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2020 Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker


Workshop Description

Treating individuals diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Anxiety Disorders in virtual environments has moderately increased since the first research on the use of virtual reality (VR) to treat a psychological issue was published in 1995. VR aims to parallel reality and create a world that is both immersive and interactive. This keynote address will provide a brief history of the introduction of VR into mental health treatment and clinical research. There will be a discussion of common treatments for PTSD and Anxiety Disorders and reasons VR was chosen as part of the course of treatment for individuals diagnosed with these disorders. A review of a typical course of treatment with VR will be given including basic steps. Finally, an intensive outpatient treatment model and pilot data will be presented.



Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD is Executive Director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program. She is a professor and Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research at Emory School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program and holds the Paul A. Janssen Chair in Neuropsychopharmcology.

Dr. Rothbaum specializes in research on the treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly PTSD. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Study on Assessment of Ongoing Efforts in the Treatment of PTSD, and briefed the DOD, VA, House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees on the IOM report results (June 17-18, 2014). Dr. Rothbaum has been studying PTSD treatments since 1986 and has developed, tested, and disseminated some of the most innovative and effective treatments available for PTSD. She is an inventor of virtual reality exposure therapy. She was a pioneer in applying it in the treatment of PTSD in combat veterans. She has authored over 300 scientific papers and chapters, has published 5 books on the treatment of PTSD and edited 3 others on anxiety, and received the Diplomate in Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology.

She is a past president of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), is currently on the Scientific Advisory Boards for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), National Center for PTSD (NC-PTSD), and McLean Hospital, and the executive committee of the Warrior Care Network. She is a fellow of the ACNP (American College of Neuropsychopharmacology), The National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), and American Psychological Association’s Division 56 (Division of Trauma Psychology) and was awarded the 2010 “Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Trauma Psychology” for APA Division 56 and the Robert S. Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). Her outreach efforts include training community clinicians in evidenced based treatment for PTSD.