Traumatic Stress Research Group
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 post-traumatic 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.
We will do this through co-production, involving people affected by trauma in the work that we do, and collaborating with broader initiatives to harness innovative solutions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
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 that 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
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.
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 include:
A randomised controlled trial of an internet-based guided self-help programme to treat mild to moderate severity PTSD.
A randomised controlled trial of an intervention designed to treat more complex presentations of PTSD that have not responded to usual treatment.
- Prolonged Grief Disorder
A new project that aims to develop a digital treatment for Prolonged Grief Disorder.
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 have 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 (NCMH).
We now oversee one of the registries of individuals exposed to traumatic events in the UK.
Participants are interviewed and also have blood taken 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.
Meet the team
We pride ourselves on being an effective, multi-disciplinary team, working together to achieve our goals.
Our complementary skills and areas of expertise help us to approach our research in a balanced, holistic manner in order to make a real difference and improve the health and wellbeing of people who have experienced traumatic events.
- Professor Jon Bisson, Director
- Dr Mohammed Bader
- Sarah Cosgrove
- Michael Davitt
- Dr Anthony Downes
- Dr Mathew Hoskins
- Lucy Jenkins
- Dr Neil Kitchiner
- Dr Catrin Lewis
- Dr Helen Penny
- David Phillips
- Matt Ploszajski
- Laurence Astill Wright
- Alice Roberts
- Danielle Kitney
- Dr Neil Roberts
- Natalie Simon
- Pauline Taylor
- Bethan Whistance
- Chantelle Wiseman
- Professor Stanley Zammit
We’ve made a substantial contribution to researching treatment for veterans affected by trauma.
Similarly, we have also contributed to researching a Guided Self-Help treatment for PTSD. For more information see pages 10-11 of the Health and Care Research Wales Making a Difference report
The following web pages provide further information and resources on PTSD and complex PTSD and its treatment:
- NCMH – PTSD leaflet
- NHS Choices
- Royal College of Psychiatrists – PTSD
- Mind – PTSD – Complex PTSD
- National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) PTSD treatment guidelines
- International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
- US Department of Veterans Affairs
- Phoenix Australia
The following web pages provide information and resources relating to Veterans PTSD
Stories and news
NCMH deputy director (Jon Bisson) awarded Lord Ashcroft Research Award for new PTSD treatment for veterans