Pia Tohme

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology
Program Lead, Psychology

Dr. Pia Tohme Khalaf graduated with a PhD from University College London, investigating parental mentalizing capacities with regards to their adolescent identical twins and its effects on attachment security.

Dr. Tohme Khalaf is trained in the Approach to Parenting Teenagers from the Open Door Young People’s consultation services and in Mentalization Based Therapy for Children and Adolescents, as well as its application in a school setting, from the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, London. She currently works in private practice with children, adolescents and their parents, based on attachment and mentalizing principles and is a preschool consultant psychotherapist. She is involved in the setting up of fun and accessible activities for toddlers and preschoolers, focusing on emotion expression and emotion regulation. She regularly gives parenting workshops discussing creative hands-on ideas promoting healthy development throughout childhood and communication skills in adolescence. She also volunteers in various NGOs working with children in need.

Research Interests

Her main research interests focus on the cross-cultural application of the construct of attachment in Lebanon, as well as the role played by mentalizing in our culture, in promoting healthy development from infancy through to adolescence. She conducts research at Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf, focusing on theory of mind in young children and mentalizing in adolescents with hearing difficulties.

She is currently part of a team of researchers investigating the parent-child bond prenatally, and its impact on attachment postpartum as well as child adjustment in the first year of life.

SDGs Research Mapping

Dr. Pia Tohme conducts research relevant to the following SDGs:

Selected Publications

  • Tohme, P., Nassar, E., Badr, K., Grey, I., & Abi-Habib, R. (2022). Exploring attachment security in a sample of Lebanese adolescents: The validation of the Arabic IPPA-R. PLoS ONE.

  • Tohme, P. & Abi-Habib, R. (2022). Correlates of work productivity and maternal competence after having a baby: The roles of mother-infant bonding and maternal subjective experiences. BMC Women’s Health.
  • Tohme, P., Abi-Habib, R., Nassar, E., Hamed, N., Abou-Ghannam, G., & Chalouhi, G. (2022). The Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Pregnancy and Mother-Infant Prenatal Bonding. Maternal and Child Health Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-022-03464-9
  • Abi-Habib, R., Chaaya, R., Yaktine, N., & Tohme, P.* (2022). Letter to Editor: Predictors of the Impostor Phenomenon. Asian Journal of Psychiatry. 75, 103208https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2022.103208
  • Tohme, P., Grey, I., El-Tawil M.T., & Abi-Habib, R. (2022). Prevalence and correlates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after the Beirut Port Explosion: The roles of mentalizing and resilience. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. 
  • Tohme, P.* & Kolev, M. (2021). Mentalizing glasses: Multifocal attention in Mentalization Based Treatment and the role of the supervision. Frontiers in Psychology, Psychopathology. 12, 708393. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.708393
  • De Witte, N. A. J, Carlbring, P., Etzelmueller, A., Nordgreen, T., Karekla, M., Haddouk, L., Belmont, A., Øverland, S., Abi-Habib, R., Bernaerts, S., Brugnera, A., Compare, A., Duque, A., Ebert, D. D., Eimontas, J., Kassianos, A. P., Salgado, J., Schwerdtfeger, A., Tohme, P., Van Assche, E., & Van Daele, T. (2021). Online consultations in mental healthcare during the COVID-19 Outbreak: An international survey study on professionals’ motivations and perceived barriers. Internet Interventions, 25, 100405. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2021.100405
  • Tohme, P., De Witte, N., Van Daele, T., & Abi-Habib, R. (2021). Telepsychotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic: The experience of Lebanese mental health professionals. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 51, 349-355.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-021-09503-w
  • Rameh, G., Tohme, P., Abi-Habib, R., & Chalouhi, G. (2021). Letter to the Editor in Response to ‘Parental attachment and depressive symptoms in pregnancies complicated by twin-twin transfusion syndrome: a cohort study.’ BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 21, 242. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-021-03688-7
  • Desatnik, A., Jarvis, C., Hickin, N., Taylor, L., Trevatt, D., Tohme, P., & Lorenzini, N. (2021). Preliminary Real-World Evaluation of an Intervention for Parents of Adolescents: The Open Door Approach to Parenting Teenagers (APT). Journal of Child and Family Studies. 30, 38-50. doi: 10.1007/s10826-020-01855-6
  • Tohme, P., Grey, I., & Abi-Habib, R. (2021). The Mental State Task (MST): Correlates and new perspectives on mentalizing in a Lebanese student sample. Journal of Personality Assessment, 103(4), 498-508. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2020.1769114
  • Grey, I., Arora, T., Thomas, J., Saneh, A., Tohme, P., Abi-Habib, R. (2020). The Role of Perceived Social Support on Depression and Sleep during the COVID19 Pandemic, Psychiatry Research, 293, 113452. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113452
  • Abi-Habib, R., Wehbe, N., Badr, K., & Tohme, P.* (2020). Do prisoners mentalize differently? Investigating attachment and reflective functioning in a sample of incarcerated Lebanese men. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 19(2), 183-197. https://doi.org/10.1080/14999013.2019.1684403



  • Matanova, V., Kolev, M. & Tohme, P. & Kostova, Z. (2020). Brain-Based Treatment: A New Approach or a Well-Forgotten Old One? Neuropsychology and Psychotherapy. New York, Nova Science Publishers. ISBN: 978-1-53616-951-5
  • Co-Editor of the Therapy Manual: The Open Door Approach to Parenting Teenagers (APT), 2013, London, UK

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, 2014, University College London (UCL, Psychoanalysis Unit), London, UK
  • MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology, 2008, University College London (UCL, Anna Freud Centre), London, UK
  • BA in Psychology, 2007, The American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut, Lebanon