International Society for Sports Psychiatry

Welcome to the Resident/Fellow Page

Curious about how to incorporate sports psychiatry into your training experience? Then you've come to the right place to learn more about what other trainees have done in the field.

Alex Cojanu, MD

My name is Alex Cojanu. I am a psychiatry resident at Wayne State University – Detroit Medical Center in the exciting heart of America’s great comeback city, Detroit. The combination of having been involved in competitive tennis from a young age, together with a passion for understanding mental health and decision-making processes led me to join the ISSP in 2017.  I look forward to being a part of the growth and increased worldwide exposure of sports psychiatry through collaboration with similarly-minded individuals. I have been fortunate to discuss the topic with renowned experts such as Dr. Ira Glick and Dr. Todd Stull as well as Dr. Claire Twark. 

On a personal note, I began playing tennis when I was 4 years old and quickly developed a passion for the sport, competing in both national and international events as a junior. After a successful NCAA Division I collegiate career at The College of William and Mary, where I qualified for the NCAA National Championships both in singles and doubles, my focus turned to professional tennis. I was fortunate to compete in professional events worldwide, winning three professional doubles titles and achieving a career-high world ranking of 512 on the ATP Circuit. 

These experiences allowed me to better understand the correlation between an individual’s (and team’s) mental preparation and performance. A deeper inquiry into the topic revealed the importance of factors such as stress, anxiety, mindset, motivation, and expectations as well as the biological, psychological, and social aspects affecting performance. With a desire to better understand these intricacies, I completed a Master’s Degree in Neurobiology at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

I envision increased awareness of the mental health needs within sports and am excited about the possibility for future opportunities. As some of my esteemed colleagues have already mentioned, there is a need for collaboration and further development of guidelines within the emerging field of sports psychiatry. I am thrilled to be a part of the ISSP and look forward to conversations with others who share this interest. 

Dr. Alex Cojanu can be reached at

Helio Fádel, MD

My name is Helio Fádel. I am completing my training at the Residency Program of Psychiatry at the Aeronautics Central Hospital in Rio de Janeiro. I strive to bring awareness to the field of sports psychiatry in Brazil. As an emerging field, there is a need for experienced sports psychiatrists in my country. In order to learn more about this field and develop working relationships with experienced sports psychiatrists, I joined the ISSP in early 2017. Since then, I had the honor of meeting esteemed colleagues like Drs. Claudia Reardon, Michael Lardon, Shane Creado, and Todd Stull. I am committed to the development of a more evidence-based approach to sports psychiatry, which will ultimately contribute to our ability to provide specialized mental health care to athletes.

Sports, especially soccer, have been extremely important in my life since I was a young boy. I began at a soccer school for kids, continued at the recreational level in grade school, and moved on to regional competitions in high school and college. I also had the rare opportunity to play professionally on soccer teams in both Brazil and Spain. In addition to soccer, I have practiced and competed in other sports such as volleyball, distance running, handball, indoor soccer, and table tennis. Lastly, as a hobby, I enjoy fishing.

Through this close contact with sports, I have become familiar with sports culture and the dynamics of sports organizations. I have a personal understanding of the importance of mental preparation, and one my favorite approaches is to listen to songs like “Stand Up (For the Champions)” by Right Said Fred and “Going the Distance” by Bill Conti before competition. I have also experienced the routines, emotions, and challenges that athletes face daily. The mental aspects can be particularly taxing, so I believe that athletes can benefit from mental health care. Though this area is often neglected by athletes and teams, studies are increasingly showing the influence of the mind on performance. The competitive sports environment itself can trigger several psychiatric disorders. Therefore, I believe that we should provide specialized mental health care to patient-athletes of all ages, including those in retirement.

Currently, I am working in cooperation with Dr. David McDuff to release the first sports psychiatry literature in Brazil, which is based on his original book entitled Sports Psychiatry: Strategies for Life Balance and Peak Performance. At the 35th Brazilian Congress of Psychiatry in São Paulo in October of 2017, I am presenting a roundtable discussion about sports psychiatry. Additionally, during my last few months of residency, I will contribute to a research project about mental health issues among elite soccer players.

In the future, I support the development of more sports psychiatry training opportunities and fellowship experiences. This in turn would likely encourage the collection of athlete-specific data and collaboration between professionals to establish more guidelines and promote the specialty internationally. I hope to be able to contribute to the field of sports psychiatry and leave a mark on this growing specialty.

Dr. Helio Fádel can be reached at

Danielle Kamis, MD

My name is Danielle Kamis and I am a psychiatry resident at Stanford University.  I am passionate about the growing field of sports psychiatry and serve as a Member in Training for the ISSP.  I began fencing when I was just 11 years old and continue to have a compelling interest in the sport.  I competed at both the elite national and international level since a young age.  In addition, I competed as a Division I athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, where I was a four-time NCAA championship qualifier, All American, and Academic-All Ivy fencer, as well as captain of Penn’s fencing team. 

Currently, I have strong clinical and research interests in the field of sports psychiatry.  During residency, I have been working on multiple research projects with Stanford Professor Emeritus Dr. Ira Glick.  We first published an article in the International Review of Psychiatry entitled “Cheating and Sports: History, Diagnosis, and Treatment.  Currently, we are compiling The ISSP Manual of Sports Psychiatry, which is the first textbook of its kind in the field. It details the theory and practice of sports psychiatry, including the qualifications, treatment, and service that a sports psychiatrist actually provides to a particular sport.  

Additionally, I have been working with the sports mental health team at Stanford, brainstorming ideas for research projects working with student-athletes.  In the clinical arena, I mostly work with student-athletes in cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy clinics on a weekly basis.  I attend bi-monthly meetings with the Stanford Sports Mental Health Team with fellow psychologists and psychiatrists to discuss clinical cases and increase general education in the field.  It has been a very stimulating experience thus far and I am looking forward to the future developments in this field!

Upcoming events

    • Saturday, May 05, 2018
    • 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    • Room 1E17, First Level, Javits Center

    Don't miss another ISSP event at the 2018 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting!

    In the Classroom and on the Field: Improving Mental Health Care for Collegiate Student Athletes

    Caucus on College Mental Health

    Chair: Bettina U Bohle-Frankel, M.D.

    Presenters: Courtney Albinson, PhD; Mehak Chopra, DO; Julie Sutcliffe, PsyD; Douglas Noordsy, MD; Francesco Dandekar, MD

    According to the NCAA there are more than 460,000 collegiate student athletes in the US. They are constantly juggling academic and athletic demands. Although they are no more likely to suffer from mental illness than other students, athletes face unique challenges: a culture that expects problems be “fixed” quickly, stigma regarding mental illness and “being weak,” NCAA rules, and team/coach dynamics. Athletes are supported and monitored closely by sports medicine physicians and athletic trainers who often see them daily and receive third party information from teammates and coaches. Close cooperation with sports medicine can facilitate referral to mental health care and help with compliance and monitoring. Athletes are often motivated to receive care in order to improve performance. This creates an opening to address the mental health issues that frequently are at the root of poor performance. In 2016, the NCAA published a consensus statement for best practices in mental health care recognizing the crucial importance for athletes’ well-being. This focus on mental health has led to universities creating different models of mental health care and the creation of new positions for sport psychologists. A higher demand for psychiatrists with expertise in the field, either in university positions or in private practice, will likely follow. This workshop will describe innovative health care models developed at Northwestern and Stanford Universities to improve athletes’ mental health and overall well-being. We will start by reviewing stressors for this population such as coping with academic and athletic demands, injuries, performance struggles, and poor sleep and nutrition. Using clinical cases, common disorders will be discussed including post-concussion syndrome, ADHD and eating disorders. There will be a focus on how to collaborate with sports medicine in order to improve compliance and to facilitate a higher level of care when needed. We will consider how different interventions affect the athlete’s eligibility for sports participation, such as medical leave of absence, red-shirting and the reduction of the student’s course load. Specific aspects of medication use in this population will be examined such as the impact of side effects on performance, required documentation for the NCAA and timing with regards to being “in season” for the athlete’s sport. Finally, participants will work on vignettes to illustrate the complicated interchange between sports psychologists, psychiatrists, athletic trainers, sports medicine physicians and sports dietitians. Presenters will include two college sport psychologists, including the current president of the Society for Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology of the American Psychological Association, a fellow in college mental health psychiatry, a psychiatry resident and two psychiatrists.

    • Sunday, May 06, 2018
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • New York Marriott Marquis, Odets room

    Join the ISSP board members at our annual business meeting at the 2018 APA Annual Meeting in NYC, including committee updates, updates on our strategic plan, and plans for expansion!

    • Sunday, May 06, 2018
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • New York Marriott Marquis, Odets room

    Come join ISSP members and others interested in sports psychiatry for snacks and coffee after our business meeting and before our afternoon scientific session!

    • Sunday, May 06, 2018
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • New York Marriott Marquis, Odets room

    Come join the ISSP's Scientific Session at the 2018 APA Annual Meeting to hear the latest about our fascinating field!

    • Monday, May 07, 2018
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Broadway North, Sixth Floor, Marriott Marquis New York, NY

    Save the Date! The International Society for Sports Psychiatry is presenting at the APA Annual Meeting.

    The Life of a New York City Ballet Principal: A Sports Psychiatric View Through the Opera Glass.
    Wendy Whelan will be the guest speaker for this ISSP event, which features her experience dancing as a New York City Ballet Principal. You can learn more about Wendy by watching this trailer for the documentary Restless Creature.
    Chair: Antonia Baum, M.D.
    Discussants: David Conant-Norville, M.D. and Claire Twark, M.D.

    Click here to access registration for the APA Annual Meeting.


     International Society for Sports Psychiatry is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. Michigan , P.O. Box 1234, South Lyon, MI 123456

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