Amit Bernstein



Professor, Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Haifa

Director, Observing Minds Lab

Member, Israel Young Academy



I received a BA with Honors as a Phi Beta Kappa and Hilldale Fellow in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology as a NIH Research Service Award Fellow at the University of Vermont. I then completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System and Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Center for Health Care Evaluation at the VA Palo Alto. In 2008, I was privileged to join the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa as an Israeli Council for Higher Education Yigal Alon Fellow, where I am currently a Professor. I was recently fortunate to enjoy a sabbatical in Toronto as a Ben and Hilda Katz Foundation Visiting Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute as well as a Visiting Clinical Fellow at the EBT3 clinical institute. Upon my return, I was honored by an appointment to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities - Israel Young Academy  ( As part of the national Young Academy I am privileged to work with exceptional young faculty in Israel on a variety of national academic and social projects. Finally, and more important and challenging than all of the above, I am the proud father of Yonatan and twins Mia and Noga.

Research Team and Support. I have been fortunate to work with a team of talented and motivated undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students and staff. My Observing Minds laboratory  is housed in the School of Psychology at the University of Haifa. In addition and in partnership with members of the African refugee community and NGOs dedicated to their wellbeing, my team also runs a satellite mobile laboratory dedicated to the mental health of forcibly displaced persons, asylum seekers from E. Africa, who have survived traumatic atrocities and conflict. My lab’s work to-date has been possible due to generous support of the University of Haifa and a variety of (inter)national funding agencies (e.g., European Union FP-7 – People Programme, Israeli Council for Higher Education, National Institutes of Health, Psychology Beyond Borders, Israel Science Foundation, European Commission – European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, Mind and Life Institute, European Mind and Life).

Research Mission. Currently, my team and I are working to better understand, measure, and therapeutically target psycho-bio-behavioral processes that contribute to mental illness through 3 primary inter-related lines of study:

(I) To illuminate the nature and function of attentional in mental health; and to translate these insights to novel therapeutic interventions.

(II) To better understand present moment attention and awareness or mindfulness and the mechanisms through which it contributes to mental health.

(III) To improve the mental health of diverse forcibly displaced populations who have survived conflict and persecution (e.g., refugees) through mindfulness- and compassion- training.[]


Amit Bernstein's C.V.