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PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Research Group

The PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Research Group focuses on trauma-related disorders, which have become a major area of clinical and research interest for Psychiatry faculty.

Events such as the September 11th terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, school shootings, and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have served to draw public attention to the plight of trauma survivors and the families of victims. Trauma, however, does not only happen in large public crises. On a daily basis, both children and adults experience interpersonal violence and serious accidents that threaten their lives and physical well-being.

Trauma exposure is associated not only with injury, death, and economic loss, but also with painful and debilitating emotional disorders, both acute and long-term. Seven people in every hundred have had PTSD at some point in their lives, and many more have had other problems related to traumatic experiences. Although there are now treatments that can help, many people with post-traumatic psychological problems are neither adequately diagnosed nor treated, leading to worse outcomes.

While the research on trauma-related disorders has made great strides in the last 20 years, existing knowledge needs to be broadly translated into more useful interventions for survivors of traumatic events. Effective treatments for PTSD exist, but many providers and survivors do not know this. It is imperative for the mental health field to develop models, techniques and tools for delivering effective, feasible treatments to survivors suffering from trauma-related disorders.

Our Dartmouth-Hitchcock Trauma Interventions Research Center is dedicated to developing, disseminating, and evaluating effective treatments for trauma-related disorders, with a special focus on working within state agencies, community mental health systems, and other institutions in New Hampshire. The Center is closely aligned with the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, whose members also conduct research on trauma, as well as a broad range of psychiatric issues.

We work collaboratively with other research centers, such as:

  • Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH): The CTBH team shares a goal of harnessing existing and emerging technologies to effectively develop and deliver evidence-based interventions for substance use and co-occurring disorders. CTBH is organized into three primary cores: Treatment Development and Evaluation, Emerging Technologies and Data Analytics, and Dissemination and Implementation Core. Core activities focus on identifying and studying state-of-the-art issues related to technology-delivered therapeutic tools targeting behavioral health. To learn more, please refer to the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health website.
  • National Center for PTSD (Executive Division): Established in 1989 by congressional mandate, the oldest of the trauma-focused centers affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry is the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. NCPTSD consists of seven divisions across the U.S. The Center's Executive Division in White River Junction, VT directs strategic planning and policy across the Center's seven divisions. To learn more, please refer to the National Center for PTSD website.
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