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Program Overview

Psychiatry & Behavioral Services in Washington DC

Outpatient Division

Our outpatient psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric social workers provide psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and interpersonal psychotherapies for a breadth of mental health problems and diagnoses, as well as emotion-focused couple therapy for couple and marital problems. Our psychiatrists have expertise in treating mood, anxiety, posttraumatic, and psychotic disorders with medications. Our neuropsychologist provides neuropsychological diagnostic assessment of cognitive and neurological disorders. Our outpatient division has been a national center for development of brief psychotherapies for managing crises or resolving mental health problems within a limited number of sessions.

Inpatient Division

Our GW Hospital psychiatric services provide rapid assessment and stabilization for mental health crises. Our 20-bed inpatient psychiatry service provides acute treatment that resolves symptoms and improves functioning sufficiently that a patient can be transitioned from inpatient care to outpatient community-based care.

Research Division

Our Research Division focuses its efforts on care for the “bottom billion” of individuals world-wide and in the U.S. who suffer adversities of poverty, lack of access to health and mental health services, and displacement from their family homes. Our global mental health programs strive to improve mental health services delivery in low- and middle-income countries, in settings of armed conflict, and for refugees and displaced persons.

Among our 2017-2018 accomplishments were:

  • Grant funded research studies and mental health services projects in China, Brazil, Tunisia, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, and Nepal. These programs seek to increase access to mental health services for low-income and remote populations through innovations in mental health service delivery, training programs for local mental health workers, and programs to reduce stigma that hinders access to mental health services;
  • $2,100,000 in research funding by the National Institute of Mental Health, the United Kingdom Medical Research Council, the Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organization;
  • 35 refereed journal articles on global mental health topics;
  • Development of “Hope Modules” as brief psychosocial interventions that can be effectively employed under high stress, chaotic conditions faced by refugees and those in low-income countries and regions of armed conflict;
  • Expansion of our humanitarian disaster response team to include a program for hurricane-preparedness in the British Virgin Islands and creation of an NGO in Puerto Rico to address post-disaster mental health needs;
  • Locally, training and research programs with U.S. refugee populations at the Northern Virginia Family Services and in our departmental Human Rights Clinic that provides forensic psychiatric services for political asylees;
  • Regionally, the launching of a Mental Health Disparities Program in Central Appalachia with the American Psychiatric Association and regional health systems and academic centers of eastern Tennessee and Kentucky and southern Virginia. This program promotes mental health and targets the “diseases of despair”— depression, opioid and methamphetamine addiction, obesity, cigarette smoking.

An important dimension of our research program is the training it provides for our psychiatry residents and medical school students in research methods. A nationally regarded training program in cultural psychiatry and global mental health for our psychiatry residents, was recognized by the 2016 Creativity in Psychiatric Education Award from the American College of Psychiatrists.

Clinical Trials

  • Enhancing Fear Extinction via Angiotensin Type 1 Receptor Inhibition: A randomized Controlled Trial in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of losartan during 10 weeks of treatment for adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
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