Pia Tohme

Assistant Professor of Clinical 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.

Selected Publications:


  1. Tohme, P., Grey, I., & Abi-Habib, R. (2020, accepted). The Mental State Task (MST): Correlates and new perspectives on mentalizing in Lebanon. Journal of Personality Assessment.
  2. 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
  3. Schwartz, A., Obeid, R., Abi-Habib, R., Tohme, P. & Shane Simpson, C. (2020). I Love My Selfie! An Investigation of Overt and Covert Narcissism to Understand Selfie-Posting Behaviors within Three Geographic Communities. Computers in Human Behavior. 104. 106158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.106158


  1. 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
  2. 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