Dr. Craighead received his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1970. Beginning in 1970, he rose through the academic ranks to become Professor of Psychology in 1979 at Pennsylvania State University, where he served for many years as Director of Clinical Training. He became a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center in 1986 and was also Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training. In 1995, he moved to the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was Professor, Director of Clinical Training, and Department Chair (2003-2006). In 2006, he moved to Emory University where he is a Professor of Psychology and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Dr. Craighead has served as President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association (Society of Clinical Psychology). He has been Editor of Behavior Therapy and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. At Emory, he holds the J. Rex Fuqua Chair, is a Professor of Distinction, and is the Director of the Child and Adolescent Mood Program (CAMP), and is the Vice Chair for Child, Adolescent, and Transition Age Youth in the Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Craighead's research, which focuses on mood disorders, has been funded for several years by NIMH and private Foundations. Over the past three decades, his work has focused on cognitive behavioral models of Major Depression and Bipolar Disorders. He continues his work on the prevention of the first episode of depression with his colleague Eirikur Arnarson in Iceland, and they have recently begun work on a similar prevention study in Portugal. He and his colleague, David Miklowitz, and his wife, Linda Craighead, (who is an Emory Professor of Psychology) have recently published a graduate-level Psychopathology book.