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Clinical Science Brown Bag Series

Tuesday, October 03, 2017,
  • Location: Wilson Hall
  • Room: 316

Robert DeRubeis

Department of Social Sciences

University of Pennsylvania

"Moderation in All Things: Enhancing Treatment Response by Optimizing Treatment Selection"

Robert J. DeRubeis is the Samuel H. Preston Term Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. He has conducted a series of innovative and methodologically sophisticated studies that have established beyond doubt the efficacy of psychological treatments for depression and clarified what works for whom and why. Rob trained at Minnesota before moving to Penn where he has served as chair of his department and director of its clinical training program as well as the social sciences dean. In addition to these accomplishments, he has placed numerous students in top academic positions. Beginning in the 1980s while still a graduate student Rob began a series of studies that showed that cognitive therapy is as efficacious as antidepressant medications and has an enduring effect that protects against subsequent relapse/recurrence following treatment termination not found for medications. He has shown that response to treatment in cognitive therapy is driven by adherence to concrete behaviors specified by theory rather than generic nonspecific relationship factors common to all psychotherapies. He further investigated the role of cognitive change as a mediator of symptom improvement in cognitive therapy, including in studies that have shown the importance of “sudden gains” in treatment. His development of an approach to personalized mental health that produces a “personalized advantage index” promises to revolutionize the way that information is combined to identify the best treatment for a given patient. His talk today will reprise his Cattell Award address at the Association for Psychological Science in Boston earlier this summer.