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Steven Thorp

steven thorp

Steven R. Thorp, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Distinguished Professor and Core Faculty member of the Clinical Psychology Psy.D Program for the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. Dr. Thorp is the past Division Director of Mental Health at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, and he served as Program Director of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Clinical Team there for 7 years. He also served as the Co-Chief of the Psychotherapy Unit in the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health. He has expertise in psychotherapy with veterans who have experienced psychological trauma. He has been the recipient of more than six million dollars in grant funding for Randomized Control Trials investigating clinical outcomes of psychotherapy for PTSD using telehealth technologies (i.e., telemedicine). He has authored more than 70 publications and has made over 100 presentations at regional and national conferences. He is also in private practice, where he provides assessment and cognitive-behavioral therapies. 

Professional Interests

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); barriers to care, including mental health stigma; mental health treatment preferences; telehealth - using technology to enhance psychological services; mental health for military veterans and older adults; posttraumatic growth; mindfulness; and resilience.

Education and Certifications

He earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno and completed postdoctoral research fellowships in geriatric psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and at the University of California, San Diego. He is Board Certified in Clinical Psychology, and licensed as a psychologist in California. 

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Diversity and Trauma
  • Professional Development
  • Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior
Scholarship and Contributions to the Field
  • Christopher, M., Cohen, B., Cook, J., Cooley, S., Karel, M., Norman, S., Thorp, S. R., & Vasterling, J. (2013). FAQs about PTSD and dementia. Webpage for the National Center for PTSD.
  • Acierno, R., Godleski, L., Karlin, B., Morland, L., Rauch, S., Smith, T., Thorp, S. R., & Tuerk, P. (2011). Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Evidence-Based Psychotherapy for PTSD Telemental Health Appendix.
  • Thorp, S. R., & Stein, M. B. (2005). "Posttraumatic stress disorder and functioning." PTSD Research Quarterly, 16, 1-7.
  • Gregory, A.M., Tirabassi, C., Allard, C.B., Norman, S.B., Thorp, S., Stein, M.B., & Twamley, E.W. (2013). "Cognitive performance and treatment response in women with PTSD." Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19 (S1), 173. (International Neuropsychological Society).
  • Aupperle, R. L., Stillman, A. N., Simmons, A. N., Flagan, T., Allard, C. B., Thorp, S. R., Norman, S. B., Paulus, M. P., & Stein, M. B. (2016). "Intimate partner violence PTSD and neural correlates of inhibition." Journal of Traumatic Stress, 29, 33-40. doi:10.1002/jts.22068
  • Allard, C. B., Norman, S. B., Thorp, S. R., Browne, K. C., & Stein, M. B. (2016). "Mid-treatment reduction in trauma-related guilt predicts PTSD and functioning following Cognitive Trauma Therapy for survivors of intimate partner violence." Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-20. doi: 10.1177/0886260516636068
  • Williams, K., Kern, S., Thorp, S. R., Paulus, M., Shah, N., & Hauser, P. (2015). "VISN 22 Evidenced-Based Psychotherapy Telemental Health Center and Regional Pilot." Federal Practitioner, 32, 48-57.
  • Morland, L. A., Poizner, J., Williams, K., Masino, T., & Thorp, S. R. (2015). "Home-based clinical video teleconferencing care: Clinical considerations and future directions." International Review of Psychiatry, 27, 504-512. doi:10.4109/09540261.2015.1082986
  • Lohr, J. B., Palmer, B. W., Eidt, C. A., Aailaboyina, S., Mausbach, B. T., Wolkowitz, O. M., Thorp, S. R., & Jeste, D. V. (2015). "Is post-traumatic stress disorder associated with premature senescence? A review of the literature." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23, 709-725. doi:10.1016/j/jagp.2015.04.001
  • Sones, H. M., Madsen, J., Jakupcak, M., & Thorp, S. (2015). "Evaluation of a group therapy program for the female partners of veterans diagnosed with PTSD: A pilot study." Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 4, 150-160. doi:
  • Mrkved, N., Hartmann, K., Aarsheim, L. M., Holen, D., Milde, A. M., Bomye, J., & Thorp, S. R. (2014). "A comparison of narrative exposure therapy and prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD." Clinical Psychology Review, 34, 453-467. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2014.06.005
  • Erbes, C. R., Stinson, R., Kuhn, E., Polusny, M., Urban, J., Hoffman, J., Ruzek, J. I., Stepnowsky, C., & Thorp, S. R. (2014). "Access, utilization, and interest in mHealth applications among veterans receiving outpatient care for PTSD." Military Medicine, 179, 1218-1222. doi:10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00014
  • Norman, S. B., Allard, C. B., Trim, R. S., Thorp, S. R., Behrooznia, M., & Stein, M. B. (2013). "Psychometrics of the Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS) in a sample of women with and without trauma histories." Archives of Women's Mental Health, 16, 123-9. doi:10.1007/s00737-012-0325-8
  • Schuitevoerder, S., Rosen, J. W., Twamley, E. W., Ayers, C. R., Sones, H., Lohr, J. B., Goetter, E. M., Fonzo, G. A., Holloway, K. J., & Thorp, S. R. (2013). "A meta-analysis of cognitive functioning in older adults with PTSD." Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27, 550-558. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.01.001
  • Bormann, J. E., Thorp, S. R., Wetherell, J. L., Golshan, S. & Lang, A. J. (2013). "Meditation-based mantram intervention for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized trial." Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5, 259-267. doi: 10.1037/a0027522
  • Aupperle, R. L., Allard, C. B., Simmons, A. N., Flagan, T., Thorp, S. R., Norman, S. B., Paulus, M. P., & Stein, M. B. (2013). "Neural responses during emotional processing before and after cognitive trauma therapy for battered women." Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 214, 48-55. doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2013.05.001
  • Wetherell, J. L., Petkus, A. J., Thorp, S. R., Stein, M. B., Chavira, D. A., Campbell-Sills, L., Craske, M. G., Sherbourne, C., Bystritsky, A., Sullivan, G., & Roy-Byrne, P. (2013). "Age differences in treatment response to a collaborative care intervention for anxiety disorders in primary care." British Journal of Psychiatry, 203, 65-72. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.112.118547
  • Bryant, C., Mohlman, J., Gum, A., Stanley, M., Beekman, A. T. F., Wetherell, J., Thorp, S. R., Flint, A. J., Lenze, E. J. (2013). "Anxiety disorders in older adults: Looking to DSM-5 and beyond..." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21, 872-6. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2013.01.011
  • Thorp, S. R. & Blazer, D. G. (2012). "Time does not heal all wounds: Trauma, stress, and resilience among older adults." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 375-379. doi:
  • Aupperle, R. L., Allard, C. B., Grimes, E. M., Simmons, A. N., Flagan, T., Behrooznia, M., Cissell, S. H., Twamley, E. W., Thorp, S. R., Norman, S. B., Paulus, M. P., & Stein, M. B. (2012). "Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activation during emotional anticipation and neuropsychological performance in posttraumatic stress disorder." Archives of General Psychiatry, 69, 360-371. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.1539
  • Bormann, J. E., Liu, L., Thorp, S. R., & Lang, A. J. (2012). "Spiritual well-being mediates PTSD change in veterans with military-related PTSD." International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 19, 496-502. doi:
  • Mohlman, J., Bryant, C., Lenze, E. J., Stanley, M. A., Gum, A., Flint, A., Beekman, A. T. F., Wetherell, J. L., Thorp, S. R., & Craske, M. G. (2012). "Improving recognition of late life anxiety disorders in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition: Observations and recommendations of the Advisory Committee to the Lifespan Disorders Work Group." International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27, 549-556. doi: 10.1002/gps.2752
  • Thorp, S. R., Sones, H. M., Glorioso, D., Thompson, W., Light, G. A., Golshan, S., & Jeste, D. V. (2012). "Older patients with schizophrenia: Does military veteran status matter?" American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 248-256. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3182096ae5
  • Thorp, S. R., Stein, M. B., Jeste, D. V., Patterson, T. L., & Wetherell, J. L. (2012). "Prolonged exposure therapy for older veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: Pilot study." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 276-280. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3182435ee9
  • Thorp, S. R., Fidler, J., Moreno, L., Floto, E., & Agha, Z. (2012). "Lessons learned from studies of psychotherapy for PTSD via video teleconferencing." Psychological Services, 9, 197-199. doi: 10.1037/a0027057
  • Backhaus, A., Agha, Z., Maglione, M. L., Repp, A., Ross, B., Zuest, D., Rice-Thorp, N. M., Lohr, J., & Thorp, S. R. (2012). "Videoconferencing psychotherapy: A systematic review." Psychological Services, 9, 111-131
  • Wetherell, J. L., Afari, N., Ayers, C. R., Stoddard, J. A., Ruberg, J., Sorrell, J. T., Liu, L., Petkus, A. J., Thorp, S. R., Kraft, A., & Patterson, T. L. (2011). "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for generalized anxiety disorder in older adults: A preliminary report." Behavior Therapy, 42, 127-134. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2010.07.002
  • Sones, H. M., Thorp, S. R., Raskind, M. A. (2011). "Prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder." Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 34, 79-94. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2010.11.001
  • Nappi, C. M., Drummond, S. P. A., Thorp, S. R., & McQuaid, J. M. (2010). "Effectiveness of imagery rehearsal therapy for the treatment of combat-related nightmares in veterans." Behavior Therapy, 41, 237-44. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2009.03.003
  • Fonzo, G. A., Simmons, A. N., Thorp, S. R., Norman, S. B., Paulus, M. P., & Stein, M. B. (2010). "Exaggerated and disconnected insular-amygdalar blood oxygenation level-dependent response to threat-related emotional faces in women with intimate-partner violence posttraumatic stress disorder." Biological Psychiatry, 68, 433-41. doi:
  • Thorp, S. R., Ayers, C. R., Nuevo, R., Stoddard, J. A., Sorrell, J. T., & Wetherell, J. L. (2009). "Meta-analysis comparing different behavioral treatments for late-life anxiety." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17, 105-115. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e31818b3f73
  • Twamley, E. W., Allard, C. B., Thorp, S. R., Norman, S. B., Cissell, S. H., Berardi, S. H., Grimes, E. M., & Stein, M. B. (2009). "Cognitive impairment and functioning in PTSD related to intimate partner violence." Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 15, 879-887. doi:
  • Wetherell, J. L., Ayers, C. R., Sorrell, J. T., Thorp, S. R., Nuevo, R., Belding, W., Gray, E., Stanley, M. A., Aren, P. A., Donohue, M., Untzer, J., Ramsdell, J., Xu, R., & Patterson, T. L. (2009). "Modular psychotherapy for anxiety in older primary care patients." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17, 483-492. doi:
  • Cukrowicz, K. C., Franzese, A. T., Thorp, S. R., Cheavens, J. S., & Lynch, T. R. (2008). "Personality traits and perceived social support among depressed older adults." Aging & Mental Health, 12, 665-672. doi:
  • Simmons, A., Paulus, M. P., Thorp, S. R., Matthews, S. C., Norman, S. B., & Stein, M. B. (2008). "Functional activation and neural networks in women with posttraumatic stress disorder related to intimate partner violence." Biological Psychiatry, 64, 681-690. doi:
  • Bormann, J. E., Thorp, S., Wetherell, J. L. & Golshan, S. (2008). "A spiritually-based group intervention for combat veterans with PTSD: Feasibility study." Journal of Holistic Nursing, 26, 109-116. doi:
  • Ayers, C. R., Sorrell, J. T., Thorp, S. R., & Wetherell, J. L. (2007). "Evidence-based treatments for late-life anxiety." Psychology and Aging. 22, 8-17. doi:
  • Wetherell, J. L., Kim, D. S., Lindamer, L. A., Thorp, S. R., Hawthorne, W., Kim, K., Hough, R. L., Garcia, P., & Jeste, D. V. (2007). "Anxiety disorders in a public mental health system: Clinical characteristics and service use patterns." Journal of Affective Disorders, 104, 179-183. doi:
  • Lynch, T. R., Cheavens, J. S., Cukrowicz, K. C., Thorp, S. R., Bronner, L., & Beyer, J. (2007). "Treatment of older adults with co-morbid personality disorder and depression: A dialectical behavior therapy approach." International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22, 131-143. doi:10.1002/gps.1703
  • Rosenthal, M. Z., Cheavens, J. S., Compton, J. S., Thorp, S. R., & Lynch, T. R. (2005). "Thought suppression and treatment outcome in late-life depression." Aging and Mental Health, 9, 35-39. doi:
  • Carson, J. W., Keefe, F. J., Lynch, T. R., Carson, K. M., Goli, V., Fras, A. M., & Thorp, S. R. (2005). "Loving-kindness meditation for chronic low back pain: Results from a pilot trial." Journal of Holistic Nursing, 23, 287-304. doi:
  • Carson, J. W., Keefe, F. J., Goli, V., Fras, A. M., Lynch, T. R., Thorp, S. R., & Buechler, J. L. (2005). "Forgiveness and chronic low back pain: A preliminary study examining the relationship of forgiveness to pain, anger, and psychological distress." Journal of Pain, 6, 84-91. doi:
  • Thorp, S. R., O'Donohue, W. T., & Gregg, J. (2005). "The predoctoral internship: Is current training anachronistic?" Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36, 16-24. doi:
  • Wetherell, J. L., Sorrell, J. T., Thorp, S. R., & Patterson, T. L. (2005). "Psychological interventions for late-life anxiety: A review and early lessons from the CALM Study." Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 18, 72-82. doi:
  • Wetherell, J. L., Thorp, S. R., Patterson, T. L., Golshan, S., Jeste, D. V., & Gatz, M. (2004). "Quality of life in geriatric generalized anxiety disorder: A preliminary investigation." Journal of Psychiatric Research, 38, 305-312. doi:
  • Thorp, S. R., Krause, E. D., Cukrowicz, K. C., & Lynch, T. R. (2004). "Postpartum partner support, demand-withdraw communication, and maternal stress." Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 362-369. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2004.00153.x
  • Wetherell, J. L., Palmer, B. W., Thorp, S. R., Patterson, T. L., Golshan, S., & Jeste, D. V. (2003). "Anxiety symptoms and quality of life in middle-aged and older outpatients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder." Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 64, 1476-1482. doi:
  • Cook, J. M., McCarthy, E., & Thorp, S. R. (in press). "Older adults with PTSD: Brief state of research and evidence-based psychotherapy case illustration." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. doi:
  • Thorp, S. R., Wells, S. Y., & Cook, J. M. (2017). "Trauma-focused therapy for older adults." In S. N. Gold (Ed. In Chief), C. J. Dalenberg, & J. M. Cook (Eds.), APA Handbook of Trauma Psychology (pp. 431-448). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Thorp, S. R., Glassman, L. H., & Wells, S. Y. (2015). "PTSD and trauma." In N. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geropsychology, 1-8. Singapore: Springer Science. doi:10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_86-1
  • Cook, J. M., Naseem, A., & Thorp, S. R. (2015). "Treating PTSD in older adults." In N. C. Bernardy and M. J. Friedman (Eds.), A Practical Guide to PTSD Treatment: Pharmacological and Psychotherapeutic Approaches (pp. 151-161). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Thorp, S. R., Sones, H. M., & Cook, J. M. (2011). "Prolonged exposure therapy for older combat veterans in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System." In K. H. Sorocco & S. Lauderdale (Eds.), Cognitive behavior therapy with older adults: Innovations across care settings (pp. 421-442). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Thorp, S. R., Sones, H. M., & Cook, J. M. (2011). "Posttraumatic stress disorder among older adults." In K. H. Sorocco & S. Lauderdale (Eds.), Cognitive behavior therapy with older adults: Innovations across care settings (pp. 189-217). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Thorp, S. R. (2011). "Implementing prolonged exposure in PTSD Clinical Teams (PCTs)." In A. Eftekhari & J. Crowley (Eds.), Successful Implementation of Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy in VHA: A Clinic Guidance Manual.
  • Ayers, C. R., Thorp, S. R., & Wetherell, J. L. (2009). "Anxiety disorders and hoarding in older adults." In M. M. Antony and M. B. Stein (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Anxiety and Related Disorders (pp. 625-635). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Thorp, S. R., & Stein, M. B. (2008). "Occupational Disability." In G. Reyes, J. Elhai, and J. Ford. (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Psychological Trauma (p. 453). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Thorp, S. R. & Lynch, T. R. (2005). "Depression and personality disorders - older adults." In A. Freeman (Ed. in Chief), S. H. Felgoise, A. M. Nezu, C. M. Nezu, & M. A. Reineke (Eds), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (pp. 155-158). New York: Springer.
  • Rodgers, C. S., Norman, S. B., Thorp, S. R., Lebeck, M. M., & Lang, A. J. (2005). "Trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder and health behaviors: Impact on special populations." In T. A. Corales (Ed.), Focus on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research (pp. 203-224). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
  • Thorp, S. R., & Fruzzetti, A. E. (2003). "Ethical principles and practice of couples and family therapy." In W. T. O'Donohue and K. E. Ferguson (Eds.), Handbook of Professional Ethics for Psychologists: Issues, Questions, and Controversies (pp. 391-406). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
  • Thorp, S. R., Gregg, J., Niccolls, R., & O'Donohue, W. T. (2001). "The best and worst of times for behavioral mental health practice." In N. A. Cummings, V. M. Follette, S. C. Hayes, and W. T. O'Donohue (Eds.), Integrated behavioral healthcare: Positioning mental health practice with medical/surgical practice. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
  • Wells, S. Y., Williams, K., Walter, K., Moreno, L., Butler, E., Glassman, L. & Thorp. S. R. (in press). "Informed consent for providing services via clinical video." In P. Tuerk & P. Shore (Eds.), Behavioral Telehealth Series: Clinical Video Conferencing: Program Development and Practice. New York, NY: Springer International.
  • Thorp, S. R. (2004). [Review of the book Bad Therapy: Master Therapists Share Their Worst Failures]. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57, 115-116. doi:10.1016/S0022-3999(03)00504-X
  • Thorp, S. R. (2004). [Review of the book Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology]. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 56, 381.
  • Thorp, S. R. (2000, Fall). "Can we be saved? Relationship Rescue and the bashing of couple therapy and theory" [Review of the book Relationship Rescue]. Couples Research and Therapy, 6(2), 13.
  • O'Donohue, W. T., & Thorp, S. R. (1996, March). "EMDR as marginal science." [Review of the book Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic principles, protocols, and procedures]. The Scientist Practitioner, 5(2), 17-19.
  • Norman, S. B., Wilkins, K. G., Baeressen, K., Thorp, S. R., Huelsenbeck, R., Grimes, E., Rodgers, C., & Allard, C. (2010). Drinking among female victims of intimate partner violence: Mechanisms and intervention. (Monograph). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
  • Thorp, S. R. (2005). Highlights of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 18th Annual Meeting, March 3-6, 2005, San Diego, CA [Conference report].
  • Thorp, S. R. & Cook, J. M. (Spring/Summer 2013). Trauma and PTSD in older veterans. Trauma Psychology News, 8(2), 11-13.
  • Chambers, A., Eftekhari, A., Crowley, J., Ruzek, J., Gregory, G., Aosved, A., Castillo, D., Thorp, S. R., Telfer, L., Kuhn, E., Foa, E. B., & Hembree, E. (2011). Strategies for recruiting veterans for PE. [Online slides for enhancing recruitment to therapy].
  • Thorp, S. R., Tuerk, P., & Eftekhari, A. (2011). Guidelines for PE via Telemental Health. [Online slides to guide prolonged exposure therapy via telemental health technology].