With over 1 million Americans in active duty and over eight-hundred thousand in the reserves, many of us are or know one of these soldiers. Nearly 1 in 4 of them manifest signs of a mental health disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and traumatic brain injury are the primary concerns military personnel struggle with. Dr. David Wood, of our Social Work department, researches mental health and help-seeking behavior in military members, as well as suicide prevention programs inside and outside the military. Some of his research recommends improved diagnostic decision-making for psychologists. Within BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, he teaches psychopathology, program evaluation, and motivational interviewing. He is an Assistant Professor, licensed psychologist, and a group clinical psychologist.
“I am excited about the potential of influencing students in a positive way who will, in turn, go on to have a direct influence on many others,” Dr. Wood says of teaching. “I am also humbled by the trust given to me by my students—it makes me want to improve every semester to be a better professional and teacher.”
Dr. Wood solidified his career path during his missionary service for the Mormon church: “As a missionary, I encountered many individuals with emotional, relational and psychological difficulties. I had a strong desire to help but was not prepared to assist in meaningful ways. I made a commitment at that time to pursue a PhD in psychology.”
Education is important in Dr. Wood’s family. His mother received a master’s degree in early childhood education and his father a PhD in educational psychology. Dr. Wood studied at Utah State University, Central Washington University, University of Utah, and Arizona State University.
Hiking, spending time with family, and riding his motorcycle consume Dr. Wood’s free time. He is a Colorado native.