Trauma and Trauma Recovery:
An Update on Neurobiology and Treatment, with a Specific Emphasis on Working with Refugee Populations

Spring Conference & Annual Meeting
Saturday, March 16, 2019

8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Swedish Cherry Hill Campus - James Tower Educational Conference Center
621 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

This program seeks to educate general practice psychiatrists in the state of Washington in the current understanding of trauma and trauma-related disorders, trauma recovery, and working with refugee populations. It will specifically focus on education about the neurobiology of PTSD, treatment of PTSD, evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD and working with refugee populations. It will include a case based discussion to integrate and consolidate understanding of these particular areas related to trauma and trauma recovery.

This program will increase the general psychiatrist's knowledge base about the neurobiology of trauma and current evidence-based treatments for trauma-related disorders. This knowledge base will enable general psychiatrists to talk with and educate patients about the underlying neurobiology of their disorder as well as how recovery occurs. It will improve competence and skills in providing and referring for current evidence-based treatments for PTSD. It will improve their understanding about the specific needs of refugee populations exposed to trauma, and improve the cultural competence with which they provide care. This will improve patient outcomes with these disorders.

Featured Presenters

Arash Javanbakht, MD, Wayne State University

Assistant Professor (Research Educator)
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

Arash Javanbakht, MD went to medical school in Iran, and finished his research track residency at the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry. He is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Since 2015, Dr. Javanbakht has served as director for Trauma and Anxiety Disorder Research and the medical director for Trauma and Anxiety Disorder Clinical.

His research is focused on the underlying neurobiological body and brain mechanisms in anxiety disorders and PTSD, and how psychotherapy works. He is specifically interested in the role of personal meaning and cognitive interpretation of (or information about) traumatic events in the way people are differently traumatized by those events. He also researches the neurobiology of cognitive, cultural, physical, and temporal context invulnerability or resilience to negative effects of trauma and PTSD. His other area of interest is the use of technology, in diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders and PTSD. He uses functional MRI (brain imaging), electrophysiology, and genetic methods in research.

He has dedicated much of his work to helping Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have fled from conflict in their home regions. Dr. Javanbakht has established a team devoted to providing healing interventions to refugees, while simultaneously researching and speaking out regarding the global refugee crisis. Through his research, he has written and been featured in a number of articles discussing the role of mental health care professionals. Through a new partnership with Tanja Jovanovic, Ph.D., from Emory University, Dr. Javanbakht has advanced the Wayne State University School of Medicine's mission and established the institution as a hub for research related to trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. His efforts result in direct care for underserved communities and provide a place for refugees to find treatment for their post-traumatic stress disorders. Because of his humanitarianism, Dr. Javanbakht has been featured on CNN for his research titled, "Risk and Resilience in Syrian Refugees." His work has also been featured at the APA, AACAP, ADAA, CNN, Aljazeera, NPR, and WaPo. For his outstanding service to the local and global communities, the Wayne State University School of Medicine recognizes Dr. Arash Javanbakht with the 2018 School of Medicine Distinguished Community Service Award.

Debra Kaysen, PhD, University of Washington 

Adjunct Professor, Global Health
Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Adjunct Professor, Psychology
Center for the Study of Health & Risk Behaviors

Dr. Kaysen is a clinical psychologist, and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, with adjunct positions in Global Health and Psychology. She is the Director of the Trauma Recovery Innovations Program at the University of Washington, a division dedicated to developing and testing more accessible interventions for trauma-exposed populations. Dr. Kaysen has published over 100 refereed articles and her work has been supported by NIAAA, NIDA, NIMHD, DOD, and USAID. Her area of specialty both in research and clinical work is in treatment of those who have experienced traumatic events including PTSD, mood and substance use disorders. She has conducted critical studies on bidirectional relationships between PTSD and alcohol use, and on the treatment of PTSD and substance use across a variety of populations. Dr. Kaysen has conducted international studies to adapt evidence-based treatments for trauma-exposed populations for use in low- and middle-income settings such as treatment of PTSD for Congolese sexual assault survivors and Iraqi torture survivors and domestically has conducted work with rural Native Americans.

UW - Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Fellowship, 2006, Addiction Psychiatry
UW - Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Internship, 2003, Clinical Psychology
Univ. of Missouri
Medical education, 2003
Univ. of Missouri-Dept. of Psychology
Internship, 1997, Clinical Psychology


7:00 - Registration & Exhibits
8:00 - Welcome/Introductions
8:10 - PTSD: from neurobiology to treatment | Dr. Arash Javanbakht
9:15 - Stress, Risk and Resilience in Syrian Refugees in the US: A Project of Prevalence, Neurobiology, Culture, Environment, and Interventions | Dr. Arash Javanbakht
10:00 - Break & Exhibits
10:20 - Evidence based therapies for PTSD | Dr. Debra Kaysen
11:30 - Case Discussion
12:00 - Lunch and Annual Membership Meeting

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the underlying neurobiology of trauma and trauma recovery
  • Understand the current evidence-based PTSD treatments
  • Name and describe evidence-based therapies for PTSD 


WSPA Members: $125
Non-Member Physicians: $150
Nurses/Non-Physicians: $100
Psychiatry Residents (ID required at registration): Free
Non-Psychiatry Residents (ID required at registration): $20

You may opt to sponsor a resident for an additional $40

Live vs. Virtual Attendance: Unable to attend in person? Access the meeting virtually via Adobe Connect. Registrants who select the virtual option will be provided with instructions on accessing the meeting prior to March 16th. If you have any questions about this option, email the WSPA Office. We strongly suggest only using this option if you are unable to travel to Seattle and are comfortable using the technology. 

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations submitted in writing on or before 03/01/2019 will receive a refund less a $25 processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after 03/01/2019.

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