Dr. Best's primary specialty is in the psychological effects of trauma. She has been trained by the masters in the field of trauma research, treatment, and assessment, and has herself trained and supervised numerous therapists and researchers. She has co-authored numerous scientific, peer-reviewed articles on PTSD and associated conditions and conducted workshops and presentations on the effects of trauma. As an active member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Dr. Best has served as an Ad Hoc Reviewer for the Journal of Traumatic Stress and on the ISTSS Program Committee, reviewing submissions for their annual conference. In addition, she is a charter member of APA's Trauma Division (Division 56).
Dr. Best has particular expertise in "Exposure Therapy", a specialized intervention which has proven to be highly effective for treating PTSD in trauma survivors. She has collaborated in the development and evaluation of manualized exposure treatments for sexual assault survivors, Vietnam veterans, police officers, and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. Dr. Best regularly trains and supervises therapists and clinical researchers in conducting exposure treatment and successfully utilizes this intervention in her private practice to treat a variety of trauma sufferers.
Since 1998, Dr. Best has enjoyed the privilege of working with law enforcement professionals including State Police, County Sheriffs, Municipal Police, Corrections, and various federal agencies.
As the Project Director of a study of over 700 officers from NYPD and Bay Area departments, she conducted over 100 in-depth psychological interviews and followed up with NYPD officers who took part in the post-9/11 disaster response. In addition, Dr. Best has directed a prospective study of police academy recruits who are followed through their first two years of police service and she has co-authored numerous articles on the resulting data from these studies.
International Association of Chiefs of Police
As a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Psychological Services Section, she has presented to the section and to the annual convention as a whole on a number of topics and currently serves as the Chair of the Post-Shooting Intervention Guideline revision committee.
Police Psychology Practice
In her private practice, Dr. Best conducts post-shooting interventions for a number of Oregon and Washington agencies and provides on-going treatment to law enforcement and corrections personnel suffering from problems such as Depression, Work Stress, PTSD, Anxiety, Relationship Issues, Anger Management, and Sleep Disturbance. In addition, Dr. Best has been an invited presenter and consultant to numerous law enforcement organizations and agencies across the nation.
In 1996 Dr. Best joined the PTSD Research Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, where she directed several studies of veterans from various war eras. In the last several years, she has focused on developing treatments for veterans with PTSD and on training and supervising the therapists providing these treatments. Since the start of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, Dr. Best has conducted numerous trainings for mental health students and professionals on working with returning veterans and has been interviewed by radio, TV and print reporters nationwide. In her practice, she treats veterans of all eras and provides pro bono services to OEF/OIF veterans and their families through the Returning Veterans Project.
In 2006, Dr. Best co-authored Courage After Fire, an award-winning self-help book for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. This book, which provides education and coping strategies to assist returning veterans in their readjustment home, has been widely utilized by military and veteran's organizations, clergy, and mental health practitioners. http://courageafterfire.com