psychiatry

McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) invites all medical professionals from across the country to join the annual UTHealth Psychiatry Update. Sponsored by the school’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, this year’s event focus is “Innovations in Trauma Research and Practice: Exploring PTSD and Related Outcomes Across the Lifespan.”

The conference will be held 8 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Memorial Hermann Conference Center.

“Our goal is to be translational, showing how research can inform clinical practice. We want to be able to address the question: What does this research mean for intervention?” said Psychiatry Update committee chair, Julie Kaplow, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, and director, Trauma and Grief Center for Youth. “Each speaker plans to draw a direct line from their research and theory-building work to how this information can improve care for traumatized youth and adults.”

The 2016 UTHealth Psychiatry Update agenda is designed to highlight shared themes from across many different types of traumatic experiences and draw out the ways in which different forms of trauma can result in unique outcomes. The information will appeal to a variety of healthcare professionals, including psychiatrists, family medicine practitioners, mental health professionals, and other clinicians.

Because each individual’s trauma is a unique experience, eliciting distinct responses and coping strategies across the lifespan, clinicians must develop a trained eye and sensitive approach for identifying and treating trauma and associated reactions. Reactions to trauma may encompass symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and also include many other psychological and behavioral responses.

“The impact of various types of traumatic experiences can take different forms for each individual and can manifest as depression, substance use, suicidal ideation, self-harm, risk-taking behaviors, or even maladaptive grief,” Kaplow said. “Different traumatic experiences, and the responses to those experiences, may require different treatments.”

Keynote speakers include Robert Pynoos, M.D., M.P.H., co-director, UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, and Paula Schnurr, Ph.D., executive director, National Center for PTSD.

Another feature of the 2016 Psychiatry Update is to help clinicians take a well-rounded look at ways to address the various domains affected by trauma, including physiology, biology, psychological state, and interactions with one’s environment. The official word for understanding this wide array of domains affected by trauma is “biopsychosocial perspective,” and each speaker’s research touches on at least one, if not all, of these domains. This broader perspective can help to more fully address the treatment needs of traumatized youth and adults.

This daylong conference is offered conference (including 6.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM, continuing nursing education or social work credit hours) to faculty, students, alumni, and other professionals, including educators, who must address the psychological and societal issues impacted by PTSD.