Patricia Areán, PhD

I am an international expert on effectiveness of behavioral interventions for mood disorders in special populations such as older adults and ethnic minorities. I lead a research and training group known for developing, studying, increasing access to and implementing user friendly, high quality behavioral interventions for mood as it presents in chronic illness, aging, low income and ethnic minority populations, in a variety of service settings: mental health, primary care, senior services, and mobile platforms. My team combines the latest information from cognitive neuroscience, socio-economics and implementation science in their designs.

Since 1994, I have published 125 peer-reviewed articles on these topics and she has been funded by SAMHSA, NIMH, NIA, NIDDK and the Hartford Foundation. I am currently funded by NIMH to study the effectiveness of “brain games” on mood and the effectiveness of a modularized psychotherapy for late life depression, and recently completed two large scale, fully remote RCTs in English and in Spanish. My work has won national recognition, resulting in an early career award from the American Psychological Association and The Award for Achievements in Diversity in Mental Health from the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry.

I also provides training in evidence-based treatments to community mental health and health professionals, and am developing deployable and cost effective training models based on contemporary adult learning methods. I am a noted expert in career mentoring and am currently the co-director of workforce development in translational sciences. ​


Clinical Services Research, UCSF, 1991-1991
Psycholgy, Bellevue Hospital, 1990-1991
PhD, Psychology, New Jersey, 1987-1991

Department Affiliations

Clinical Expertise

Teaching Philosophy

Clinical Interests and Expertise
  • Depressive disorders
  • Neurocognitive disorders
Research Interests and Expertise
  • Research Expertise
    • Depressive disorders
    • Neurocognitive disorders

Recent Publications

Banbury Forum Consensus Statement on the Path Forward for Digital Mental Health Treatment.
(2021 Jan 20)
Psychiatr Serv
Mohr DC, Azocar F, Bertagnolli A, Choudhury T, Chrisp P, Frank R, Harbin H, Histon T, Kaysen D, Nebeker C, Richards D, Schueller SM, Titov N, Torous J, Areán PA, Banbury Forum on Digital Mental Health.

Leveraging human-centered design to implement modern psychological science: Return on an early investment.
(2020 Nov)
Am Psychol 75(8): 1067-1079
Lyon AR, Brewer SK, Areán PA

Expanding Virtual Postpartum Mental Health Care for Latina Women: A Participatory Research and Policy Agenda.
(2020 Nov 26)
Womens Health Issues
Gonzalez C, Ramirez M, Diaz A, Duran M, Areán P

Making Psychotherapy Available in the United States: Implementation Challenges and Solutions.
(2020 Nov 3)
Psychiatr Serv
Areán PA, Renn BN, Ratzliff A

Assessment of Real-World Use of Behavioral Health Mobile Applications by a Novel Stickiness Metric.
(2020 Aug 3)
JAMA Netw Open 3(8): e2011978
Carlo AD, Hosseini Ghomi R, Renn BN, Strong MA, Areán PA

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