About Our Lab

The lab is directed by Dr. Shannon Dorsey and is housed in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington.

Our research projects focus on dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatment (EBT) for children and adolescents both domestically and internationally. We are interested in questions involving training and supervision of providers to increase access to EBT.

In the State of Washington, we are currently focused on Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and common elements interventions, as well as how to support community based-supervisors in supervising clinicians who deliver EBT. Our global mental health work is focused on implementation of EBT in low and middle-income countries, using a task-shifting/sharing model in which lay counselors deliver EBT under close supervision of local supervisors and external (e.g., US-based) expert trainers.

Shannon Dorsey, PhD

Principal Investigator

Shannon Dorsey, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Global Health and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. Her research is on evidence-based treatment (EBT) for children and adolescents, with a particular focus on dissemination and implementation of EBT domestically and globally. Her work has often focused on trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), with hybrid research designs that include both effectiveness and implementation science questions. Research has focused on training and supervision strategies to deliver TF-CBT and other EBT, with a particular focus on task-sharing in low and middle income countries (LMIC). She is a codeveloper of the Common Elements Treatment Approach, a transdiagnostic intervention developed for delivery by lay counselors in LMIC. Current research includes an NIMH-funded implementation study examining questions related to scale up of mental health treatments in LMIC in health and education in Kenya (via community health volunteer and teacher delivery) and implementation practices and policies that predict implementation success.

You may access Dr. Dorsey’s curriculum vitae here.

Presentation in Seattle

Presentation Information: September 13th, 2019 at the Husky Union Building (HUB) at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Presenters from ACE Africa serve as supervisors and local trainers for lay counselors providing Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), in schools and villages in a project called BASIC: Building and Sustaining Interventions for Children. As part of an NIMH-funded study led by MPIs Dr. Dorsey, Dr. Whetten, and Mr. Wasonga, they led a stakeholder-involved process to identify implementation policies and practices in education and health sectors that support successful implementation. Partnering with stakeholders, they co-developed and deliver implementation support for schools and villages beginning to implement TF-CBT. See media for more information.

Interested in joining our lab?

Prospective Graduate Students

Please see the Dr. Dorsey’s page on the UW Psychology website for information on our program.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

The RISE Mental Health Lab is looking for undergrad research assistants to join us in Fall 2020 as 499 students. We study how to improve access to effective mental health interventions in community settings in the United States and globally. We mainly focus on child and adolescent interventions. Our projects include (1) exploring how community-based clinicians and organizations in Washington can be supported in providing effective interventions and (2) examining how teachers and volunteers in Kenya can deliver mental health treatment. Below we list some additional information:

  • Time Commitment: Ideally, you would join us for 2 quarters (3+ hours/week). All work would be done remotely. If it is a good fit, we welcome students to get more involved with our lab family. 
  • Opportunities and Responsibilities: You will learn various research skills: effective literature searches, construct research surveys, and collaborate with research partners. If students are interested, there may be opportunities to take on more higher-level/advanced duties as an Honors student.
  • Diversity & Inclusion: You would be joining a diverse lab; we have grads and undergrads from different cultural backgrounds and experiences, and this makes our teamwork and science better! We welcome more students from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Mentorship: You would have a primary graduate student mentor. We make every effort to support all students in achieving their goals (e.g., developing specific research skills, submitting a research poster, applying to jobs or graduate school), including tailoring our support and mentorship to meet their needs. 

We also organize optional bimonthly lab meetings with undergrads, grads/coordinators, and PI dedicated to discussing articles relevant to our research as well as professional development for undergrads (e.g., skills development and preparing for jobs/graduate school).

  • Experience: No prior research experience is required. We encourage all undergraduates interested in research to apply, especially those who are earlier in their undergraduate career (e.g., Freshman/Sophomore).

How to apply: Send a short email expressing interest to Julie Nguyen (Research Coordinator) at juliekn@uw.edu. We will email you a short online form to complete.


Principal Investigator: Shannon Dorsey, PhD