Samuelson Lab in Traumatic Stress Research

Samuelson Lab for Traumatic Stress Research

Dr. Kristi Samuelson

is an Associate Professor at UCCS and Associate Director of Clinical Training.  Dr. Samuelson teaches primarily in the graduate clinical psychology program, trauma track.  She will not be accepting any students for the 2021/2022 school year.

Dr. Samuelson's research has specialized in the field of trauma psychology since 2001, with much of her work surrounding neuropsychological functioning in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Her early work documented neuropsychological deficits in adults and children with PTSD, and more recent work involves the development and testing of interventions targeting neurocognitive processes.  In addition, she is interested in the disconnect between a patient’s appraisals of his or her cognitive deficits when compared to objective neurocognitive performance.  Dr. Samuelson has expanded her work on neuropsychological functioning and PTSD to involve the comorbid diagnoses of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and chronic pain.  The lab recently developed a web-based training program for primary care providers in the  assessment and management of mTBI. 


About the Lab

Dr. Samuelson is particularly interested in the notion of cognitive resilience – the building of cognitive skills to both buffer and protect against the effects of stress and trauma. She and her students developed a cognitive resilience program entitled Integrated Brain-Body Training (IBBT). Her lab has also partnered with Colorado Springs high schools to deliver a psychological and cognitive resilience training curriculum entitled Strong Smart.

Dr. Samuelson is currently the Principal Investigator of a grant from the Colorado Springs Health Foundation to develop and implement trauma-informed behavioral health care services at three major Colorado Springs hospitals (Children’s Hospital of Colorado, UC Health, and Centura Health). She has received past research funding from the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. She serves on the editorial board of Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy and the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Other current research projects include a longitudinal study examining resilience and adaptation to COVID-19, approaching this novel stressor through a through a traumatic stress framework. She also has ongoing studies investigating relationships between a trauma survivors’ trauma memory narrative and subjective and objective cognitive functioning. Future research priorities involve the development of adjunctive or precursor interventions (ideally involving cognitive functioning and appraisal processes) to support recovery via evidence-based interventions for PTSD.


Dani Correll awarded Psychological Society of the Pikes Peak Outstanding PhD student, Clinical Psychology

May, 2020

Krista Engle awarded Psychological Society of the Pikes Peak Outstanding PhD student, Trauma Psychology

May, 2020

Krista Engle awarded the Frank W. Putnam Trauma Research Scholar Award

November, 2019 | MORE

Tyler Powers Awarded the Psychological Society of the Pikes Peak Region (PSPPR) Outstanding Clinical MA Student Award

May, 2019 | MORE

Alisa Bartel Awarded the Psychological Society of the Pikes Peak Region (PSPPR) Outstanding Clinical PhD Student Award

Krista Engle Recieves the Psi Chi Graduate Research Grant

January, 2019 | MORE