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Danielle Balaghi, PhD

Danielle Balaghi, PhD

PsyD Program Director/Core Faculty

Office phone: 248.476.1122, ext. 116
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Balaghi is a core PsyD faculty member at MSP. Dr. Balaghi earned her PhD in school psychology from Michigan State University. Her school psychology background has given her a unique expertise in the school system and educational law, as she worked in a school setting for five years. Dr. Balaghi has also worked in other settings as a therapist and consultant, such as community mental health and primary care. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Ann Arbor, where she specialized in evidence-based treatments for anxiety and OCD related disorders, such as Exposure and Response Prevention. She continues to work at the clinic on a part-time basis.

Clinically, Dr. Balaghi has extensive experience in psychological assessment, as well as academic and social-emotional interventions with children, adolescents, and emerging adults. Her clinical work has focused on implementing individually-based behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatment. Dr Balaghi has published and presented on topics such as discrimination’s relationship with Arab American adolescents mental health, Arab student refugees, cultural competence and response to intervention, and early childhood parental engagement. Dr. Balaghi’s dissertation investigated Arab American adolescents perceived discrimination and the relation to their psychological well-being when living in an ethnic enclave. She was awarded a total of $10,000 from Michigan State and Michigan State’s College of Education to complete this dissertation work.


  • PhD, Michigan State University
  • MA, Michigan State University
  • BA, University of Michigan-Dearborn


  • Licensed Psychologist – Michigan

Areas of Expertise

  • Perceived Discrimination
  • Ethnic & Racial Identity
  • Arab American Mental Health
  • Arab Refugees
  • School-based Mental Health
  • Religious Identity

Selected Publications

Balaghi, D., Westdal, J., & Rispoli, K. (2017). Social context of the resettlement and its influence on refugee youths’ well-being: Implications for Arab youth refugees. School Psychology Forum, 11, 145-159.

Sheldon, J., & Balaghi, D. (2017). Anxiety doesn’t work. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science.

Balaghi, D. (2015). A strength-based approach to graduate school: Benefits, strategies, and applications. NASP Communiqué. Retrieved from http://www.nasponline.org/publications/periodicals/communique/issues/volume-44-issue-1

Sheldon, J. P., Oliver, D. G., & Balaghi, D. (2015). Arab American emerging adults’ ethnic identity and its relation to psychological well-being. Emerging Adulthood, 3, 340-352.

Selected Presentations

Balaghi, D., & Oka, E. (2015, February). Arab American students’ well-being, identity, and perceived discrimination. Poster presented at the annual meeting of National Association for School Psychologists, Orlando, FL.

Boddapati, S., Oka, E., & Balaghi, D. (2014, February). Cultural competence and RtI: The contribution of critical race theory. Presentation at the annual meeting of National Association for School Psychologists, Washington, D.C.

Girard, K., Balaghi, D., Schmitt, H., & Hanold, J. (2014, February). Effects of self- or peer-referenced CBM feedback on oral reading fluency and self-efficacy of struggling readers. Presentation at the annual meeting of National Association for School Psychologists, Washington, D.C.

Boddapati, S., Oka E., Balaghi, D., & Chen A. (2013, February). Early childhood parental engagement: Implications for socioeconomic and ethnic variation. Presentation at the annual meeting of National Association for School Psychologists, Seattle, WA.

Balaghi, D. (2012, May). Mental illness labels and gender: Their influence on memory. Poster presented at the 84th annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Beddow, M., Balaghi, D., Johnson, A., McDowell, K., & Muhammad, J. (2010, May). The influence of attractiveness on memory recognition. Poster presented at the 83rd annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Professional Memberships

  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • American Psychological Association
    • Division 2 Society for the Teaching of Psychology
    • Division 16 School Psychology
    • Division 45 Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race


  • Please describe your teaching philosophy.

I take a few approaches to teaching graduate students. I take a developmental approach where I take into consideration the students’ professional identity exploration, struggle with ambiguity, and sense of industry. One of the most important aspects of teaching is the ability to promote intrinsic motivation via promoting autonomy, competence, and relatedness. I place an emphasis on relatedness in a sociocultural context among students, as I believe that promoting trust, support, and intimacy allows students to safely explore their interests, abilities, and identities. As a teacher, I have a responsibility to scaffold students to their potential while also giving them opportunities to have autonomy over their own process of learning.

  • What advice would you give to a student entering the Michigan School of Psychology?

Be open to different ideas, worldviews, and opportunities that come your way.  Know that you are not an imposter, but a professional who has had a significant role in your own success.  Trust yourself, trust the process.


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