Psychosocial Research and Depression Clinic
The aim of the Psychosocial Research and Depression Clinic is to understand how psychosocial factors and treatments influence the course of mood and related disorders. It was established in 1989 for the express purposes of:
Learning about the etiology, maintenance, course, and treatment of mood and related disorders, with special emphasis on the role of psychosocial factors and psychotherapy.
Developing better and sustainable interventions.
Disseminating through collaboration, presentation, publication, teaching, technological advances, and community outreach findings that promote a better understanding of depression, psychotherapy, and the impact of psychosocial factors on illness and recovery.
In short, we evaluate the role of psychosocial (i.e., psychological, attitudinal, social, and interpersonal) factors and interventions on the course of depression.
Our goal is to create new knowledge and treatments that will help to reduce the suffering of those with recurrent atypical depression using cognitive therapy for preventing relapses, and ultimately, through interdisciplinary collaboration, produce a cure.
The interdisciplinary team is both international and far-reaching, consisting of investigators from UT Southwestern and beyond. There are many opportunities for colleagues and trainees to participate in understanding how psychosocial factors have influenced the course of illness for our large and unique samples of patients.
Robin B. Jarrett, Ph.D., Director of the Psychosocial Research and Depression Clinic, Professor of Psychiatry, and Elizabeth H. Penn Professor in Clinical Psychology, is an internationally known clinical investigator and licensed clinical psychologist whose research program examines the effect of psychosocial factors, including intervention, on the course of mood and related disorders. Since its inception, her laboratory has been a training ground for more than 100 associates, ranging from undergraduates to faculty members. Dr. Jarrett is committed to helping investigators develop their scientific careers.
Dr. Jarrett has had continuous peer-reviewed National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funding since 1989, including an Independent Scientist Award and Mid-Career Investigator Awards. She has served on NIMH Review committees and currently serves on an NIMH study section. She is widely published and is sought for lectures both nationally and internationally. At UT Southwestern, Dr. Jarrett served on the IRB for 13 years, has directed the Conflict of Interest (COI) Office and chaired the COI Committee since 1995, and has been a member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee since 2000.
Dr. Jarrett was a Fourjay Scholar at the Beck Institute in 2000 and has been an active member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) since 1978. Dr. Jarrett was one of the 2006-07 graduates of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) for Women Program. ELAM is the only in-depth national program dedicated to preparing senior women faculty at schools of medicine, dentistry, and public health for positions of institutional leadership.
Involvement in Education and Training
Our team enjoys international and national collaboration and includes psychologists, psychiatrists, biostatisticians, research associates, private practitioners, nurses, physician’s assistants, trainees, and administrators. Several members of the team have collaborated for more than 15 years. More than 100 trainees at all levels have been involved in our laboratory since its inception.
Specifically, our diverse and strongly skilled team works with trainees through:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy supervision of patient care.
- Research rotations.
- Completion of dissertations and master theses.
- Involvement with the psychiatry resident research track and electives.
- Trainee independent study.
Involvement in Research
Our team is best known for a series of controlled, randomized clinical trials that have helped to establish the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with atypical and recurrent major depressive disorder. Completed in 2011, this 11-year randomized clinical trial evaluated the long-term efficacy of continuation phase cognitive therapy (C-CT) in preventing depressive relapse and recurrence compared to Prozac (fluoxetine) and pill placebo (both used as continuation phase treatments for cognitive therapy responders).
Collaborating with Michael Thase, M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, this NIMH-funded study enabled us to develop the largest known dataset in the world on the effects of cognitive therapy for depressed patients.
Involvement in Patient Care
Dr. Jarrett continues to treat and follow patients and recognizes them as the source for inspiration for her group’s research. When possible, a small number of patients who are ineligible for research and need psychotherapy are accepted for treatment by trainees and their supervisors. The Psychosocial Research and Depression Clinic accepts applications from clinicians who wish to receive advanced training in cognitive therapy for the purpose of treating patients in ongoing and future research.