NIMH/NIH) and Mark Hallet's (NINDS/NIH) labs. For the past 5 years, he received post-doctoral fellowships at Yale University School of Medicine to study schizophrenia and related disorders using neuropsychological tasks and functional neuroimaging. He is the recipient of a National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) young investigator's award to research the phenomenology and neurobiology of delusions in schizophrenia. In collaboration with the psychiatry departments at Yale and Cambridge University, U.K., he is studying delusions and other symptoms of schizophrenia in terms of disrupted experience of self in relation to abnormal reward, learning, and memory processes. At the Yale Whitney Humanities Center, he co-directed working groups on the interdisciplinary study of literature, visual arts, embodied cognition and neuroscience, which are also topics he loves to teach and write about. He proposes an ecological neuropsychological approach which takes into account the whole person situated in their environment and empowers patients with neuropsychiatric disorders and severe mental illness to overcome stigma and become integrated in community living. He serves on the editorial-advisory boards for the following journals: Journal für Philosophie und Psychiatrie; Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (PEHM), PubMed Central Open Access Journal; and Revue de Psychiatrie, Sciences humaines, Neurosciences (PSN).
  • B.A., Vassar College
  • M.A., Duquesne University
  • Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
  • Psy.D., Rutgers University
Areas Of Expertise

Select Presentations

  • Kafka's Doubles and Paranoia: Hypnagogic vs. (Pre-)Reflective Models of Disrupted Self in Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Anomalous Conscious States. Mind, Brain, Culture and Consciousness (MBCC) Yale Working Group, Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, January, 2009.
  • Mishara, A.L. A component model of human self: What neuropscychiatric disorders and anomalous conscious states offer the neuroscientific study of self. (poster) Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, Il (2009)
  • Mishara, A.L. Patients with schizophrenia exhibit compensatory rather than restorative brain responses following cognitive remediation: fMRI of working memory pre- and post-treatment. (Slide Presentation). Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, November, 2007.
  • Mishara, A.L. Phenomenology of Self in Delusions of Reference in Beginning Schizophrenia. Poster. Society of Biological Psychiatry Conference, New Orleans, LA, May, 2010
  • Mishara, A.L. Using fMRI to study abnormal neuroplasticity in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, September, 2007.
  • Mishara, A.L., Greig, T.C., Nicholls, S.S., Bell, M.D. Reexamining theory of mind impairment and negative symptoms in schizophrenia: A role for attentional dysfunction? (poster) International Congress on Schizophrenia Research, San Diego, April, 2009
  • Phenomenology and Neurobiology of Hypnagogic Models of Psychosis. Klinik für Psychiatrie, Sozialpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH) Hannover, Germany. August, 2010

Select Publications

  • Aaron L. Mishara and co-author Michael A. Schwartz (2010) debate with Allen Frances, Chair of the DSM-IV Task Force, in a series of 3 commentaries and responses regarding the role of phenomenology in diagnostic classification and the implications for a new DSM May be downloaded by going to: http://alien.dowling.edu/
  • Mishara, A.L. (2009) Autoscopy: Disrupted self in neuropsychiatric disorders and anomalous conscious states. In: Gallagher, S. and Schmicking, D. (eds). Handbook of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science. (Book Chapter) Berlin: Springer, pp. 591-634.
  • Mishara, A.L. (2009). Human ambivalence to body: Precondition for Social Cognition and its Disruption in Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology 16, 133-137.
  • Mishara, A.L. (2010) Klaus Conrad (1905-1961): Delusional mood, psychosis and beginning schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin 36, 9-13.
  • Mishara, A.L. (2010). Kafka's doubles, paranoia and the brain: Hypnagogic vs. hyper-reflexive models of disruption of self in neuropsychiatric disorders and anomalous conscious states. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (PEHM) 5, 13; a PubMed Central Open Access Journal, http://www.peh-med.com/content/5/1/13
  • Mishara, A.L. Unconscious meaning in paranoid delusional psychosis: Phenomenology, psychoanalysis, neuroscience. To appear in: Lohmar, D., Brudzinska, J. (eds.). Founding Psychoanalysis. (Book Chapter). New York: Springer.
  • Mishara, A.L., Corlett, P (2009). Are delusions biologically adaptive? Salvaging the doxastic shear pin. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32, 530-1.
    cperring/aapp/bulletin.htm Part I: Volume 17 Number 1 (2010) Part II: Volume 17 Number 2 (2010)