McLean Hospital Title:
- Director of Trauma-Informed Treatment, Consultation, and Outreach, Center of Excellence in Depression and Anxiety Disorders
- Associate Medical Director, Hill Center for Women
Harvard Medical School Title:
- Member of the Faculty of Psychiatry
Alisha Moreland-Capuia, MD, is a community psychiatrist who works at the intersection of trauma, addiction, and mental health. Her core mission in life is to do good, serve others, and reduce human suffering.
At McLean, Dr. Moreland-Capuia is the director of Trauma-Informed Treatment, Consultation, and Outreach for the Center of Excellence in Depression and Anxiety Disorders and the associate medical director at the Hill Center for Women.
Through her research, Dr. Moreland-Capuia explores how systems recognize, manage, and move away from trauma. Drawing on her expertise in global health, trauma, addiction, and system development and change, Dr. Moreland-Capuia’s research seeks to reduce unnecessary human suffering. She also hopes to contribute to an increased understanding of the impact of trauma on brain development and the overall risk for mental illness and how trauma shows up in systems.
Dr. Moreland-Capuia’s work builds on her experience training organizations, educators, government officials, and others in trauma-informed organizational change. This training explains the impact of trauma on individuals, populations, and systems. It also instructs organizations on ways they can change to best serve those who have been affected by trauma. Her approach is presented in her book, “Training for Change: Transforming Systems to be Trauma-Informed, Culturally Responsive, and Neuroscientifically Focused.”
Examples of Dr. Moreland-Capuia’s studies include her collaboration with Self-Enhancement Incorporated (SEI) while she served as director of the Avel Gordly Center for Healing. SEI and Dr. Moreland-Capuia received a two-year Federal Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant to determine whether facilitation of trauma recovery and empowerment (TREM) groups combined with access to individual mental health, trauma, and healing services would reduce instances of domestic and community violence. She served as principal investigator on the grant, which served more than 200 patients and families. The study ran from 2017 to 2019.
Other recent investigations have examined the application of a trauma-informed lens to the criminal juvenile justice system. She has also researched the effectiveness on trauma-informed peer-to-peer training.
Much of Dr. Moreland-Capuia’s work involves measuring how organizations employ a trauma-informed perspective to improve morale and system outcomes. Her principal approach to assessing systems’ trauma-informed change involves the use of pre- and post-training surveys.
Currently, Dr. Moreland-Capuia is a co-principal investigator with McLean’s chief scientific officer, Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, on a grant titled “Mental Health Approaches to Justice Involved Youth: Breaking Cycles of Violence and Trauma.” Funded by the Bank of America Foundation, the grant enables Drs. Moreland-Capuia and Ressler to work with community partners to help high-risk young people leave streets and gangs and receive education and seek sustainable employment. The researchers are collaborating with Roca of Chelsea, Massachusetts, an organization that has developed an evidence-based, data-driven intervention model to serve high-risk young people.
- Nathalie Dumornay, Clinical Research Assistant
Moreland-Capuia A. Training for change: transforming systems to be trauma-informed, culturally responsive and neuroscientifically focused. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature, 2019.
Education & Training:
- 2002 BS in Biological Sciences, Stanford University
- 2007 MD, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
- 2009-2013 Residency in General Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University
- 2013-2014 Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, Oregon Health & Science University and Portland VA Hospital
- 2013 Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
- 2016 Addiction Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
- 2020 Medical License, Board of Registration in Medicine, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
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