Dr. Alan Acre, Psy.D., Clinical Director, Advanced PTSD Clinic, Institutes of Health
Dr. Acre heads the PTSD Clinic at Institutes of Health (IOH). Prior to his career in clinical psychology, he served in the U.S. Army initially as a combat medic stationed at Ft. Gordan, GA. This was followed by an assignment with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, and completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) course prior to accepting a commission as an army officer. While serving in Korea, he was selected to serve as an intelligence officer (S-2) on battalion staff. Following his second tour in Korea, he became a combat advisor, special teams’ member for the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq. During his combat deployments, he conducted numerous counter insurgency (COIN) missions. Several of these missions resulted in direct combat engagements and or the capture of enemy insurgents. His final assignment in the army was at the National Training Center (NTC) in Ft. Irwin, CA. While stationed at NTC, he served as a cavalry officer and completed the scout leader (Recon) course prior to receiving an honorable discharge. As a commissioned officer, he also attended the airborne and pathfinder schools at Ft. Benning, GA, and was awarded the combat action badge and combat cavalry spurs.
Dr. Acre’s personal statement sheds light on the parallels between his work in the military and his specialty work in the workers’ compensation space: “My time in the military and serving in Iraq introduced me to the severe effects trauma has on strong, stable, healthy individuals and their families. The experience of losing friends to mortars, IED attacks, small arms fire, suicide, and the reckless behaviors associated with PTSD, redefined and strengthened my passion to help those that were suffering from trauma, so that they could heal and become stronger than they were prior to enduring their trauma.”
Dr. Acre trained at the Harlingen, TX VA medical center with experts in PTSD, suicide prevention, substance use, and outpatient general mental health. The Harlingen VA hospital predominantly provided services to Hispanic Veterans of lower SES status. Working with this population provided the opportunity to train with culturally sensitive assessments and treatments within a minority population similar to the minority population largely found among First Responders and veterans. Dr. Acre is a former Chief Investigator (CI) at the Veterans & Trauma Intensive Outpatient Program Research Assistantship (RA). He developed studies to calculate reduction rates of PTSD symptoms of those treated in Intensive Outpatient Programs, and the ability to evoke posttraumatic growth in civilians, First Responders, and veterans.