Shannon Dorsey

Image of Shannon Dorsey

Shannon Dorsey

Professor; Associate Chair for Graduate Studies
Advising: Possibly accepting new graduate students in 2024-2025, please email with questions.
Interests: Evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents (particularly Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Dissemination and Implementation Science, Global Mental Health


Dr. Dorsey’s research is on evidence-based treatments (EBT) for children and adolescents, with a particular focus on dissemination and implementation of EBT domestically and internationally. Her work has often focused on Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), with hybrid research designs that include both effectiveness and implementation questions. Research has focused on adaptation for unique populations (e.g., foster care) and on training and supervision strategies to deliver TF-CBT and other EBT. Dr. Dorsey is a Principal Investigator on two NIH-funded randomized controlled trials (RCT) involving TF-CBT, both of which include implementation and clinical outcome research questions. The first, in Washington State, studies the role of supervisors in public mental health settings in supporting EBP with clinicians under their supervision. It includes both a descriptive study of common supervision practices and a RCT of supervision strategies. The second, in Tanzania and Kenya, is a RCT of TF-CBT using a task-shifting/task-sharing model in which lay counselors, with little to no prior mental health training, deliver group-based TF-CBT to children and adolescents who have experienced the death of one or both parents, under close supervision by TF-CBT experts. Dr. Dorsey is also involved in common elements/modular EBT training initiatives and research both in Washington State and internationally, in low and middle income countries. With colleagues at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, she also is involved in RCT and feasibility studies in Southern and Northern Iraq, the Thailand-Burma border, Colombia, Zambia, and Ethiopia.


University of Georgia (2003)

  • Bolton, P., Lee, C., Haroz, E. W., Murray, L., Dorsey, S., Robinson, A. Ugueto, & Bass, J. (in press). Randomized controlled trial of a community-based mental health treatment for comorbid disorders among Burmese refugees in Thailand. PLOS Medicine.
  • Dorsey, S. & Cohen, J. (in press). Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. In P. Clements, & S. Seedat (Eds.), Mental Health Issues of Child Maltreatment. Saint Louis, MO: G. W. Medical Publishing.
  • O’Donnell, K., Dorsey, S., Gong, W., Whetten, R., Ostermann, J., Mfangavo, L., Itemba, D., Manongi, R., Cohen, J., & Whetten, K. (in press). Cognitive-behavioral group treatment for orphaned children with traumatic grief in sub-Saharan Africa: A Pilot Study. Journal of Traumatic Stress.
  • Dorsey, S., Kerns, S.E.U., Lucid, L., Pullmann, M.D., Harrison, J.P., Berliner, L., Thompson, K., & Deblinger, E. (2018). Objective coding of content and techniques in workplace-based supervision of an EBT in public mental health. Implementation Science, 13 (19).
  • Locke, J., Violante, S., Pullmann M.D., Kerns S.E.U., Jungbluth N., & Dorsey S. (2018). Agreement and discrepancy between supervisor and clinician alliance: Associations with clinician’s perceptions of psychological climate and emotional exhaustion. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 45(3). 505-517.
  • Lucid, L., Meza, R., Pullmann, M. D., Jungbluth, N., Deblinger, E., & Dorsey, S. (2018) Supervision in community mental health: Understanding intensity of EBT Focus. Behavior Therapy, 49(4), 481-493. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2017.12.007
  • Martin, P., Murray, L., Darnell, D., Dorsey, S. (in press). Transdiagnostic treatment approaches for greater public health impact: Implementing principles of evidence-based mental health interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.
  • Murray, L. K., Haroz, E., Dorsey, S., Kane, J., Bolton, P. A., Pullmann, M. D. (in press). Understanding mechanisms of change: An unpacking study of the evidence-based Common-Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in low and middle income countries. Behaviour Research and Therapy.
  • Murray, L.K., Hall, B.J., Dorsey, S., Ugeuto, A.M., Puffer, E.S., Sim, A., Ismael, A., Bass, J., Akiba, C., Lucid, L., Harrison, J., Erikson, A., & Bolton, P.A. (in press). An evaluation of a common elements treatment approach for youth in Somali refugee camps. Global Mental Health. doi:10.1017/gmh.2018.7
  • Dorsey, S., Pullmann, M. D., Kerns, S., Jungbluth, N., Meza, R., Thompson, K., & Berliner, L. (2017). The juggling act of supervision in community mental health: Implications for supporting evidence-based treatment. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 44(6), 838-852. PMCID: PMC5601028.
  • Beidas, R. S., Maclean, J. C., Fishman, J., Dorsey, S., Schoenwald, S. K., Mandell, D. S., & ... Marcus, S. C. (2016). A randomized trial to identify accurate and cost-effective fidelity measurement methods for cognitive-behavioral therapy: Project FACTS study protocol. BMC Psychiatry, 16(1), 323. doi:10.1186/s12888-016-1034-z
  • Dorsey, S., Lyon, A. R., Pullmann, M. D., Jungbluth, N., Berliner, L. & Beidas, R. (in press). Behavioral Rehearsal for Analogue Fidelity: Feasibility in a State-funded Children's Mental Health Initiative. Administration and Policy in Mental Health.
  • Beidas, R. S., Cross, W. F., & Dorsey, S. (2014). Show me don't tell me: Behavioral rehearsal as a training and fidelity tool. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 21(1), 1–11.
  • Dorsey, S. & Harrison, J. P. (2014). Extending the evidence-base for Prolonged Exposure: Effectiveness with sexual abuse-related PTSD in adolescent girls [Peer commentary on the article “Prolonged exposure vs. supportive counseling for sexual abuse-related PTSD in adolescent girls,” by E.B. Foa, C.P. McLean, S. Capaldi, & D. Rosenfield]. Evidence Based Mental Health.
  • Dorsey, S., Pullmann, M., Berliner, L., Koschmann, E.F., McKay, M., & Deblinger, E. (2014). Engaging foster parents in treatment: A randomized trial of supplementing Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with evidence-based engagement strategies. Child Abuse and Neglect.
  • Lyon, A. R., Dorsey, S., Pullman, M. Silbaugh-Cowdin, J., & Berliner, L. (2014). Clinician use of standardized assessments following a common elements psychotherapy training and consultation program. Administration and Policy in Mental Health.
  • Murray, L. K., Dorsey, S., Haroz, E., Lee, C., Alsiary, M., Haydary, A., Weiss, W. M., & Bolton, P. (2014). A common elements transdiagnostic mental health approach for low- and middle-income countries: Initial pilots. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 21(2), 111-123.
  • Dorsey, S., Pullmann, M., Deblinger, E., Berliner, L., Kerns, S. E., Thompson, K., Unützer, J., Weisz, J., Garland, A. (2013). Improving practice in community-based settings: A randomized trial of supervision - Study protocol. Implementation Science, 8(89).
  • Murray, L. K., Dorsey, S., Skavenski, S., Jere, J., Kasoma, M., Imasiku, M., Hupunda, G., Bolton, P., Bass, J., & Cohen, J. (2013). Identification, modification, and implementation of an evidence-based psychotherapy for children in a low-income country: The use of TF-CBT in Zambia. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 7(1), 1–24.
  • Dorsey, S. & Deblinger, E. (2012). TF-CBT applications for children in foster care. In J. Cohen, A. Mannarino, & E. Deblinger (Eds.), Applications of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children and Adolescents. Guilford Press.
  • Dorsey, S., Kerns, S. E. U., Trupin, E. W., Conover, K. L., & Berliner, L. (2012). Child welfare social workers as service brokers for youth in foster care: Findings from project focus. Child Maltreatment. Special Issue: Disseminating child maltreatment interventions: Research on implementing evidence-based programs, 17, 22–31
  • Galanter, R., Self-Brown, S., Whitaker, D., & Dorsey, S. (in press). Parent-child interaction therapy: Effectiveness of in-home delivery to at-risk families. Child and Family Behavior Therapy.
  • Self-Brown, S., Valente, J., Wilde, R.C., Whitaker, D., Galanter, R., Dorsey, S. & Stanley, J. (2012). Effectiveness of parent child-interaction therapy delivered to at-risk families in the home setting: A benchmarking study. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21, 1041-1049.
  • Dorsey, S., Briggs, E. C., Woods, B. A. (2011). Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 20, 255–269.
  • Dorsey, S., Burns, B. J., Southerland, D., Cox, J. C., Wagner, R., & Farmer, E. M. Z. (2012). Prior trauma exposure for youth in treatment foster care. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21, 816–824.
  • Murray, L.K., Dorsey, S., Bolton, P., Jordans, M., Rahman, A., Bass, J. & Verdeli, H. (2011). Building capacity in mental health in low-resource countries: An apprenticeship model for training local providers. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 5, 1–12.
  • Forehand, R., Dorsey, S., Jones, D. J., Long, N., & McMahon, R. J. (2010). Adherence and flexibility: They can (and do) coexist. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 17, 258–264.
  • Kerns, S. E. U., Dorsey, S., Trupin, E. W., & Berliner, L. (2010). Project Focus: Promoting emotional health and wellbeing for youth in foster care through connections to evidence-based practices. Report on Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Youth, 10, 30–38.
  • Dorsey, S., Farmer, E. M. Z., Barth, R. P, Greene, K. M., Reid, J., & Landsverk, J. (2008). Current status and evidence base of training for foster and treatment foster parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 1403–1416.