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Dr. Victor G. Carrion is the John A. Turner, M.D. Professor and Vice-Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Early Life Stress and Resilience Program. He is in the faculty at both Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. His multidisciplinary research on the behavioral, academic, emotional, and biological late effects of experiencing trauma has led to the development and implementation of effective new interventions for treating children who experience traumatic stress. Using Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as an anchor, Dr. Carrion is investigating, through longitudinal studies, the effects of stress on developmental physiology and brain development and function. Dr. Carrion has authored and developed the multi-modal intervention therapist guide, Cue-Centered Therapy for Youth Experiencing Posttraumatic Symptoms. Cue-Centered Therapy (CCT) is a psychosocial treatment approach for children and adolescents who have been exposed to chronic traumatic experiences. CCT derives its name from its focus on the conditioning process that results in sensitivity towards trauma-related cues. Additionally, he is the author of Neuroscience of Pediatric PTSD that examines the advances in the neuroscience of executive function, memory, emotional processing and associated features such as dissociation, self-injurious behaviors, and sleep regulation. Dr. Carrion has published numerous peer-reviewed articles addressing the social, biological, and policy implications of violence and trauma in the lives of children. He has worked as an associate editor for the Journal of Traumatic Stress and has served as a reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health and Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Review Board of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Medical Research Service. His seminal findings identifying biological correlates of traumatic stress have been published in leading journals of the field such as Biological Psychiatry, Depression and Anxiety, Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Most recently, Dr. Carrion edited two published works from American Psychiatric Association titled, Assessing and Treating Youth Exposed to Traumatic Stress and Applied Mindfulness: Approaches in Mental Health for Children and Adolescents; both books serve as tools for clinicians that work with children, adolescents and transitional age youth who have experienced traumatic stress. Dr. Carrion is a Co-Founder of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, where he served on the Board and chaired the Scientific Advisory Council. In 2011, Dr. Carrion was appointed by Vice President Kamala Harris, then California Attorney General to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission of the State of California, where he served as chair. Dr. Carrion has received awards from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, the National Institute of Mental Health and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Examines the interplay between brain development and stress vulnerability via a multi-method approach that includes psychophysiology, neuroimaging, neuroendocrinology and phenomenology. Treatment development that focuses on individual and community-based interventions for stress related conditions in children and adolescents that experience traumatic stress.
Building Resilience at Schools: Emotional and Biological Assessment and Treatment of Traumatic Stress
In the last four years alone, residents of Puerto Rico have experienced a slew of natural
disasters including Hurricane Maria in 2017, earthquakes in 2019 and 2020, the continued
COVID-19 pandemic from 2020-2022, and most recently Hurricane Fiona. This series of
distressing events can lead to an increased need for mental health resources and trauma
treatment. Furthermore, the unique single-district structure of the Puerto Rican education
system allows for the efficient dissemination of potential interventions and treatment to all
The purpose of this study is to examine two treatment conditions for educators and
school-aged children in Puerto Rico experiencing burnout, fatigue, and high stress: delivery
of a mindfulness-based educator curriculum and, for children who report Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) symptomatology, delivery of the mindfulness curriculum with the additional
intervention of Cue-Centered Therapy (CCT). The study has two aims: 1) To assess the efficacy
of the mindfulness curriculum and of CCT in a population of students, counselors, and
teachers, characterized by high stress over the last few years of natural disasters and
pandemic challenges and 2) To identify genetic contributions to resilience by analyzing gene
expression in students before and after the intervention.
The overarching goals of the investigators' research collaboration are to improve educators'
psychological well-being and children's socioemotional development when faced with high
stress and adversity and to improve mental health clinicians' competence and confidence in
treating children exposed to trauma by training them in CCT. The investigators' research will
identify critical biopsychosocial components responsible for the cognitive, behavioral, and
emotional improvement and effective implementation strategies in a large but geographically
dispersed school district. The knowledge base that will result from this study will inform
the implementation of trauma-informed care in school settings and with populations
experiencing stress and adversity, and contribute to the investigators' understanding of the
underlying biology of these interventions to provide a rationale for further development and
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact Emily Wu, 650-724-6598.
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