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Project Team

project team

Anne Fishel, PhD, Executive Director, and co-founder of The Family Dinner Project (TFDP) is a family therapist, clinical psychologist, and Associate Professor of Psychology (part-time), at the Harvard Medical School. She is also Director of the Family and Couples Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she trains child and adult psychiatry residents and psychology interns in family therapy.

She has published numerous scholarly articles and chapters about family issues and has also written articles for NPR, PBS, Washington Post, LA Times, and other media outlets. She is the author of three books: A Life-Cycle Approach to Treating Couples: From Dating to Death (Momentum Press, 2018); Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun, and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids (Harper Collins, 2015) and Treating the Adolescent in Family Therapy: A Developmental and Narrative Approach (Rowman and Littlefield, 1999) She is a co-author of Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook (Familius, 2019), written with other members of TFDP team. Her many decades of work as a family therapist and her research for Home for Dinner provided the conceptual backbone for The Family Dinner Project.

She lectures widely at academic conferences, medical Grand Rounds, and to parent and teacher groups. She has been featured in media articles, radio shows, and TV appearances, including NYT, CNN, ABC news, WSJ, The Guardian, Web MD, and NPR. She is the mother of two adult sons who are better and more adventurous cooks than their mother.

Brianne DeRosa, MFA, is the Content Manager for The Family Dinner Project. As a freelance writer and consultant to nonprofit organizations, she has spent over two decades working in communications, program development and creative initiatives. Bri has written about food and family for numerous outlets, including Motherwell Magazine, Yahoo! Parenting, HandPicked Nation, KidsNation Magazine, Real Mom Nutrition, and The Lunch Tray. She has contributed to the Cooking with Trader Joe’s: Easy Lunchboxes cookbook as well as the Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide, and is a co-author of TFDP’s book, Eat, Laugh, Talk: The Family Dinner Playbook. Bri has the opportunity to practice her family dinner skills every day with her husband and two teenage sons.

Allison White, PhD, community facilitator for The Family Dinner Project, helps lead workshops and trainings to families and professional organizations across the country on how to help families yield the many benefits of regular family dinners. Allison is also a clinical psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where she offers therapy to children, teens, families, parents, and couples. Additionally, she is an Instructor of Psychology at the Harvard Medical School and trains psychology interns and child psychiatry fellows in family therapy. With a master’s degree in prevention science from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Allison often discusses how to have more fun, meaningful family dinners with her patients, with the knowledge that regular family dinners help prevent a multitude of psychiatric issues. Outside of work, she enjoys visiting her home state of California and teaching fitness classes at local gyms.

Lianna Karp, MD, is a community facilitator for The Family Dinner Project. She uses her training in child and adolescent psychiatry to provide consultation on Family Dinner initiatives, and to educate families about the mental health benefits of regular family dinner. Dr. Karp works at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Chelsea Community HealthCare Center, the Family and Couples Therapy Program, and the MGH Community PRIDE research team. She has a particular interest in making Family Dinners accessible to all communities, regardless of socioeconomic status or other barriers. In her other work, she has coached teachers and school staff to deliver cognitive and behavioral therapy skills to their students and has led workshops for caregivers on self-compassion at Harvard Medical School as well as local and national conferences. Lately, she has loved witnessing her son explore the wild world of solid foods!

Melinda Morrill, PhD, MSW, researcher for The Family Dinner Project, helps design, analyze, and disseminate research data about the role of family dinner in the wellbeing of families. She holds a research appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where she completed her postdoctoral research fellowship and an NRSA T32 at the Harvard Medical School. Additionally, she worked as a staff psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department at MGH, focusing on couples and parents. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire, and has a private practice working with couples, families, and parents in Massachusetts. Dr. Morrill’s research focuses on risk and protective factors for vulnerable families, with the goal of preventing psychological, social, and physical distress across multiple generations. She recently transitioned back from a 3-year stint in Austria where she worked as a Research Scientist, and where she enjoyed a lot of running in the Alps and trying keep up with her two school-aged children, who learned German much faster than her.