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New Clinician Spotlight: Aaron Brinen

Mar. 26, 2021, 2:38 PM

Aaron Brinen, PsyD

Aaron Brinen, PsyD, has joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center from Drexel College of Medicine in Philadelphia. He began seeing patients on Oct. 1, 2020.

“We were fortunate to recruit Dr. Brinen, an internationally recognized clinician, teacher and researcher to Vanderbilt. He has pioneered the use of advanced psychotherapeutic methods for the treatment of persons with serious mental illness,” said Stephan Heckers, MD, MSc, William P. and Henry B. Test Professor of Schizophrenia Research and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Brinen’s primary clinical interest is using evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy for a range of conditions, such as schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder. His research interests include the use of recovery-oriented cognitive therapy (CT-R), which he helped develop as a co-author on the manual.

Brinen frequently conducts workshops and consultations about CT-R, both nationally and internationally. He helped formalize the treatment, which employs specific, systematic strategies to help patients who have traditionally been considered incapable of recovery. Additionally, he adapted the CT-R treatment for group therapy, inpatient units, treatment teams and adults with early episode psychosis.

“I’m passionate about providing high quality therapy for patients who are least likely to engage in treatments, training residents in psychotherapy and developing leaders in the field,” Brinen said. “I look forward to pushing the therapy I developed to new levels of research and learning from my peers in the department.”

Brinen received his undergraduate degree in theatre arts from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Arts in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute. He went on to earn his Master of Science in clinical psychology and a Doctor of psychology, both from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies.

Patients can be referred to Brinen by calling the Vanderbilt Psychiatry clinic at 615-936-3555.

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