Faculty Spotlight - October 2019

Patricia Areán, PhD

Patricia Areán, PhD is a professor in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research focuses on the recognition and treatment of mental disorders in older adults and minority populations, particularly in recognition and treatment of depression that is identified in non-mental health settings. She is currently director of the CREATIV Lab as well as the ALACRITY Center at the University of Washington.

  • What are your goals for the Integrated Care Training Program (ICTP)?

I’d like to see more evidence-based psychosocial treatments reach underserved communities. I also hope we develop new, innovative training technologies that simplify the way we train care managers in EBPIs. New problems to solve would be scalability of our training, as well as training BA level or less people to support the delivery of ICC.

  • From your perspective, what do you feel are the greatest successes of ICTP to date?

I would say the reach to eastern Washington. Getting this model out of resourced cities and into smaller communities is a real success.

  • What is your greatest achievement?

Oh, wow. I would say developing new methods for increasing access to psychosocial treatments to older adults and underserved communities.

  • What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?

Hmmm, pretty much everything that didn’t work out for me (a job, a grant, etc) turned into something amazing, eventually. I had one proposal I worked on for 7 years (pilot data, team building, etc.) and this was going to be “the game changer.” It flopped horribly. BUT, I was able to turn it into a very different study, and that was a much better, way more enjoyable project. I guess I learned that nothing is really a failure, as much as an opportunity to improve.

  • Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Dr. Raymond Winters at University of Miami...he inspired me to become a psychologist, and was by far the best teacher I ever had.

  • What book are you reading and what do you like about it?

The Northern and Ancient Caminos. I plan to go back to Spain and walk those trails.

  • Which person from history would you most like to meet? Why?

Well, she’s still making history, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I find her story really inspiring and I’d love to talk to her about her career.

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