John P. Coetzee, PhD

VA Polytrauma Post Doctoral Resident

  • Dr. Coetzee obtained his BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, where he worked in a sleep and psychopathology lab.  He then worked in a depression lab at UCSF before entering a PhD program at UCLA, where he conducted research on the relationship between language and thought under the guidance of Dr. Martin Monti. 
  • After completing his doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience, he returned to the Bay Area where he currently is a postdoctoral researcher at the Palo Alto VA in the lab of Dr. Maheen Adamson.
  • He is developing new treatments for traumatic brain injury, and the Adamson Lab, where he is developing new treatments for depression. 
  • In addition to conducting research at the Adamson Lab, Dr. Coetzee is also  part of the Brain Stimulation Lab, whose focus utilizes novel brain stimulation techniques to probe and modulate the neural networks underlying neuropsychiatric diseases/disorders in an effort to develop new models and novel treatments. 
  • Dr. Coetzee is involved in several active studies examining topics such as treatment-resistant depression, chronic pain, suicide, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 
  • Dr. Coetzee's focus at the Adamson and Brain Stimulation Lab is noninvasive neuromodulation and is a  VA Polytrauma Postdoctoral Fellow.

VA Polytrauma Monthly Seminar

Dissemination of research findings on traumatic brain injury and related conditions, primarily among US Veterans.

Meditation as Trauma Therapy

Results from a randomized clinical trial comparing a Breathing-Based Meditation to Cognitive Processing Therapy for Treating PTSD Symptoms in Military Veterans.

  • Dr. Coetzee presents on the growing interest of breathing-based meditation for treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  •  Breathing-based meditation involves awareness re-training of the previously uncounscious process of breathing to rapidly impact emotion. 
  • Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) a type of breathing-based meditation previously shown to effectively treat PTSD. 
  • Dr. Coetzee presents on the first study comparing SKY with the gold-standard trauma therapy treatment known as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). 
  • Results from a randomized controlled noninferiority trial show that SKY was statistically not inferior to standard treatment CPT in reducing PTSD symptoms and depression. 
  • Findings are presented in the context of a growing number of studies showing integrative health approaches effectively treat PTSD.

COVID Research Team