O'Brien, Erin

USA 3900 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19104


I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. After gaining valuable experience in sleep research at the University of Pennsylvania, I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida, focusing on the relationship between sleep and chronic pain. I then completed my Clinical Psychology internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Brown University. I worked as a staff psychologist in Outpatient Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine in the Lifespan Hospital System in Providence, RI, and was the Director of the Clinical Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program in this role. I have extensive training and experience in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), as well as more broadly in the empirically-supported treatments of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In addition to treating insomnia and other sleep disorders, I have experience treating individuals presenting with a broad range of conditions, including chronic pain, weight management, smoking cessation, management of chronic illness, stress-related conditions, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. However, my particular specialty is in Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and this is the area of clinical work about which I am most passionate. I have obtained Certification in Behavioral Sleep Medicine (CBSM), as well as recent designation as a Diplomate in Behavioral Sleep Medicine (DBSM). I have expertise in treating insomnia and other sleep disorders in adults, children, and older adults.

My clinical and research interests are in the areas of behavioral sleep medicine, with a focus on the relationship between insomnia and physical and mental health, and the management of chronic pain.  I have conducted research examining the relationship between sleep and weight, sleep and pain, and sleep and depression. I have published several papers and given presentations related to insomnia, chronic pain, weight management, and mental health topics. In addition to my clinical practice, I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Psychology (most recently at La Salle University and Rowan University), and have supervised many clinical psychology and medical trainees in the treatment of sleep disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, weight management, chronic pain, stress-related conditions, and personality disorders.

Peer-Reviewed Publications O’Brien, E. M., Hart, C. N., Wing, R. R. (2016) Discrepancies between self-reported usual sleep duration and objective measures of total sleep time in treatment seeking overweight and obese individuals, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 14(5), 539-549. Hart, C., Fava, J., Subak, L., Stone, K., Vittinghoff, E., Demos, K., O'Brien, E., Cairns, A., Wing, R. (2012). Time in Bed is Associated with Decreased Physical Activity and Higher BMI in Women Seeking Weight Loss Treatment, ISRN Obesity, 2012, 1-6. O’Brien, E. M., Fava, J., Subak, L. L., Stone, K., Hart, C., Demos, K., and Wing, R. (2012). Sleep Duration and Weight Loss Among Overweight/Obese Women Enrolled in a Behavioral Weight Loss Program, Nutrition & Diabetes, 2, e43. Finestone, H. M., Singer, S., Mayo, N. E., O’Brien, E., and Fisher, W. A. (2012). The Pain Explanation and Treatment Diagram: A Tool to Enhance Patient Self management of Persistent Pain, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 4(6), 456-458. O’Brien, E. M., Dalrymple, K., Hrabosky, J., Chelminski, I., Young, D., & Zimmerman, M. (2012). Insomnia is associated with impaired quality of life among bariatric surgery candidates, Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, 6(2), e91-e102. Dalrymple, K.L., Galione, J., Hrabosky, J., Chelminski, I., Young, D., O’Brien, E., Zimmerman, M. (2011). Diagnosing social anxiety disorder in the presence of obesity: Implications for a proposed change in DSM-5. Depression and Anxiety,28, 377-382. O’Brien, E. M., Zimmerman, M., Chelminski, I., Young, D., Dalrymple, K., and Hrabosky, J. (2011). Severe Insomnia is Associated with More Severe Presentation and Greater Functional Deficits in Depression, Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45, 1101-1105. O’Brien, E. M., Waxenberg, L. B., Atchison, J. W., Gremillion, H. A., Staud, R. M., McCrae, C. S., & Robinson, M. E. (2011). Intraindividual variability in daily sleep and pain ratings among chronic pain patients: Bi-directional association and the role of negative mood, Clinical Journal of Pain, 27, 425-433. Dzierzewski, J. M., O'Brien, E. M., Kay, D., & McCrae, C. S. (2010). Tackling sleeplessness: Psychological treatment options for insomnia in older adults. Nature and Science of Sleep, 2, 47-61. O’Brien, E. M., Waxenberg, L. B., Atchison, J. W., Gremillion, H. A., Staud, R. M., McCrae, C. S., & Robinson, M. E. (2010) Negative mood mediates the effect of poor sleep on increased pain among chronic pain patients, Clinical Journal of Pain, 26(4), 310-319. O’Brien, E. M., Staud, R. M., Hassinger, A. D., McCulloch, R. C., Craggs, J. G., Price, D. D., & Robinson, M. E. (2009). Patient-Centered Perspective on Treatment Outcomes in Chronic Pain. Pain Medicine, 11, 6-15. O’Brien, E. M., Atchison, J. W., Gremillion, H. A., Waxenberg, L. B., & Robinson, M. E. (2008). Somatic focus/awareness: Relationship to negative affect and pain in chronic pain patients. European Journal of Pain, 12, 104-115. O’Brien, E. M., & Mindell, J. A. (2005). Sleep and risk-taking behavior in adolescents. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 3(3), 113-133. O’Brien, E. M., & Robinson, M. E. (2004). Sex or gender: Influences on pain perception. XX vs. XY: Journal of Sex Differences, 2(1), 26-31. Book Chapters Robinson, M. E., & O’Brien, E. M. (2009). Chronic pain. Frank, R. G., Rosenthal, M., & Caplan, B. (Eds.). Handbook of rehabilitation psychology, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (pp. 119-132). O'Brien, E. M., McCrae, C. S. (2008). Insomnia due to mental disorder. Winkelman, J. W., Henderson, J. H., Kotagal, S., Lee-Chiong, T. L., Lichstein, K. L., Murray, B. J., & Schenck, C. H. (Eds.). The sleep medicine case book-A learning companion to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, 2nd ed., Diagnostic and Coding Manual. Westchester, IL: American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
  • USA 3900 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19104

Additional Details

New Jersey, Pennsylvania
New Jersey: NJ
Clinical Psychologist
NJ - Psychologist; PA - Psychologist
6-10 Years
6-10 Years
Philadelphia VA Medical Center
University of Pennsylvania
6-10 Years
Insomnia, Circadian Rhythm Disorders, OSA / Positional Therapy, OSA / CPAP adherence training, Nightmare Syndrome