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Our Research Mission

Psychiatric disability is the 4th largest cause of self-reported disability among Americans1, affecting roughly 6% of the U.S. adult population2 and causing devastating impact on individuals, families, and society. In the past two decades there has been a recognition of the impact of psychiatric disorders on post-secondary education. 

Among college students, trauma and PTSD can be a barrier to academic achievement but can also be successfully treated. Treatment of PTSD in the general population has shown that cognitive restructuring and prolonged exposure therapy are equally effective, and more effective than other interventions3.

CBT has emerged as an integral component of evidence-based psychiatric rehabilitation practice. CBT has been shown to aid in the areas of job acquisition as well as attainment of steady employment4. By countering negative expectations using cognitive restructuring techniques5 and systematically challenging dysfunctional beliefs in relation to educational attainment, students may improve their problem-solving skills and learn techniques to better manage their symptoms. This may students achieve educational goals, and therefore improve future employment prospects and community functioning.

Supported Education (SEd) is an emerging service modality that was designed to assist students with psychiatric disabilities in accessing and completing post-secondary educational programs6. These programs are intended to address the functional limitations that psychiatric disabilities often place on students.

There is a need for individuals with PTSD in post-secondary education to receive services that address their individual needs so they can be successful in their educational endeavors.

Our current projects address the needs of a critical target population –individuals with psychiatric disabilities who are at risk of under or unemployment due to lack of higher education – and the challenges they face in obtaining higher education.





  1. Centers of Disease Control, 2009.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008; Kessler et al., 2005.
  3. Marks et al., 1998; Resnick et al., 2008; Resick et al., 2002; Tarrier et al., 1999; Tarrier & Sommerfield, 2004.
  4. Kukla et al., 2019.
  5. Rosenberg et al., 2004.
  6. Ringeisen et al., 2017.