Ruben G. Martinez, PhD


“My work focuses on getting youth and families timely, effective, and equitable health and mental health care” 

Ruben G. Martinez, PhD

Collaborative Scientist, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Ruben G. Martinez is a clinical psychologist who wants to improve systems of care for youth experiencing mental health problems. His research sits at the intersection of clinical and implementation sciences, and his research is heavily informed by his clinical experience. His implementation research focuses on evidence synthesis methods, measurement issues, and the creation of practical implementation methods, especially for mental health problems. His clinical research relates to the therapy process — the behaviors and processes that happen in therapy that lead clients to change and improve — particularly in “evidence-based treatments” such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

At Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI), Ruben works as a collaborative scientist across several scientific teams. He is a co-investigator of the IMPACT Center — a National Institute of Mental Health ALACRITY Research Center developing practical implementation methods for community mental health settings. He co-leads the first signature project of the IMPACT Center, leads the center-wide evaluation, and leads engagement with the youth and stakeholder advisory boards. At KPWHRI’s Center for Accelerating Care Transformation (ACT Center), Ruben works with a multidisciplinary team that is implementing cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain for individuals who are being tapered off unsafe levels of opioids.

Ruben is passionate about teaching and clinical work. He earned his PhD at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020 and completed his predoctoral residency and postdoctoral fellowship at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. While not currently practicing, he has experience working across multiple levels of care — from primary care to inpatient psychiatric units. He mainly specializes in the treatment of childhood anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder and severe and co-occurring psychiatric issues. Clinically, he teaches about culturally compassionate anxiety treatment, measurement-based care, case conceptualization, evidence-based assessment, and iatrogenic medical trauma. He frequently gives invited didactics and has served as a clinical and adjunct instructor.

In his free time, Ruben enjoys hiking, climbing, and spending time outdoors with his dog.


Recent Publications

McLeod BD, Martinez RG, Southam-Gerow MA, Chorpita B, Weisz JR. Can a single measure estimate protocol adherence for two psychosocial treatments for youth anxiety delivered in community mental health settings? Behav Ther. 2022-01-01, Volume 53, Issue 1, Pages 119-136.

McLeod BD, Sutherland KS , Broda M, Granger K, Martinez RG, Conroy MA, Snyder P, Southam-Gerow MA. Development and initial psychometrics of a treatment integrity measure designed to assess practice elements of evidence-based interventions for early childhood settings. Prev Sci 23, 488-501 (2022).

Martinez RG, van Dyk IS, Kroll J, Emerson ND, Bursch B. Recommendations for building telemental health relationships with youth: A systematic review and resource for clinicians. Evid Based Pract Child Adolesc Ment Health.

Southam-Gerow MA, Chapman JE, Martinez RG, McLeod BD, Hogue A Weisz JR, Kendall PC. Are therapist adherence and competence related to clinical outcomes in cognitive-behavioral treatment for youth anxiety? J Consult Clin Psychol. 89(3), 188-199.




Improving mental health care for youth

Cara Lewis, PhD, co-leads a new center to support using evidence-based practices in under-resourced settings such as schools.

ACT Center

ACT CENTER team leaders, outside

New center focuses on equitable, whole-person health care

Kaiser Permanente launches the Center for Accelerating Care Transformation.