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                Dr. Di Paolo specializes in treating mental health issues that arise as a function of stress including but not limited to anxiety, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her clientele focus is adults looking to better manage their stress and the subsequent physical health issues that come with stress such as poor sleep, relationship breakdowns, communication, focus, memory difficulties, weight loss/gain, fight-or-flight body responses (think sweating, difficulty breathing, panic, shaking, jumpy) and emotion management. She specializes in treating those with complex medical conditions like heart disease, recent heart attack, trying to prevent heart attack, pre/post surgical mental health planning, cancer diagnoses, terminal illness diagnoses, women’s health issues, managing diabetes, auto-immune disorders, pain management, chronic headaches/migraines, and much more. She is certified by the Biofeedback International Certification Alliance (BCIA) in HRV biofeedback and is a board certified counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).

She completed her counseling internship at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cancer Center, providing psychotherapy services for those new to their cancer diagnoses, in the middle of treatment, those both in remission and with cancer that has returned, and those with terminal diagnoses and/or at the end of their life. She previously has worked as a certified nursing assistant and has extensive training in psychophysiology and neuropsychology.

Dr. Di Paolo won Article of the Year (2019) by The Journal of Black Psychology for her participation in research aimed at helping learn about those who are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

She enjoys psychoeducation very much and produces video blogs (YouTube) discussing a number of mental health topics. She also is a public speaker, CEU provider, and inter-office educator for a number of doctor’s offices.

She is trained by the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA) as an end-of-life (EOL) doula and currently operates in the field of EOL pre-planning. She is a proud LGBTQ+ ally and board member of Prism Health North Texas and in her spare time, she volunteers with VITAS hospice serving those clients with EOL needs.

Dr. Di Paolo is a native to the suburbs of Chicago, but now calls Dallas, Texas home. She is a Chicago Bears and Blackhawks superfan but loves most sports and competitive events. She is a decorated gymnast and Junior Olympics competitor, and also enjoys camping, and watching documentaries. 

Selected Publications

  • Johnson, K. T., Merritt M. M., Zawadzki, M J., Di Paolo, & M. R., Ayazi, M. (2019). Cardiovascular and affective responses to speech and anger: Proactive benefits of a single brief session of mindfulness meditation. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research. doi:10.1111/jabr.12167.

  • Ayazi, M., Johnson, K. T., Merritt, M. M., Di Paolo, M. R., Edwards, C. L., Koenig, H. G., & Bennett, G. G. (2018). Religiosity, Education, John Henryism Active Coping, and Cardiovascular Responses to Anger Recall for African American Men [Electronic version]. Journal of Black Psychology, 44(4), 295-321. doi:

  • Merritt, M. M., Zawadzki, M. J., Di Paolo, M. R., Johnson, K. T., & Ayazi, M. (2017). Positivity and less stress in self-selected relaxing activities predicts less depressive symptoms and better sleep quality for high trait ruminators and active copers. Journal of Leisure Studies, 36(6), 838-851.

  • Trost, S. E., & Di Paolo, M. R. (2016). Paraphilic disorders.  In B. Burke, S. E. Trost, T. DeRoon-Cassini, M. T. Nietzel, E. A. McCauley, D. A. Bernstein, & M. L. Speltz (Eds.), Abnormal Psychology (pp. 573-604), Cleveland, OH: Yolo Publishing.

  • Trost, S. E., & Di Paolo, M. R. (2016). Sexual Dysfunctions and Gender Dysphoria.  In B. Burke, S. E. Trost, T. DeRoon-Cassini, M. T. Nietzel, E. A. McCauley, D. A. Bernstein, & M. L. Speltz (Eds.), Abnormal Psychology (pp. 415-438), Cleveland, OH: Yolo Publishing.

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