Who are we and what do we do?
The Traumatic Stress Research Group is an interdisciplinary team with a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals exposed to traumatic events.
We aim to:
Improve understanding of traumatic stress through conducting high-quality externally funded research
Develop effective and cost-effective interventions for the prevention and treatment of psychosocial difficulties following exposure to traumatic incidents, with a particular focus on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD (CPTSD)
Develop strong interdisciplinary global collaborations to facilitate research in the traumatic stress field
Develop research capacity in the traumatic stress field
Disseminate and exchange evidence-based knowledge
“Many people find it hard to access appropriate evidence-based treatment for PTSD. A key aim of the Traumatic Stress Research Group is to develop and evaluate PTSD therapies which make treatment more accessible. We also want to find ways to help people who have not benefitted from standard PTSD interventions”.
Dr Neil Roberts (Consultant Clinical Psychologist)
We specialise in the development and evaluation of more effective and cost-effective interventions to prevent and treat PTSD. Our main current studies in this area are RAPID, a randomised controlled trial of an internet-based guided self help programme to treat mild to moderate severity PTSD, and a randomised controlled trial of 3MDR, an intervention designed to treat more complex presentations of PTSD that have not responded to usual treatment.
Our evidence syntheses have informed the development of treatment guidelines and we are leading on the development of the latest revision of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies’ Treatment Guidelines. We have also developed Train the Trainer programmes to disseminate evidence-based approaches in collaboration with international partners. A key current collaboration is with colleagues at Ilia State University in Georgia that has resulted in trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy becoming available to PTSD sufferers in Georgia.
Our PTSD Registry has been developed over a number of years and is part of the National Centre for Mental Health. We now oversee one of, if not the largest registries of individuals exposed to traumatic events in the UK. Participants are interviewed and also have blood taken from them to help improve the social, psychological and biological understanding of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders.
We are committed to continuing to increase capacity in traumatic stress research by offering placements to develop researchers, along with PhD and other doctoral studentships.
Traumatic events occur commonly and can precipitate a variety of psychosocial difficulties, including psychiatric disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can be a severe and debilitating disorder that may occur in people of any age who have been exposed to one or more exceptionally threatening or horrifying events.
It is characterised by re-experiencing, avoidance of reminders of what happened, negative alterations in thoughts and mood, and hyper-arousal symptoms. PTSD causes considerable distress to the sufferer and those around them and commonly occurs together with other conditions such as depression, anxiety and substance misuse.