Mentor Support Team

Joseph Geraci

Consultant & Researcher

Joseph Geraci is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor at the Hudson Valley Center for Development (St. Luke’s Hospital in Cornwall, NY), a clinical psychology doctoral student at Columbia University (Teachers College) in the Loss, Trauma, and Emotion lab, and a Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) in the United States Army. As an Infantry officer, Geraci has deployed to Afghanistan with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 10th Mountain Division. As a mental health counselor at the Hudson Valley Center for Development, he provides psychotherapy and counseling services for Veterans, Emergency Service Personnel and their families.


Being a combat leader, scholar and a mental health provider has provided him with a unique viewpoint that he hopes to use to assist Veterans and their families to successfully transition into the civilian sector as the next leaders of communities and businesses. Joe and his wife like mentoring their three boys with their academics and athletics. He also likes triathlons and Crossfit. Joe is inspired by the Warriors he has served with in the past and will serve with in the future.


George A. Bonnano, PhD

George A. Bonanno, Ph.D. is a Professor of Clinical Psychology. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1991.  His research and scholarly interestes have centered on the question of how human beings cope with loss, trauma and other forms of extreme adversity, with an emphasis on resilience and the salutary role of flexible coping and emotion regulatory processes. Professor Bonanno’s recent empirical and theoretical work has focused on defining and documenting adult resilience in the face of loss or potential traumatic events, and on identifying the range of psychological and contextual variables that predict both psychopathological and resilient outcomes. He was co-editor of Emotion: Current Issues and Future Directions (Guilford) and recently authored The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells us about Life After Loss (Basic Books).

Yvette Branson, PhD

Yvette Branson has been with the VA since 2007, first as a post doctoral student in behavioral health research and then as the coordinator in Mental Health services of the suicide prevention program. As Suicide Prevention Coordinator, she trained over 1,000 staff members in the Gatekeeper training known as Operation SAVE, a training that uses the public health model to prevent suicide. Dr Branson now works with veterans on college campuses in a pilot project known as the VITAL Initiative (Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership). In addition she has a personal interest in the issue of stigma and barriers within our community to seeking help in mental health services.


She earned her PHD in Clinical Health Psychology in 2006 from Yeshiva University. Dr Branson was formerly an orchestral musician and teacher, holding a masters in education as well as in music performance. She has a private practice on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.