Clinical Care


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When you call UWCATS (206) 685-3617:

  • Brief Phone Interview (approximately 20 min)
    One of our staff will conduct a brief interview by phone (approximately 20 min) asking you about your trauma history, related symptoms, and previous treatment.  If you are not eligible for any of our services, we will provide free referrals to other sources.
  • In-Person PTSD Assessment (approximately 2-3 hours)
    If you are potentially eligible for one of our clinical trials, we will invite you into the center for an in-depth interview (approximately 3 hours) with one of our staff going into further detail about your trauma history, related symptoms.  If you are not eligible for any of our services, we will provide free referrals to other sources.

The Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress at the University of Washington is affiliated with the Department of Psychology. The programs’s mission is to provide treatment services to trauma survivors. As a research program for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we seek to offer the most innovative, empirically supported, and effective treatments for the disorder.

Treatments for PTSD

One of the most studied therapies for PTSD is called exposure therapy. This type of treatment is done one on one with a therapist. It is based on theories that following traumatic events, people often learn to be afraid of things that aren’t actually dangerous. They may go out of their way to try and avoid thinking and talking about what happened. However, they may continue to be haunted by the memory of what happened, despite these efforts to avoid. With exposure therapy the goal is to help people approach safe situations and memories again, so that they can reclaim their lives.

In exposure therapy you are encouraged to retell the story of what happened during your traumatic event(s) with the help of a supportive therapist. This helps you gain control over the memory and often leads to decreased anxiety, fear, anger, and guilt over time. Extensive research shows that most people who do exposure therapy feel improved after completing the treatment.

Treatment Studies

Sexual Assault Recovery and Hope (Project SARAH)

Project SARAH offers no-cost, confidential treatment for survivors of sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact. This study is recruiting individuals who identify as female, have experienced unwanted sexual contact or a sexual assault  in the last year, are 18 years or older, reside in WA state, and are currently drinking alcohol. The study is conducted 100% virtually (either phone or video). Participants will receive a no-cost evaluation, 6-12 sessions of no-cost treatment, follow-up for 6 months, and up to $247 in gift cards for compensation.

Visit for more information or contact a research coordinator at 206-685-3617 or

Short Term Exposure for PTSD (Project STEP)

Project STEP offers no cost, confidential help for survivors of a traumatic event. Eligible participants have experienced a traumatic event, such as a rape, attack, car accident or combat, and are 18 years old or older. The study includes a no-cost evaluation, 6 daily no-cost treatment sessions, 3 months of follow-up visits, and up to $135 in gift cards for compensation.

Visit for more information or contact Sarah at 206-685-3617 or ( study done in collaboration with University of Washington, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences).

Islamic Trauma Healing

The Islamic Trauma Healing program (ITH) was developed out of the need for the Somali refugee community to address psychological distress in a culturally-sensitive setting. The program seeks to address the psychological wounds of trauma in the Somali community and to promote reconciliation with one another after years of violence and conflict.