Dr. David Yusko is a nationally recognized expert in Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE) for PTSD. Dr. Yusko is also an expert in anxiety disorders with particular expertise in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. He is also certified as an exposure and response prevention (EXRP) therapist and supervisor for OCD by Dr. Edna Foa.
Dr. Yusko is currently a practicing therapist at the Center for Anxiety & Behavior Therapy in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He has been working with Mira Therapeutics to inform the design of the Mira app as our primary clinical advisor.
Can you explain your background, and how you began your focus on Prolonged Exposure therapy?
“I am a psychologist that began my career focused on the prevention and treatment of substance use-related disorders. I didn’t know this at the time, but my first job out of graduate school altered the trajectory of my career. I began working with Dr. Edna Foa at the University of Pennsylvania.
Back in 2006, Dr. Foa was running a treatment study examining the treatment of co-occurring alcohol dependence and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) either concurrently or sequentially. My graduate school training in substance use disorders helped get me the job, but my understanding of treatments for PTSD was much less well developed.
Over the next 12 years, I worked with Dr. Foa on several randomized controlled treatment trials related to the development of effective treatments for PTSD and the dissemination of these effective treatments to community-based clinicians.
One of my favorite projects from my time working with Dr. Foa was a contract we had with the city of Philadelphia. We were hired to help community mental health agencies become trained in, and skilled in the use of, prolonged exposure therapy (PE) for PTSD (one of the most effective treatments for PTSD).”
How has your work with Prolonged Exposure and PTSD led to you working with Mira Therapeutics?
“The dissemination of PE for PTSD was some of the most gratifying work I have ever done and it was experiences like this that drove me to join the team at Mira Therapeutics.
When I was contacted about the possibility to serve as an advisor for Mira I jumped at the chance to be part of bringing a helpful tool to the people suffering from PTSD and those clinicians working with these people to help them heal.
The potential for Mira’s products to extend quality care to those suffering with PTSD was clear to me and I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this very important work.”