Ora Nakash, M.A., Ph.D.

Professor and Director of the Ph.D. Program

Headshot of Ora Nakash

Contact Information

Lilly 303


B.A. University of Haifa

M.A. Tel Aviv University

Ph.D. Boston University


Ora Nakash's scholarly work aims to generate innovative research to improve the access, equity and quality of care for disadvantaged and minority populations. She is particularly interested in identifying the mechanisms that underlie mental health service disparities as a result of people's social and cultural background and develop evidence-based interventions to reduce the detrimental effects these inequalities have on individuals, families and society at large.

To achieve these goals, Nakash uses a wide range of research methods, including epidemiological studies, laboratory experiments, and rigorously designed mixed-methods field studies across different clinical and educational contexts. In each of her research areas she intends to provide empirically driven and conceptually innovative insights that can advance both the theoretical understanding of the mechanisms underlying mental health disparities and to the applied clinical literature on eliminating disparities in mental health services and improving quality of care.

As a scientist-practitioner, Nakash maintains a strong commitment to issues of diversity and improvement of mental health care for marginalized populations throughout her academic and clinical work. Her research, which preserves an intimate relationship with insights from her clinical work, strives to "emerge from the field and return to the field." producing translational research that can assist in eliminating disparities in mental health

Prior to Smith College Nakash was a faculty at the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, where she also served as the school’s Associate Dean. Nakash's work has received extensive funding from European Union and Israeli National foundations, including European Union Marie Curie Reintegration grant, The Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research and Health Service Research and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation.

Selected Publications

Haj Yahia, M., Nakash, O., & Levav I. (2019). Mental Health Themes among Palestinian Citizens in Israel. Indiana University Press.

Levontin, L., Nakash, O. & Danziger, S. (2019). It takes two to self-disclose: Incremental theorists facilitate others’ self- disclosure more than do entity theorists. Journal of Personality, 87, 1264-1276

Nakash, O., Granek, L., Cohen, M., Bar-Sela, G., Geffen, D.B., Ben David, M. (in press). Does assessment method matter in detecting mental health distress among Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Israeli women with breast cancer?Health and Social Work

Nakash, O., Cohen, M.. Nagar, M. (2018). How should I do it"? Clinical dilemmas therapists struggle with during the mental health intake. Qualitative Social Work. Ahead of Print.

Nakash, O., & Nagar, M. (2018). Assessment of diagnostic information and quality of working alliance with clients diagnosed with personality disorders during the mental health intake. Journal of Mental Health. Ahead of Print.

Nakash, O., Cohen, M.., Nagar, M. (2018). Why to come for treatment?" Clients' and therapists' accounts of the presenting problems when seeking mental health care. Qualitative Health Research, 28, 916-926.

Alegria, M., Nakash, O., Hall, J., Ault-Brutus, A., Carson, N., Fillbrunn, M., Wang, Y., Cheng, A., Harris, T., Polo, A., Lincoln, A., Freeman, E., Bostdorf, B., Rosenbaum, M., Epelbaum, C., LaRoche, M., Okpokwasili-Johnson, E., Carrasco, M., Shrout, P. (2018). Effectiveness of DECIDE Intervention on Patient-Provider Shared Decision-Making and Quality of Care in Behavioral Health with Multicultural Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 75, 325-335.

Nakash, O., Nagar, M. & Westen, D. (2018). Agreement between clinician, patient, and independent interviewer ratings of adaptive functioning and developmental history. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 206, 116-121.

Granek, L., Nakash, O., Ben-David, M., Shapira, S., & Ariad, S. (2018). Oncologists’, Nurses’ and Social Workers’ Strategies and Barriers to Identifying Suicide Risk in Cancer Patients. Psycho-Oncology, 27, 148-154

Nagar, M., Westen, D, & Nakash, O. (2018). Reliability of DSM and empirically derived prototype diagnosis for mood, anxiety and personality disorders. Comprehensive Psychiatry. Ahead of Print.

Granek, L. & Nakash, O. (2017). The Impact of Militarism, Patriarchy and Culture on Israeli Women’s Reproductive Health and Well-Being. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 893-900.

Nakash, O., Luria, I., Shoshani, A., Nagar, M. (2017) The Association between Perceived Social Support and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms among Eritrean and Sudanese Asylum Seekers in Israel. International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, 10, 261-275.