Debra Kaysen received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri. She completed an internship at the University of Washington and continued there to complete an NIAAA-funded F32 to study the area of overlap between PTSD and alcohol use disorders. Dr. Kaysen joined the faculty at University of Washington in 2006 in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. While there she founded a program to develop and test more accessible interventions for individuals suffering from mental health symptoms following traumatic events. Dr. Kaysen joined the Stanford faculty in 2019.
Dr. Kaysen’s area of specialty both in research and clinical work is in treatment for those who have experienced traumatic events including treatment of PTSD and related disorders. She has conducted critical studies on treatment of PTSD and/or substance use across a variety of populations (sexual minority women, Native Americans, sexual assault survivors, torture survivors, active duty military), settings (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, primary care, rural settings), and modalities (telephone based, web-based). Other research conducted by Dr. Kaysen have focused on increasing our understanding of how PTSD and substance use may influence each other. Dr. Kaysen is a Past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (www.istss.org). Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Department of Defense, PCORI, and USAID.
Dr. Kaysen is currently involved in helping develop and implement coping strategies for healthcare workers dealing with mental health concerns related to COVID-19. Dr. Kaysen's clinical work has been featured on This American Life (https://www.thisamericanlife.org/682/ten-sessions).