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

Division 56 Responds to APA Crisis

To continue to provide you with up-to-date information on how APA and Division 56 are responding to the APA Crisis, we have created a Q & A webpage for you to review and to which we hope you will contribute. The Division 56 Town Hall will be Saturday, August 8th, from 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m in our Harbour Suite, Westin Harbour Castle. Beth Rom-Rymer and Nnamdi Pole are co-chairing. Special guest speakers include: Laura Brown, Robyn Gobin, and Carly Smith. For those who will be at the APA Town Hall, we will be conducting a webinar, after Convention, to continue to grapple with the sequelae of the trauma from which we are all reeling. Recovery and rebuilding will continue for years and we will be researching and writing about it. We are planning a trip to Guantanamo and raising money for the victims of torture. Division 56 welcomes your engagement in looking at all of the ways in which this crisis can make us stronger and not pull us asunder.

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.

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 nine 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.