Photo of Damion J. Grasso, Ph.D.

Damion J. Grasso, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Academic Office Location:
Psychiatry
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-1410
Phone: 860-679-6708
Fax: 860-679-1296
Email: dgrasso@uchc.edu

Damion Grasso, Ph.D. a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Grasso's research broadly focuses on understanding biobehavioral mechanisms involved in trauma- and stress-related disorders in children and effective strategies for assessing and treating trauma-related impairment. He co-leads the UConn Health Family Adversity and Resilience Research (FARR) Program and provides evidence-based psychotherapy interventions for treating trauma-related disorders in the UConn Health Psychological Trauma Clinic

Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
B.A.Skidmore CollegePsychology
M.A.Wesleyan UniversityGeneral Psychology
Ph.D.University of DelawareClinical Psychology

Dr. Grasso provides trauma-informed clinical assessment and psychotherapy within the UConn Health Psychological Trauma Clinic, a faculty clinic that treats children and adolescents presenting with trauma-related psychopathology, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The clinic is equipped to provide trauma-informed diagnostic assessment and several evidence-based, behavioral treatment models (e.g., Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Treatment and Education).

Teaching experiences center on developmental psychopathology, psychological trauma, assessment, and evidence-based psychotherapy models for treating stress- and trauma-related disorders. 

Dr. Grasso's research broadly focuses on understanding biobehavioral mechanisms involved in trauma- and stress-related disorders in children and effective strategies for assessing and treating trauma-related impairment. Current and past research are summarized by four foci: (1) Biological and environmental mechanisms associated with violence- and trauma-related stress reactivity in children; (2) Cumulative patterns of exposure to adversity, trauma and associated risk of psychopathology and impairment; (3) Screening and assessment of adversity and associated symptoms; and (4) Psychosocial interventions for treating trauma-related symptoms across the lifespan. Primary research projects include a study examining physiological and epigenetic mechanisms explaining the intergenerational transmission of trauma-related risk in pregnant women and their infants offspring funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD: 1 R21 HD090379-01A1), a NARSAD award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and a Patterson Trust Fellowship Award. Dr. Grasso is also a dual principal investigator with Dr. Margaret Briggs-Gowanon a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; 1 U01 MH113390-01A1) to examine biological and behavioral mechanisms explaining linkages between early violence exposure, stress reactivity, and psychiatric symptoms in young children; i.e., the Adaptation and Resilience in Childhood Study (ARCS). Research and clinical training opportunities for these studies are available.


 

The Family Adversity and Resilience (FARR) Program currently has three active NIH-funded studies centered on understanding how exposure to stress, trauma and other adversity affects children and families.  We have many research opportunities for individuals from all levels of training (undergraduate, doctoral, and medical students, as well as residents and fellows). 

Journal Articles

Books

  • Grasso, D. Trauma-Informed Treatment for Children: A Workbook/or Clinicians 2013 Jan;
  • Grasso, D, Joselow, B., Webb, C & Derr, G. Clinical workbook to facilitate Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Children and Adolescents. 2009 Jan;
  • Ford, JD; Grasso, DJ; Elhai, JD; Courtois, CA Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Second Edition: Scientific and Professional Dimensions

Book Chapters

  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders: biological factors
    Grasso, D The sage encyclopedia of abnormal and clinical psychology 2017 Jan;3594-3596
  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders: risk for
    Grasso, D The sage encyclopedia of abnormal and clinical psychology 2017 Jan;3626-3628
  • Exposure Therapy: Mechanisms and Applications
    Grasso, D CME to Go: Psychiatry Series III 2016 Jan;
  • Emotion regulation in the wake of childhood complex trauma
    Greene, C.A. Grasso, D. Ford, J.D. Helping Children Cope with Trauma 2014 Jan;
  • Adolescent Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders
    Grasso, D CME to Go: Psychiatry Series III 2013 Jan;
  • Cumulative Trauma in Childhood
    Greene, C; Grasso, D; Ford, J Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Scientific Foundations and Therapeutic Models 2013 Jan;79-99
  • Designing, implementing, and interpreting the randomized controlled trial
    Grasso, D. CME to Go: Psychiatry Series II. 2012 Jan;
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents
    Grasso, D. & Kaufman, J. Pediatric Anxiety Disorders: A Clinical Guide, Current Clincal Psychiatry Series. 2012 Jan;
  • Update on pharmacological and behavioral treatment of acute stress and posttraummic stress disorders
    Grasso, D. CME to Go: Psychiarty Series. 2011 Jan;
  • The role of caregiver commitment in foster care: Insights from the This is My Baby Interview
    Dozier, M., Grasso, D., & Lindhiem, O. Attachment Theory in Clinical Work with Children 2007 Jan;90-108

Other

  • Computer-Assisted Structured Trauma-Related Experiences and Symptoms Screener (CASTRESS). Charleston, SC. (Computer software program)
    Grasso, D. 2012 Jan;
  • Likelihood of Diagnosis Index (LODI) software program. Pittsburgh, PA.
    Lindhiem, O. & Grasso, D. 2012 Jan;
  • Computer-Assisted UCLA PTSD Reaction Index (CA-UCLA) beta. Newark, DE. Computer software progam)
    Grasso, D. 2009 Jan;