Joseph Constans, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist who has trained with some of the originators of cognitive-behavioral therapies including Drs. Andrew Mathews and Edna Foa. Dr. Constans serves as the chief of research services at the New Orleans VA medical center, and he has his own federally-funded research program that concerns understanding and treating emotional disorders.
His clinical services all involve non-medical interventions for emotional disorders and involve modification of behavior and/or cognitive factors that maintain the problematic emotional issues.
Therapies offered by Dr. Constans are informed through his research activities and advocacy of evidence-based therapies for emotional disorders. Dr. Constans' expertise is best suited for those seeking treatment of anxiety disorders, mild to moderate depression, or general distress related to life stressors.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder
Panic Disorder Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Mild to moderate depression
Stress-related emotional issues
Louisiana, No. 721
Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University
Clinical Psychology Internship at the Medical College of Pennsylvania
M.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University
B.S. in Psychology at Louisiana State University
Current Positions, Academic Appointments, and Affiliations
Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System.
President of the Louisiana Veterans Research and Education Corporation.
Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Tulane University School of Medicine.
Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Louisiana State University School of Medicine.
Member of the Internal Advisory Committee at the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center.
Member of the Tulane University Violence Prevention Institute.
Member of Advisory Board at Louisiana Violent Death Reporting System in the Louisana Office of Public Health.
Contributions to Science
Understanding attention, judgment, and memory bias in pathological anxiety. Through the initial mentorship I received from Drs. Andrew Mathews and Edna Foa, I developed expertise in the study of cognitive bias associated with pathological anxiety. This scientific inquiry involved use of cognitive paradigms to understand how emotion impacts information processing, and in turn, how information processing bias furthers psychological distress. While I have studied attention, judgment, and memory bias, my primary interests have concerned appraisal bias. Most recently, my investigations have concerned developing strategies to modify biased appraisal.
Constans, J. I. & Mathews, A. M. (1993). Mood and the subjective risk of future events. Cognition and Emotion, 7(6), 545-560.
Constans, J. I., Foa, E. B., Franklin, M. E., & Mathews, A. (1995). Memory for actual and imagined events in OC checkers. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33(6), 665-671.
Constans, J. I., Penn, D. L., Ihen, G. H., & Hope, D. A. (1999). Interpretive biases for ambiguous stimuli in social anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 37(7), 643-651.
Peters, K., Constans, J. I., & Mathews, A. (2011). Experimental modification of attribution processes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120(1), 168-173.
Cognitive bias and neuropsychological deficits associated with PTSD. The majority of my research over the past 20 years has involved the study of attention, judgment, and memory in PTSD. While our projects have focused on understanding cognitive and neuropsychological components of PTSD, my research interest has primarily concerned investigating how beliefs and information-processing biases that are present following trauma are associated with the development of trauma-related psychopathology. More recent efforts have concerned development of computer-based, cognitive-bias-modification programs designed to correct biases related to psychopathology.
Vasterling, J. J., Brailey, K., Constans, J. I., & Sutker, P. B. (1998). Attention and memory dysfunction in posttraumatic stress disorder. Neuropsychology, 12(1), 125-133.
Constans, J. I., McCloskey, M. S., Vasterling, J. J., Brailey, K., & Mathews, A. (2004). Suppression of attentional bias in PTSD. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 113(2), 315-323.
Constans, J. I., Kimbrell, T. A., Nanney, J., Marx, B. P., Jegley, S., & Pyne, J. M. (2014). Over-reporting bias and the modified Stroop effect in Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom Veterans with and without PTSD. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123(1), 81-90.
Pyne, J. M., Constans, J. I., Nanney, J. T., Wiederhold, M. D., Gibson, D. P., Kimbrell, T., Kramer, T. L., Pitcock, J. A., Han, X., Williams, D. K., Chartrand, D., Gevirtz, R. N., Spira, J., Wiederhold, B. K., McCraty, R., & McCune, T. R. (2019). Heart rate variability and cognitive bias feedback interventions to prevent post-deployment PTSD: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Military Medicine, 184(1-2), e124-e132.
Preventing violent death including homicide and suicide. My work in a level I trauma center led me to understand that, for many victims of community violence, the most pressing health issue was subsequent violent re-injury or gun violence perpetration, rather than solely development of PTSD. My work at the VA has impressed upon me the role of firearms in suicide deaths as approximately 70% of all Veteran suicides are due to guns. Therefore, for the past few years, I have been developing a treatment framework designed to understand and modify beliefs and behaviors associated with risky firearm behaviors as it relates to suicide and homicide.
Wamser-Nanney, R. A., Nanney, J. T, & Constans, J. I. (2019). PTSD Symptoms and Attitudes Towards Guns. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Wamser-Nanney, R. A., Nanney, J. T., Conrad, E., & Constans, J. I. (2019). Childhood Trauma Exposure Among Victims of Gun Violence. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, and Policy, 11(1), 99-106.
Wamser-Nanney, R., Nanney, J. T., & Constans, J. I. (2019). The Gun Behaviors and Beliefs Scale: Development of a new measure of gun behaviors and beliefs. Psychology of Violence, 10(2), 172–181.
Wamser-Nanney, R.A., Nanney, J.T, & Constans, J.I. Trauma Exposure and Attitudes Towards Guns. Psychology of Violence. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Recent Grant Awards
Mentor: Examination of a Safety Aid Reduction Protocol for Treatment-Resistant PTSD among
Veterans (Amanda M. Raines, PI) Career Development Award-2, Office of Research and
Development, Clinical Science Research, and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs,
Direct costs - $764,933. April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2024.
Principal Investigator: Development and Evaluation of a Veteran-Informed Means Restriction
Intervention for Suicide Prevention (Jennifer True, co-PI). Office of Research and Development, Health Service Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs (1 I01 HX002947-01). Direct costs –179,075. October 1, 2019 – March 30-2021.
Mentor: Comparing the interactions of risk factors by method of suicide among Veterans: A
network analysis approach (Amanda Raines, PI). American Public Health Association New
Investigator Research Award. Total Award: $7,500. Award date: June 2019.
Local Site Investigator: Million Veterans Program. Office of Research and Development,
Department of Veterans Affairs (Michael Gaziano & John Concato, co-PIs). August 24, 2018 –