Yael Dai, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Dai is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in treating anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic, phobias) and OCD, promoting healthier family relationships, and working with autistic individuals and their families.
Anxiety in certain situations is adaptive, but at times it can become draining and can interfere with activities that are enjoyable, meaningful, and necessary. Dr. Dai is passionate about helping individuals live happier lives that are consistent with their goals and values. She does this by providing evidence-based therapy to help clients identify the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their anxiety, strengthen self-soothing and problem-solving skills, face their fears, and draw on their strengths and resilience to cultivate distress tolerance. Over the past 8 years, Dr. Dai has helped many children, adolescents, and adults experience relief from anxiety. When
working with children, she involves parents in treatment to help them identify triggers of their children’s anxiety and teach them strategies that they can use to help their children explore their world with confidence.
Dr. Dai also has clinical and research experience working with autistic individuals and their families. She has helped autistic individuals reduce anxiety, improve mood, and bolster social skills and relationships. She also supports caregivers of recently diagnosed autistic children.
In addition to working with individuals, Dr. Dai enjoys providing family therapy to help families navigate transitions, improve communication, and experience closer connections.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Dr. Dai practices with cultural humility and aims to create a safe and welcoming therapeutic environment for all clients. She enjoys working with families from diverse backgrounds, learning about each person’s unique experiences, and tailoring evidence-based treatments to support each family’s goals and values. She is also committed to continued education to increase cultural competence.
Dr. Dai is passionate about helping families of young children access tools and resources that will help their children thrive. Her research focuses on promoting screening, diagnosis, and intervention for children with anxiety disorders or autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She also works on developing and testing parent-mediated telehealth interventions. Dr. Dai is currently working on clinical research in the Psychology department at the University of Massachusetts Boston and at the Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Dai graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University with a BA in Psychology. She pursued training in research at the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital before earning her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut. During graduate school, Dr. Dai completed several specialized training opportunities, including providing therapy to children with gastrointestinal conditions at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, conducting individual and group cognitive behavioral therapy at the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living, and providing family therapy at the Psychological Services Clinic at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Dai completed her predoctoral internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with rotations in the Child and Family Therapy Clinic and the Behavior Management Clinic. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
- Brandeis University, BA
- University of Connecticut, MS
- University of Connecticut, PhD
- Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Predoctoral Internship
- University of Massachusetts Boston, Postdoctoral Fellowship
Areas of Expertise
Generalized anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, phobias, health anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, life transitions, adjustment difficulties, parent-child conflict, depression, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Unified Protocol, and Motivational Interviewing (MI).