We hope that this packet gives you a sense of the kind of work that we are doing in our lab here, the PTSD Treatment and Research Program, and the opportunities for students that are available. Our work is focused on intervention studies, primarily in the area of PTSD. We are a busy, productive group and we hope our lab page will give you a good glimpse into the work that we do.
Our Mission Statement
The PTSD Treatment and Research Program is a team of insatiably curious individuals dedicated to carrying out strong, interdisciplinary science and delivering compassionate, evidence-based care. We aim to close the gap between research and practice through working to better understand the biological and psychological principles underlying trauma-related risk and resilience, treatment optimization, and the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments to ultimately improve access to quality care.
What is PTSD?
In the U.S., it is estimated that at least 50-60% of the population will experience a potentially traumatic event, such as a physical or sexual assault or motor vehicle accident, during their lifetime. Fortunately, most people do not develop long lasting psychological difficulties after a traumatic event. Among those who do however, the most common constellation of such difficulties is called posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms of PTSD fall into three clusters: reexperiencing (e.g., intrusive and distressing thoughts about the event); avoidance (e.g., pushing away thoughts or memories of the trauma, or staying away from situations, people, and places that are reminders of the trauma); and hyperarousal (e.g., sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, feeling on guard or jumpy). In order to meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD, these difficulties must persist for at least one month after the trauma and cause significant impairment in functioning. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD are the same for adults and children.