Welcome to UW Psychiatry


Welcome to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences!

With nearly 1,000 faculty, staff, and trainees, our department serves a five-state region known as WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho). We enjoy many of the same qualities as our Pacific Northwest home: an entrepreneurial spirit, a sense of discovery and a deep appreciation for the beauty and the diversity of our region and its people. We are an integral part of the University of Washington, a leading global university, and of the UW School of Medicine, a top ranked school in research and in primary care.  We are dedicated to improving the health of the public through research and discovery, training the next generation of health professionals and researchers, and improving the lives of people, one patient at a time.

Our scientists are engaged in cutting-edge research that helps us better understand the brain and behavior, paving the way for new treatments that will ultimately improve the lives of people in Seattle and around the world. Our research portfolio includes work in neurodevelopment and healthy brain aging, autism, a wide range of mental health and addiction problems and programs that bring much needed mental health care to underserved populations in the United States and abroad.  One of our best known innovations is the Collaborative Care model in which psychiatrists and other mental health specialists work closely with primary care providers to care for the emotional and physical needs of our patients. Our research has demonstrated that Collaborative Care leads to better patient and provider satisfaction, better clinical outcomes and lower health care costs, helping us achieve the ‘Quadruple Aim’ of Health Care Reform.


In the News

Virtual Reality Therapy has real-life benefits for some mental disorders
Science News | November 1, 2018
With cheaper, more user-friendly systems poised to make virtual reality therapy available to many more patients, researchers are testing the bounds of VR’s therapeutic powers to treat a broader range of disorders. Greg Reger, PhD, poses the important question, “If VR is as good as traditional therapies, which one should we do for which patients, and why?”

Mental health experts share tips for coping with tragedies
King 5 News | October 29, 2018
For many people, the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue brings back a lot of difficult emotions that surface anytime we have a tragedy. Doug Zatzick, MD, is interviewed about ways to work through the pain that comes after mass shootings and other national tragedies.

Ready to conquer your fears? Try these 13 Seattle experiences
Right as Rain | October 26, 2018
Facing your fears actually works. Michele Bedard-Gilligan, PhD, explains how exposure therapy works and why it’s effective in helping people overcome, or better tolerate, a phobia.

Read more news

Department Facts

Please see our Department Fact Sheet for an overview of our department.