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Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for Advocates: How to Effectively Address PTSD in Matters Involving Veterans and Others Affected by Trauma


Speaker(s): Barbara Saavedra, David M. Joseph, John R. McQuaid, Rose Carmen Goldberg
Recorded on: Jul. 19, 2017
PLI Program #: 215892

Dr. David M. Joseph is a Clinical Psychologist and the Director of the Oakland Vet Center, which provides treatment to veterans with readjustment stress, PTSD, and combat or military sexual trauma. The Vet Centers are unique in their ability to provide confidential counseling and social engagement activities to veterans in a warm, non-clinical setting, free of charge.

Dr. Joseph is the creator of "Welcome Home: Creating a Campus Climate of Wellness for Returning Veterans," a four-hour instructional program to increase awareness about the unique cultural and mental health needs of student veterans. Since 2011, under the auspices of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and in private consultation, Dr. Joseph has provided over 50 trainings to community college campuses, universities, conferences and other venues across the state.  Dr. Joseph was also one of the creators of Combat to Community, developed in conjunction with Swords to Plowshares.  This is a POST certified training for police officers, first responders and providers on effective interventions for veterans with PTSD.

Outside of his work with veterans, Dr. Joseph provides forensic psychological evaluations and expert testimony in a wide range of civil and criminal contexts, with a specific focus on evaluations of PTSD and psychological trauma.

Dr. Joseph received his BA from the University of Michigan and his doctoral degree from Alliant University in San Francisco. He completed his clinical internship at Napa State Hospital, and his post-doctoral hours at the National Center for PTSD at the VA in Menlo Park, CA.  Dr. Joseph served in the Israeli Army as an infantryman.




John R. McQuaid, Ph.D. is the Acting Chief of the Mental Health Service at the San Francisco VA Health Care System and Vice Chair for Adult Psychology at the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. McQuaid completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of California, San Diego, his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Oregon, and his internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. From 1995 to 2009 he served on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego and as a staff member at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, moving into the role of Associate Chief of Psychology at the VA in 2004.

Dr. McQuaid’s research has focused on designing and evaluating psychosocial interventions for psychological and behavioral problems, including dual diagnosis conditions (depression and substance dependence), psychosis, anxiety disorders, high risk sex behaviors, and phantom limb pain.  He is currently a Site Investigator for a VA multi-site study comparing to forms of therapy (cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure) for the treatment of PTSD. Dr. McQuaid’s clinical and teaching expertise is in cognitive-behavioral interventions for mood and anxiety disorders. He has directed psychotherapy clinics at the San Diego VA and the San Francisco VA since 1995. Throughout his career he has provided both didactic training and clinical supervision to nursing, psychiatry, psychology and social work trainees and staff in cognitive-behavioral and related interventions. He has also served as a member of VA and APA task forces to establish guidelines for the treatment of depression. Dr. McQuaid is Secretary of the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders, and formerly served as president of the organization.

Dr. McQuaid is the author of A Peaceful Mind: Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology to Overcome Depression (2004) and Cognitive-Behavioral Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia (2016).



Barbara Saavedra is a Senior Staff Attorney at Swords to Plowshares, a community-based non- profit organization that provides case management, employment and training, housing, and legal assistance to veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Her background includes complex civil and criminal litigation and a specialty in the development and presentation of evidence related to PTSD and other mental health conditions.


Rose Carmen Goldberg is a Supervising Staff Attorney at Swords to Plowshares and a Lecturer at Berkeley Law School. She is the legal director of a Medical-Legal Partnership with the Oakland Vet Center, a partnership that integrates legal services and mental health treatment for veterans. Her background includes health policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, legislative assistance at the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Native American affairs at the White House.