Brandon Yarns

Brandon Yarns, MD


MD  Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Residency – Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM

Biography: Dr. Brandon Yarns, psychiatrist, is interested in prevention of psychiatric illness in older adults, patient-centered outcomes in geriatric psychiatry, and using psychotherapy to improve health outcomes.  

As a Scholar, Dr. Yarns completed a policy project entitled, “The Dissemination and Implementation of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy at the VA: History, Controversies, and the Role of Evidence” with mentors Drs. Beth Bromley and Ken Wells.  The project aimed to explore a training program developed by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for clinicians in several modalities of evidence-based psychotherapy (EBP) and to 1) examine the process by which certain EBPs were selected or excluded from for the program; 2) investigate the role of evidence versus other factors in this process; and 3) determine how the training program affected the provision of psychotherapy at the VA.  

Dr. Yarns completed his main research project with mentors Beth Bromley and Ken Wells, and community partners Healthy African American Families and the VA Greater Los Angeles.  The project, entitled “Identifying Detached and Uncomfortable Feelings: A Partnered Secondary Data Analysis,” aimed to 1) develop a shared sense of the phenomenon of uncomfortable/detached feelings and develop appropriate language to describe them to a wide range of community members through identifying examples of the phenomenon in partnered secondary data analysis;  2) describe the process of determining examples; and 3) explore the context/reasons for the detached/uncomfortable feelings toward appropriate intervention use/development. The study was intended to benefit a large community of older adults who suffer from physical and mental health problems with a component of suppression of emotions. Beyond his main project, Dr. Yarns also completed a project with Drs. Lisa Rubenstein and David Ganz entitled “Emotional Impact of Trauma through the Lifespan in AWESAM,” and with Drs. Bowen Chung and Jeff Katzman on “Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy Digital Video Supervision Elective for PGY-3 Psychiatry Residents: Acceptability and Feasibility.” 

In addition to research activities, while a Clinician Scholar, Dr. Yarns served as Chair of the Early Psychiatrist Caucus for the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP), and Vice Chair of the GMHF/AAGP Scholars Program. His other accomplishments include the publication of an invited commentary in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, titled “Why Trainees Should Consider a Career in Geriatric Psychiatry: Reflections from Two AAGP Trainee Board Members,” and two sub-chapters currently in press in the Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry. 

Dr. Brandon Yarns is currently a Staff Psychiatrist in the Geriatric Mental Health Section at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) and Health Sciences Clinical Instructor in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Yarns’s current position includes 50% research time, which is devoted to questions related to the intersection of emotions, physical and mental health, and aging. Specifically, at this time Dr. Yarns is conducting a randomized comparison trial of two types of psychotherapy for older adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain and is refining a mixed-methods technique for assessing feelings in spontaneous speech, which may have applications as a research and clinical tool.  Dr. Yarns is also an attending psychiatrist in the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Program at VAGLAHS.