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Gerard Costa, Ph.D. - Fielding Graduate University. Montclair, NJ, CA, US

Gerard Costa, Ph.D.

Associate Faculty - Infant & Early Childhood Development - School of Psychology | Fielding Graduate University


Committed to professional "formation" in student development, with emphasis on "ways of knowing", "ways of doing" and "ways of being."


Dr. Gerard Costa is a licensed developmental psychologist and founding director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University. He holds certificates in the Brazelton Touchpoints model, DIR-C®, and Infant Mental Health. He was a gubernatorial appointment to the New Jersey Council for Young Children; and is Principal Investigator of the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) Coordinating Center at Montclair State University, that oversees more than 20 clinical research sites in New Jersey.

Dr. Costa also heads the New Jersey Initiatives that oversee the Pyramid Model, infant and early childhood mental health professional development, and promote full inclusion. He led statewide multi-year projects on Infant Mental Health in Wyoming and South Dakota. He is a training leader in the DIR approach and is a member of the Board of Directors of ICDL. He oversaw the development and continuing implementation of a statewide infant-child mental health professional development curriculum, "Keeping Babies and Children in Mind." Dr. Costa has published papers and presented on autism; infant mental health; and professional and human development, throughout the United States and the world.

Industry Expertise (6)



Health and Wellness

Mental Health Care

Program Development

Professional Training and Coaching

Areas of Expertise (7)

Infant Mental Health

Developmental Approaches to Autism

Impact of Exposure to Trauma and Violence on Children

Interpersonal Neurobiology

Professional Formation (Development/Education)

Philosophy of Science and Evaluation of Evidence

Relationship-based Intervention and the Power of Affect

Education (4)

Temple University: PhD, Psychology: Deductive Reasoning 1988

Temple University: MA, Developmental Psychology 1978

Fairleigh Dickinson: MA, General-Theoretical Psychology 1976

St. Peter's College: BS, Psychology 1973

Media Appearances (5)

Trauma and its impact on brain development in children 0-3

(2014) Advocates for Children of New Jersey  online

1 of 2 webinars

The unintended consequences of court intervention on children 0-3

(2014) Advocates for Children of New Jersey  online

2 of 2 webinars

Stress and the Young Child

(2013) Zero to Three, Army New Parent Support Program  online

Audio conference: Writer and featured speaker

Using Children’s Books to Promote Social, Emotional and Intellectual Development

(2010) Mommybites: Support, Resources, Education, Connections in New York, NY  online

Writer and featured speaker 1 of 2 video podcasts

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Do Babies Have Emotional Lives?

(2010) Mommybites: Support, Resources, Education, Connections in New York, NY  

Writer and featured speaker

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Articles (4)

Stronger than the storm: Keeping infants and young children in mind during the response to superstorm Sandy

(2013) Zero to Three

Costa, G., Mulrooney, K & Spinazzola, N.

What Staff Development Activities Can Be Used to Build Reflective Capacity?

(2009) Zero to Three Press

Costa, G. & Sullivan, Chapter 9, A Practical Guide to Reflective Supervision

Pervasive developmental disorders

(2009) John Wiley & Son

Costa, G. ,& Witten, M.R., Chapter 4, Evidence Based Practice in Infant and Early Childhood Psychology

Evaluations of causal and conditional hypotheses

(1986) The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

O'Brien, D.P., Costa, G., and Overton, W.F.