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PTSD Research and Treatment Lab, located at the Case Western Reserve University Department of Psychological Sciences
We asked each of the PTSD Research and Treatment Lab’s graduate student ABCT members:
- What is your area of research interest?
- How has ABCT been helpful to you?
- If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?
Alexander Kline, M.A.
- My research interests center around unpacking interventions for PTSD and investigating ways to increase their efficacy and reach. I have great interest in predictors and processes linked to clinical outcomes, particularly treatment response and dropout.
- ABCT provides exposure to novel, exciting work both within and outside my own area of research, and provides opportunities to showcase our work. ABCT has made a tremendous impact on my clinical and research interests.
- I would attend ABCT’s conference, where you can present your work, attend poster sessions and symposia, and connect with other researchers. ABCT showcases innovative ongoing work in the field and provides various networking opportunities as well.
Allison Baier, M.A.
- I am particularly interested in understanding mechanisms underlying treatment outcomes, such as treatment response and dropout. I am also interested in effectively increasing dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions for PTSD.
- ABCT has been an invaluable resource for exploring cutting-edge research, sharing my own work, and networking with other researchers.
- I would recommend getting involved in special interest groups that align with your clinical research interests and submitting your work to the annual conference.
Alexandra Klein, B.A.
- Broadly, my research interests are in increasing access to evidence-based interventions for individuals with PTSD. Within this realm, I am interested in 1) optimizing interventions to increase relevancy and accessibility and reduce patient and provider burden in low-resource populations; 2) understanding who benefits from which treatments and why; and 3) developing tools to appropriately match individuals to optimal treatments.
- ABCT has been helpful to me at various points in my career. As an undergraduate, I learned about a research assistant position for after graduation through the ABCT list serve. Further, At the ABCT annual conference, I was able to take advantage of the networking opportunities, learn a ton about my field, and solidify my interests in pursuing treatment research.
- I would recommend attending the annual conference and finding a special interest group (SIG) that interests you. These are really great networking opportunities, where you can meet people from all career stages. Conferences are also where the most groundbreaking research is being presented for the first time. It’s a great way to learn about where your field of interest is going, who the big players are, and to find what you’re passionate about.
Other students in the PTSD Research and Treatment Lab:
Alex Rothbaum, M.A.
Kathy Benhamou, B.A.
Norah Feeny, Ph.D.
Dr. Feeny is a licensed clinical psychologist, Professor, and former (until January 2019) Director of Clinical Training at Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Psychological Sciences. She teaches, mentors, and provides clinical supervision at graduate and undergraduate levels. As Director of the PTSD Treatment and Research Program, she has been PI and co-investigator on multiple NIMH-funded clinical trials, with over 150 publications that focus on cognitive-behavioral treatments for PTSD, treatment preferences, and processes underlying treatment efficacy. Her work has involved her in sexual assault programs, emergency departments, and treatment programs for anxiety and depression. Dr. Feeny received the 2017 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Distinguished Mentorship Award.
Broadly, our laboratory focuses on the development and evaluation of cognitive behavioral treatments for anxiety and mood disorders. Most of our work is focused in the area of PTSD specifically. We have ongoing research evaluating evidence-based treatments for PTSD, understanding what predicts who will benefit from such treatments, which treatments people prefer, and what might predict PTSD development in emergency department settings. Further, we are currently conducting an RCT examining the preliminary efficacy of a lay-led group intervention for Somali refugees with trauma-related difficulties. We have also conducted research in the area of depression and bipolar disorder in youth and pediatric PTSD.
How do you stay current with developments in the field, both research and practice?
I try to stay current by reading relevant research literature and attending and presenting at conferences. I also collaborate often with other researchers doing similar research, including the University of Washington Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress. In addition, I regularly engage in research efforts with my lab and we discuss current research as a group. I also teach graduate classes in psychopathology and psychotherapy. which forces me to be up to date on the literature in those areas. Finally, I read a lot as a member of editorial boards and as a grant reviewer at various organizations, including the NIMH.
What conferences do you regularly attend and why?
ABCT was one of my first conferences!!! I try to attend the annual meeting whenever I can. I also often attend the annual conferences for the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
A long time! I have been a member since 1999.
How has ABCT helped you professionally?
ABCT has been a wonderful place to keep up to date on the latest research, present our ongoing work, learn about areas I am less familiar with, and connect with colleagues. ABCT provides a great environment for me to help my students progress in their careers, from new collaborators to planning for internship and postdoc. On a more personal note, ABCT provides a venue to keep up with those I care about in the field and don’t get to see often enough!
How do you see the future of ABCT for both you and your students?
I see ABCT as a continued source for the promotion of evidence-based practice. I believe it will continue to promote the dissemination of evidence-based practices and rally the field for this cause. I think ABCT will continue to be a venue important to the exchange of ideas across specific disorders. As healthcare and healthcare delivery continue to evolve at a fast pace, I think ABCT and its members will be a necessary force to advocate for evidence-based change.
Are your students members of ABCT? If so, what has been most useful for them?
Many of my students have been or are members of ABCT. I always encourage my students to join ABCT and go to the annual conference. My students have particularly found it helpful to present posters, give talks, and serve on panels. I know there has also been high value to them in networking with a focus on their post-graduate career trajectory.
For prospective students:
ABCT can provide a great foundation for evidence-based practice, research, and a feel for the field. The benefits include initiatives like this one, that expose you to researchers and work without having to dive deep into the literature. We have a strong lab that is dedicated to many of the same causes as ABCT and its members. Any potential students who are interested in research on developing and evaluating PTSD treatments should consider applying to join our lab. We believe that part of our duty as scientists is training the next generation. Our students have many opportunities to participate in research, work on their own projects, as well as collaborate on projects within the field. We foster an environment of collaboration and cross-mentorship to students with a wide range of end-goals in terms of career. Many of our graduates continue to be members and attend ABCT.