Psychotherapy Development Research Center
Since 1994, the Psychotherapy Development Research Center has been dedicated to the development, evaluation, and refinement of psychosocial drug abuse treatments. The Center is the only National Institute on Drug Abuse clinical research center focused exclusively on this area. The Center aims to catalyze innovative and efficacious psychotherapies that have promise for real world implementation within the drug abuse treatment field and to encourage other investigators and national organizations to similarly engage in this effort. The Center consists of a core faculty, component projects, and training.
Our center uses a Stage model of psychotherapy development to achieve this mission. We develop new treatments or applications of existing treatments for drug abuse (Stage I) and test their feasibility and initial treatment efficacy in pilot studies. We also test Stage I treatments found to be empirically promising within randomized controlled trials (Stage II). The second stage also prepares treatments for successful implementation in community treatment settings (Stage III) by producing field-tested treatment manuals, therapist training, supervision and monitoring plans, and guidelines for adapting treatments for special populations. The Stage model has become the major way in which psychotherapy research is conducted within the United States.
We also serve as a regional and national resource to investigators whose aim is to develop empirically supported drug abuse treatments. The Center has a variety of treatment manuals, therapist fidelity measures, and training materials and videotapes available for distribution. In addition, the Center staff provide research training and consultation on methodological and strategic issues related to psychotherapy research. We aim to encourage other investigators and research organizations to make use of these materials and to conduct their own innovative and well-conducted drug abuse psychotherapy development research.
The Center is organized around three major areas: core faculty, component projects, and training.
Investigators in the Center have an extensive record of psychotherapy development research. Areas of investigation involve the development of new behavioral therapies, modification of existing approaches for special populations, combining treatments to improve outcomes, identifying mechanisms of actions that contribute to treatment effects, and conceptualizing clinical and methodological issues when conducting drug abuse psychotherapy research. Center faculty members have been directly involved in component projects at all three stages of research and have provided extensive consultation and training support to other investigators regionally and nationally.
The Center traditionally funds Stage I and II psychotherapy development research projects. The current Center focuses on late Stage II component projects. These projects are rigorously conducted systematic randomized controlled trials of efficacious drug abuse treatments that have been modified to further enhance their treatment effect sizes. Specifically, the current Center Stage II component projects evaluate:
- The impact of enhancing the response to our computer-delivered version of cognitive Behavioral Therapy by combining it with a galantamine, a medication with cognitive- and attention- enhancing properties;
- Four sequences of raised and lowered reinforcement intensity of Prize Based Contingency Management as treatment for cocaine abuse given the need for offering differing sequences to expand the group of treatment responders and to enhance durability of CM effects;
- A school based CM program for adolescent cigarette smokers while combining the treatment with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in order to reduce early drop out noted in adolescents with pretreatment evidence for high impulsivity.
The center has adopted a core battery of assessmetns and coordinated data management and analysis procedures to promote the successful conduct of these component projects.
The Center investigators have an extensive record of training students and junior faculty in psychosocial substance abuse research and in providing consultation and training services to other investigators regionally and nationally. A variety of training programs exist at Yale which dovetails with Center activities. Please contact the Center to inquire about available training and consultation services.