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

Acceptability of virtual therapy for postpartum women during COVID-19: A national mixed methods study.
Front Psychiatry 13(): 893073
Gonzalez C, Ramirez M, Mata-Greve F, Diaz A, Duran MC, Johnson M, Grote N, Areán PA

Participant retention in a fully remote trial of digital psychotherapy: Comparison of incentive types.
Front Digit Health 4(): 963741
Griffith Fillipo IR, Pullmann MD, Hull TD, Zech J, Wu J, Litvin B, Chen S, Arean PA

Message-based psychotherapy for older adults: A cohort comparison study.
Front Psychiatry 13(): 951354
Raue PJ, Fridling N, Song J, Hull TD, Alexopoulos GS, Arean PA

Predictors of Disengagement and Symptom Improvement Among Adults With Depression Enrolled in Talkspace, a Technology-Mediated Psychotherapy Platform: Naturalistic Observational Study.
(2022 Jun 22)
JMIR Form Res 6(6): e36521
Darnell D, Pullmann MD, Hull TD, Chen S, Areán P

Usability Issues in Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions and Implementation Strategies: Cross-project Analysis.
(2022 Jun 14)
J Med Internet Res 24(6): e37585
Munson SA, Friedman EC, Osterhage K, Allred R, Pullmann MD, Areán PA, Lyon AR, UW ALACRITY Center Researchers.

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