Division 56 Home

The American Psychological Association's Division 56 is psychology's focal point for research, practice, policy development and education on trauma.

Make Division 56 Primary

Be sure to list Division 56 as your primary division when you register for this year's APA Convention. It's how APA knows that we need more program hours - and we definitely need them! Our members are doing outstanding work, and the only way to give more of you space on the program at convention is for all of us to list 56 as our primary division. Ask your friends and colleagues who aren't yet members of 56 to do so, too.

Why is it Important to Keep Trauma on APA's Agenda?

  • Because trauma has been implicated as a risk factor in many major disorders
  • Because war, terrorism, and disaster are actively on the national agenda
  • Because cutting-edge research about trauma and children's development needs dissemination
  • Because the scholarship about trauma is still not in psychology's mainstream, and our convention programs can help to put it there
  • Because the wisdom of psychology's trauma experts can be better utilized by our profession and by the public

Donate to Division 56

Are you a book author who receives royalties from your work on trauma? Consider donating some portion of your royalties to Division 56; it's an easy way to support the work of the organization and give back to the field of trauma psychology. Ten percent of the proceeds of Cultural Competence in Trauma Therapy: Beyond the Flashback, by member Laura Brown, will be donated to Division 56.

June is PTSD Awareness Month

National Center for PTSD

Throughout the month of June, the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs is helping to raise awareness of how trauma and posttraumatic reactions can affect individuals and their families. Please join Division 56 in supporting this important movement toward understanding the causes and effects of trauma.

Supporting Survivors of Recent Traumatic Events

Division 56 is committed to helping practitioners and families that have been affected by trauma, like the Sandy Hook shooting, Boston Marthon Bombing, and the Navy Yard Shooting. Please look at the following resources for helpful guidelines and tools:

A Model Division

Although Division 56 is only six years old, we've expanded our reach in ways that belie the youth of the organization. We're living up to our mission in a major way:

  • Our membership has grown, and we are among the middle tier of APA divisions. APA considers us a model for the recruitment and retention of members, particularly early career psychologists. We appreciate each one of you who has made this possible.
  • We are engaged in interdivisional activities with a number of other well-established groups in APA, and are being sought out by other organizations in the field of trauma for our expertise.
  • We've established task forces on matters of moment and concern to our members, including the painful issue of psychologists' involvement in interrogations, and the challenging topic of responding to the needs of returning war veterans and their families.
  • We're spearheading efforts to insure that trauma is taken into account in up-coming revisions of the DSM, and we're in the foreground of getting trauma on the agenda for research funding.
  • Our special interest groups section is up and running, with several SIGS fully established.

It's been a highly productive period, and will remain so with your continued support, membership, and active engagement. Because we're new, we have space for your interest and involvement, so take a closer look here at what we're doing and find where you'd like to put your energy.