About Dr. Dow

Bruce Dow headshotBruce Dow, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist with more than twenty years of experience in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Dow became interested in PTSD in 1991 during his psychiatry residency and fellowship training at the San Diego VA Medical Center. This was the period of the first Gulf War, and many Vietnam veterans with PTSD were appearing at VA hospitals seeking treatment. Dr. Dow utilized a technique for treating combat-related PTSD by changing Vietnam veterans’ nightmares in a group therapy setting. The results were dramatic. Recurrent nightmares that had been present for twenty five years (1968 to 1993) disappeared following a single group therapy session.

Between 1994 and 2007 Dr. Dow was in private practice in the San Diego community, receiving referrals from the VA for outpatient treatment of combat-related PTSD, as well as referrals of police officers, prison guards, high school teachers, cashiers, construction workers, and others with PTSD from the civilian workplace. He was able to utilize the same dream revision techniques to treat both military and civilian PTSD, as he describes in a book currently in preparation.

Dr. Dow was born and raised in the Boston area. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1960 and spent a year in Europe as a Fulbright Fellow. His interests in the humanities and sciences consolidated during his year abroad and led him to attend medical school at the University of Rochester with the goal of becoming a psychiatrist. After an internship in medicine at Johns Hopkins he fulfilled his Vietnam War era military service obligation as a researcher in neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He continued his neuroscience research from 1967 to 1989, ultimately becoming a tenured full professor at the State University of New York (Buffalo). He has published many articles on color vision and visual perception.

In 1989 Dr. Dow finally entered psychiatry, which had by this time evolved from its psychoanalytic roots to encompass neuroscience and psychopharmacology. Armed with his strong neuroscience background, he completed residency and fellowship training in psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He spent a year (1993-1994) on the UCSD faculty, setting up an inpatient program in PTSD at the San Diego, VA Medical Center. In 1994-2007 Dr. Dow was in private practice in the San Diego community, where he maintained a subspecialty in treating individuals with PTSD.

In 2007 Dr. Dow returned home to the Boston area, where he is employed as a community psychiatrist with a non-profit corporation (Vinfen), helping clients with significant mental illness, including PTSD, live independently in the community.

Working in several different settings, Dr. Dow has helped patients recover from PTSD by addressing their posttraumatic nightmares in a creative and constructive manner. Issues encountered in dreams can then be dealt with in waking life. Dr. Dow’s message for people with PTSD is a hopeful one: change and recovery are possible.

DOWNLOAD: Dr. Bruce Dow’s List of Clinical Publications
DOWNLOAD: Dr. Bruce Dow’s List of Publications