Fifth annual San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference goes virtual, opens registration

SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 8, 2020) – Registration is now open for the fifth annual San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference, slated for Oct. 22-23, 2020. The conference will feature leaders in the field reporting advances in the assessment and treatment of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder and co-occurring conditions. Pre-conference continuing education and clinical training opportunities are also available.

In an effort to increase accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, conference organizers opted for a virtual gathering this year. The annual event, the only national meeting of its type, is presented by the UT Health San Antonio-led STRONG STAR Consortium and Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP). It typically draws an international audience of researchers, clinicians, leaders, and policy makers within the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs as well as from academia and the civilian sector. Many other active duty military, veterans, and community members with an interest in the mental health needs of our nation’s war fighters also participate.

This year’s conference format will involve a series of plenary presentations with built-in question-and-answer sessions. This will allow participants to hear from and engage with investigators with STRONG STAR and CAP as well as other prominent speakers from around the United States as they discuss findings and trends in the field.

Speakers and presentation topics will include:

–       Day 1 Keynote: “Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War,” presented by Kayla Williams, senior fellow and director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program, Center for a New American Security

–       Day 2 Keynote: “Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD with Active Duty Service Members and Veterans: What We’ve Learned So Far,” presented by Cognitive Processing Therapy developer Patricia Resick, PhD, ABPP, professor, Duke University Medical Center

–       Plenary sessions with speakers sharing scientific insights on topics including:

  • Promising PTSD treatment approaches (e.g., written exposure therapy, advances in pharmacology and personalized medicine)
  • Important PTSD-related topics such as resiliency and substance use

–       Featured speakers from national organizations such as the Bob Woodruff Foundation, George W. Bush Presidential Center, Boeing Global Engagement, and the VA’s National Center for PTSD

Alan Peterson, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UT Health San Antonio and director of STRONG STAR and CAP, announced that the Bob Woodruff Foundation is again supporting the conference as presenting sponsor. The foundation invests in programs that help impacted veterans, service members and their families thrive.

“Major sponsors like the Bob Woodruff Foundation have allowed our conference to grow and to become the premier scientific meeting of its kind,” said Dr. Peterson. “And now that we’re going virtual, we expect our conference to grow even more, since it will be easier for people to attend. We’re grateful to the Bob Woodruff Foundation and all those partnering with us on this conference. As we come together to share knowledge on clinical needs, scientific findings and research gaps, we expect to gain useful insights that will advance the care and treatment of psychologically wounded war fighters, making lives better for them and their loved ones.”

Anne Marie Dougherty, CEO of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, said, “Offering a virtual platform for providers and stakeholders around the world to improve their understanding of treatment for PTSD is essential right now. We know that the pandemic is adversely affecting the mental health of our veterans by creating new challenges and exacerbating existing issues. That’s why it’s important for us to provide our second year of support to the San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference.”

The registration fee for this year’s San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference is $50 per day. Participants also have the option of paying to receive continuing education credits for attending the conference and/or its pre-conference educational events.

For more information or to register, visit

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