Global Psychiatry

Community Psychiatry



UCLA Faculty

Dr. Wyatt a Clinical Psychologist, board certified Sex Therapist and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at The Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior at UCLA.

She is a graduate of Fisk University and received her doctorate at UCLA. She was the first ethnic minority to receive training as a sexologist. She received a prestigious NIMH Research Scientist Career Development Award to develop culturally congruent measures, conceptual frameworks and interventions to capture sexual decision making among ethnic minority men and women within a socio cultural framework. She was the first African American woman in California to receive a license to practice Psychology, and the first African American woman Ph.D. to reach full Professor in a school of Medicine. Her research examines the consensual and abusive sexual relationships of women and men, the biological and behavioral effects of these experiences on their psychological well-being and the cultural context of risks for STIs and HIV. She has conducted national and international research funded by the NIMH, NIDA, State and private funders since 1980. Dr. Wyatt has been selected as a senior research fellow by the COBB Institute for the National Medical Association.

Dr. Wyatt directs the several international and domestic training programs, the Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities, and is an Associate Director of the UCLA AIDS Institute. She has been internationally recognized for her work in Jamaica, Africa, India and most recently, South Africa, where she has conducted a longitudinal study of the aftermath of rape among South African women. Among the 6 books, her best selling book, “Stolen Women: Reclaiming our Sexuality, Taking back our Lives” (John Wiley and Sons) provides the historical roots of violence and racism that continue to present challenges for African Americans today, In “No More Clueless sex”, written with Dr, Lewis Wyatt, they both provide clinical information to assist men and women in understanding their bodies and sexuality.

Dr. Wyatt has published well over 200 journal articles and book chapters, and has provided Congressional testimony 10 times during the Clinton and Obama administrations. She and her team were first to be funded by NIMH to develop an intervention for HIV positive women with histories of sexual violence, entitled “Healing Our Women”. She was the initiator of a multi-disciplinary team that developed and tested the first culturally congruent intervention for HIV sero-discordant African American couples in four cities with NIMH. This is the first intervention developed and tested for self identified heterosexual male and female couples, which represents the most common mode of HIV transmission in the world. That program has been adapted for transgender women and is accepted and used across the U.S. This year, she was awarded the Chancellor’s award for Diversity and Inclusion.


Towards a culturally appropriate trauma assessment in a South African Zulu community

The development of a screening tool for the early identification of risk for suicidal behavior among students in a developing country

Risk Factors for PTSD and Depression in Female Survivors of Rape

Assault injury presentation and lifetime psychological trauma in emergency centre patients in South Africa: a cross-sectional study

Maternal posttraumatic stress disorder and infant developmental outcomes in a South Africa birth cohort study

A Longitudinal Study of the Aftermath of Rape among Rural South African Women

Trauma and PTSS of Zimbabwean Refugees in South Africa: A Phodiso report of published studies


Involvement in the following projects:

  • Tirisano: UCLA-South Africa Center for Chronic Mental Disorders. The purpose of TTP is to increase the clinical and research skills of post-bachelor, master’s and doctoral students and early career mental health professionals in South Africa. The substantive focus of the TTP is chronic stress and non-communicable chronic mental disorders including substance abuse, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) across the life course.

  • Implementing Eban II: An Evidence- Based Intervention for Sero-Discordant Couples The goal of this 5-year project is to study implementation of Eban II, an evidence-based risk reduction intervention for heterosexual, African American HIV serodiscordant couples. We will investigate processes and determinants of implementation in 10 community-based organizations (CBOs) in California, and real-world effectiveness of Eban II as it is delivered to 180 couples. Our goal will promote the availability of couple-based services by enhancing organizational capacity in CBOs, reducing risk-taking practices among serodiscordant couples, and contributing empirically to implementation science.

  • UCLA/South African Research in Trauma Training Program: A multi-disciplinary training program for research in trauma, injury and the effects on health and mental health will be developed. Eight fellows, two per year, will be trained to conduct research that addresses the biological, social and psychological factors related to trauma, injury and its effects.

  • HA-STTP: The UCLA HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Trauma Training Program: The mission of HA-STTP is to provide training and mentorship to early career clinician researchers or post-doctoral scholars whose research focus is on HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, trauma and health disparities in underserved populations at high risk. The goal is for Scholars to establish career independence, including NIH funding for their research. This program represents an evolution of our multidisciplinary, multiethnic team’s NIMH ARRA-funded HIV/AIDS Translational Training Program, which successfully provided two years of training and mentorship to five postdoctoral scholars, several of whom have received or are seeking NIDA funding.