People » Deborah C. Beidel

“Dr. Beidel will not be accepting graduate students for the 2020-2021 academic year.”

Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D., ABPP is Pegasus Professor of Psychology and Medical Education and Director of UCF RESTORES at the University of Central Florida. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical research at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Dr. Beidel holds Diplomates in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. She is the author of over 250 scientific publications including journal articles, book chapters and books on the treatment of anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder and has been the recipient of over $19 million dollars in research funding throughout her career. Her recent work focuses on utilizing technology to translate and disseminate efficacious treatments for anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder into standard clinical practice. Currently, she is the principal investigator of a Department of Defense funded research program conducting a randomized controlled trial for the treatment of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorders, a Department of Defense funded research program examining familial stress during military deployment, and an NIMH funded randomized trial to develop artificially intelligent avatars to assist in the treatment of children with social anxiety disorders.  Along with her colleague, Dr. Clint Bowers, she is developing a new multi-disciplinary center devoted to using technology to enhance and disseminate empirically supported treatments for anxiety, stress and trauma-related disorders

“Dr. Beidel will not be accepting graduate students for the 2020-2021 academic year.”


* indicates a graduate student author from the UCF Anxiety Disorders Clinic.


*Bunnell, B., Joseph, D.L., & Beidel, D.C. (2013).  Measurement invariance of the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27, 84-91.

*Bunnell, B. E., & Beidel, D. C. (2013). Incorporating technology into the treatment of a 17 year old girl with selective mutism. Clinical Case Studies,12, 291-306.

*Bunnell, B. E., Beidel, D. C., & Mesa, F. (2013). A randomized trial of attention training for generalized social phobia: Does attention training change social behavior?  Behavior Therapy. 44, 662-673.

*Ragsdale, K.A., Neer, S.M., Beidel, D.C., Frueh, B.C., & *Stout, J.W. (2013). Posttraumatic stress disorder in OEF/OIF veterans with and without traumatic brain injury. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27, 420-426.

*Wong Sarver, N., Beidel, D.C., & Spitalnick, J. (2014).  The feasibility and acceptability of virtual environments in the treatment of childhood social anxiety disorder. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology,43, 63-73.

*Mesa, F., Beidel, D.C., & Bunnell, B.E. (2014). An examination of psychopathology and daily impairment in adolescents with social anxiety disorder.  PLoS ONE, 9(4); e93668. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093668.

Beidel, D.C., Alfano, C.A., Kofler, M.J., Rao, P.A., *Scharfstein, L., & *Wong-Sarver, N. (2014). The impact of social skills training for social anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 28, 908-918.

*Owens, M., & Beidel, D.C. (2015).  Can virtual reality effectively elicit distress associated with social anxiety disorder?  Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 37, 296-305.

*Scharfstein, L., & Beidel, D.C. (2015).  Social skills and social acceptance in children with anxiety disorders.  Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 44, 826-838  DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2014.895938.

*Bunnell, B.E., Beidel, D.C., Liu, L., Joseph, D.L., & Higa-McMillan, C. (2015). The SPAIC-11 and SPAICP-11: Two brief child- and parent-rated measures of social anxiety.  Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 36, 103-109.

Alfano, C.A., Lau, S., Balderas, J., *Bunnell, B.E., & Beidel, D.C. (in press). The impact of military deployment on children: Placing developmental risk in context. Clinical Psychology Review.



Dr. Beidel directs the RESearch and Treatment On Response to Extreme Stressors (UCF RESTORES), a clinical research center dedicated to the study of all facets of anxiety, trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including etiology, psychopathology, treatment, resilience and prevention. A unique feature of UCF RESTORES is the development and use of established and emerging technologies to enhance prevention and intervention efforts.


Current federally funded research programs include:

Beidel, D.C., Frueh, B.C., & Uhde, T.W. (Principal Investigator). Trauma Management Therapy for OIF/OEF Veterans (Award 08214003) . $5,379,994.  U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command-Military Operational Medicine Research Program (USAMRMC-MOMRP), 2010-2016. This randomized controlled trial examines the effectiveness of two different treatments for warriors of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts who are suffering from combat-related PTSD.  The program will use established behavioral treatments for this disorder augmented by the use of virtual reality to provide an enhanced treatment experience.

Beidel, D.C., Alfano, C.A., Bunnell, B., Higa McMillan, C., & Frueh, B.C. (Principal Investigator). When Parents Go To War: Psychosocial Adjustment Among the Families of Deployed OEF/OIF Service Members (Award Number W81XWH-13-1-0058). Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Defense Health Program, $3,191,583, 2013-2017.  This multi-center trial examines the impact of military deployment on spouses and children using neurobiological measures of stress as well as traditional measures of psychological adjustment.

Beidel, D.C., Tuerk, P. & Bowers, C. (Principal Investigator).  Pegasys VR: Integrating Virtual Humans in the Treatment of Child Social Anxiety.  NIMH MH094019 $2,056,989,  2014-2017.

This project is creating artificially intelligent avatars, which will integrated into an existing, empirically supported treatment program for children with social anxiety disorder with the goal of enhancing generalization of treatment effects.  Additionally, serious gaming strategies are used to develop homework assignments that increase homework compliance


Faculty      National Institute of Mental Health CHIPS (Child Intervention, Prevention and                                               Services) Summer Research Institute (2008 – present)

Member     American Psychological Association Council of Representatives (Division 53)                                                (2013-2015)

Chair         Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology Programs (CUDCP) (2014-2016)

Member     Scientific Committee, Second International Congress of Clinical and Health Psychology                               on Children and Adolescents (Madrid, Spain) (2016)