Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology


Health is "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."  This definition of health, as stated by the World Health Organization, has informed my approach to both mental health research and clinical practice, and reflects the larger philosophical question of how individuals can reach their full potential and how cultures and communities can act to impede or facilitate this potential. 

In examining this theme in multiple cultural and interdisciplinary contexts, I have undertaken research in the following areas:

  • Social constructions of sexuality, love and attachment in intimate relationships
  • Cross-cultural aspects of sexuality and reproductive health
  • Gender role conflicts in work and family life
  • The impact of human rights violations and gender violence on women’s mental health
  • Immigration policies and international sex workers’ rights and health
  • Harm Reduction and Housing First for individuals with dual-diagnosis
  • Recovery and community integration of individuals with histories of psychiatric disabilities, substance use and homelessness


I studied psychology at Duke University (B.S.) and New York University (Ph.D.) and have been an adjunct faculty member at New York University since 1998.  My background includes training in research design and statistical analysis, as well as couples therapy, motivational interviewing, group work and organizational change management.  Cross-cultural research and training is a particular area of focus.

Currently, I have a private practice with a focus on relationships, sexuality and sexual health. In my work with couples, I use an integrative psychotherapeutic approach involving the Gottman Method, Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and techniques based on cognitive psychology, positive psychology, attachment theory, mindfulness, and breathing and movement practices.

Previously, I headed research departments at organizations in New York City and conducted evaluation research on programs serving individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders as well as histories of homelessness.  I also focused on providing the technical assistance necessary to help non-profits develop, refine and test best practice models through incorporating an “outcomes framework” into their research and program evaluation agendas.

I have also worked as a trainer and consultant for organizations working to strengthen sexual and reproductive health worldwide.  Using my knowledge of best practices in the area of leadership and organizational change management, I developed educational materials and conducted trainings for a variety of organizations working on sexuality, health and human rights in Asia and the Middle East. Topics of interest include the role of religion on women’s sexual lives and relationships; attitudes related to virginity and pre-marital sex; forced marriages and honor crimes, and international sex workers’ rights. I am the co-founder of the Turkish NGO Women for Women's Human Rights. 

Courses Taught

  • G89.2040         Love and Attachment in Adult Relationships
  • G89.2083         Group Dynamics
  • G89.2043         Cross-Cultural Identities
  • G89.2057         Traumatic Stress Reactions


American Psychological Association, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Selected Publications

Gulcur, L., Tseng, T., Fields, D., & Cohen, A. (2011). The differential impact of housing and service use on quality of life and community integration of homeless individuals with and without mental illness. Partnership for the Homeless publication series.

Tseng, T., & Gulcur, L. (2011). A place of one’s own: The impact of housing choice, residential quality and neighborhood integration on the quality of life of individuals with histories of homelessness. Partnership for the Homeless publication series.

Gulcur, L., & Ilkkaracan, P. (2008).  The "Natasha" experience:  Migrant sex workers from the former Soviet Union in Turkey. In P. Ilkkaracan (Ed.) Deconstructing Sexuality in the Middle East: Challenges and Discourses. London: Ashgate.

Gulcur, L., Tsemberis, S., Stefancic, A., & Greenwood, R. (2007). Community integration of adults with psychiatric disabilities and histories of homelessness. Community Mental Health Journal, Vol. 43: 3, 211-228.

Padgett, D., Gulcur, L. & Tsemberis, S. (2006).  Housing First services for people who are homeless with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance abuse. Research on Social Work Practice, 16, 74-83.

Tsemberis, S., Gulcur, L., & Nakae, M. (2004).  Housing first, consumer choice, and harm reduction for individuals who are homeless with dual diagnosis: A 24-month follow-up. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 94:4, 651-656.

Gulcur, L., Stefancic, A., Shinn, M., Tsemberis, S., & Fischer, S. (2003). Housing, hospitalization and cost outcomes for homeless individuals with psychiatric disabilities participating in continuum of care and housing first programmes.  Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 13, 171-186.

Gulcur, L. (2000).  Evaluating the role of gender inequalities and rights violations in women's mental health. Health and Human Rights, Vol.5, No. 1, 46-66.

Gulcur, L. (1996).  Violence against women in the family: The Ankara study.  In P. Ilkkaracan, L. Gulcur, C. Arin (Eds.), The Myth of the Warm Home (Sicak Yuva Masali).  Istanbul: Metis Publications.

Gulcur, L., & Galinsky, E. (1993).  The role of gender and child care experiences in work-family conflict and stress.  Community Psychologist, 27:2, 41-44.



Twitter: @love_attachment