Robert N. Cuyler, PhD serves as Chief Clinical Officer of Freespira, Inc. Dr. Cuyler supervises clinical operations of the company, heads research initiatives, and represents Freespira in conference, publication, and media outlets. His research on real world outcomes with Freespira was published in 2022 in Frontiers in Digital Health. Dr. Cuyler received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Louisiana State University and Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Menninger Foundation.

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Robert N. Cuyler, PhD's consulting and management activities have focused on solving access problems in behavioral health, with a concentration on incorporating telemedicine and healthcare technology into clinical practice. He is the author (with Dutch Holland, PhD) of the book “Implementing Telemedicine: Completing Projects On Target On Time On Budget”. He has authored or co-authored four textbook chapters on telemedicine, including the recent editions of Emergency Psychiatry and Textbook of Community Psychiatry.

As Freespira's Chief Clinical Officer, he is involved in their research activities. They have a randomized clinical trial underway at the University of Texas using Freespira as a treatment for a range of anxiety conditions. They are collaborating on a grant that will gain additional evidence on effectiveness with PTSD in veterans and active-duty military.  They are also collaborating with a VA psychologist looking at sleep apnea in veterans to determine if Freespira will help participants use CPAP therapy more effectively.

It was such a pleasure speaking with Dr. Cuyler. I love talking to people who are passionate about what they are doing. You can hear his enthusiasm as he talks about helping others. I always find myself learning something new when I have the opportunity to speak to these individuals with so much experience and knowledge working with people with PTSD. This was no different. 

I think the one that stood out the most to me was that deep breathing meditation may not be the best tool to use in a situation where you are being triggered or during a panic attack. This lines up well with what the doctor from Ukraine said to me. She mentioned that meditation can sometimes make the symptoms worse. I am not suggesting mediation is bad at all. I find that it is the best way to set me up for a successful day; I love doing a quick session following my cardio in the morning. I have noticed that if I’m in an intense situation I can maintain my calmness with controlled breathing. I would like to explore that topic more. Staying calm in highly stressful situations. Well, until next time…

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freespira
  • Learning to breathe properly and importance of your breath
  • Doing things that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Don’t avoid or allow avoiding behaviors to take control
  • Talk therapy
  • Prolonged exposure therapy
  • In-Vivo therapy

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