• Adjunct Professor, Global Health
  • Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Debra Kaysen

Center for the Study of Health & Risk Behaviors
1100 NE 45th Street, Office 338
Box 354944
Seattle, WA 98105
United States

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Dr. Kaysen is a clinical psychologist, and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. She is the Director of the Trauma Recovery Innovations Program at the University of Washington, a division dedicated to addressing the mental health gap by developing more accessible interventions for trauma-exposed populations. In addition, Dr. Kaysen has a robust research portfolio on PTSD and addictions, which includes both etiologic and prevention/treatment-oriented studies. She has received grants from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institutes of Drug Abuse, and the Department of Defense. She has been highly productive in disseminating her work with over 100 peer reviewed publications. Dr. Kaysen is board certified in cognitive and behavioral psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Kaysen has conducted clinical trials for treatment of trauma exposed populations in Northern and Southern Iraq and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The following are articles on Dr. Kaysen's work in the Democratic Republic of Congo:
"Therapy for Victims of Sexual Violence Shows Promise in Congo," New York Times
"Easing the Trauma of Rape: Therapy Used for PTSD Also Helps Women in Congo,"Seattle Times
"Therapy for Sexual-violence Survivors Shows Promise," The Daily
"Why is mental illness so low on the global health agenda? " Humanosphere


  • PhD (University of Missouri - St. Louis)
  • MA (University of Missouri - St. Louis)
  • English
Health Topics 
  • Gender
  • Injury, Violence, Trauma and Domestic Violence
  • Maternal Child Health (incl. Reproductive Health)
  • Mental Health
  • MHealth
  • Research

Weiss, W., Murray, L., Zangana, G., Mahmooth, Z., Kaysen, D., Dorsey, S., Lindgren, K., Gross, A., Murray, S., Bass, J., & Bolton, P. (2015). Community-based mental health treatments for survivors of torture and militant attacks in Southern Iraq: A randomized control trial. BMC Psychiatry, 15(1), 1-16.

Bolton, P., Bass, J. K., Sabir Zangana, G. A., Kamal, T., Murray, S. M., Kaysen, D., Lejuez, C. W., Lindgren, K., Pagoto, S., Murray, L. K., Skavenski Van Wyk, S., Ahmed, A. M. A., Mohammad Amin, N. M. , & Rosenblum, M. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of mental health interventions for survivors of systematic violence in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. BMC Psychiatry, 14(1), 360-375. PMCID: PMC4301059

Hall, B. J., Bolton, P., Annan, J., Kaysen, D., Robinette, K., Ceinoglu, T., Wachter, K. & Bass, J. K. (2014). The effect of cognitive therapy on structural social capital: Results from a randomized controlled trial among sexual violence survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The American Journal of Public Health 104(9), 1680-1686.

Bass, J., Annan, J., Murray, S. M., Kaysen, D., Griffiths, S., Cetinoglu, T., Wachter, K., Murray, L. K., & Bolton, P. A. (2013). Controlled trial of psychotherapy for Congolese survivors of sexual violence. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(23), 2182-2191.

Kaysen, D., Lindgren, K., Sabir Zangana, G. A., Murray, L., Bass, J., & Bolton, P. (2013). Adaptation of cognitive processing therapy for treatment of torture victims: Experience in Kurdistan, Iraq. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy 5(2), 184-192.