Theory & Practice

Disaster Relief Committee

Chair: Gilbert Reyes 

Disasters are violently destructive events that initiate various levels of acute, persistent, and chronic stress. Some proportion of those who are most affected are likely to develop symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as other mental health problems. This committee focuses on strengthening the capacity of the Division of Trauma Psychology and its members to provide evidence-informed psychological support to disaster survivors across a variety of situations and settings. Additionally, this includes access to scientifically sound information regarding the epidemiology of the psychosocial sequelae of disasters and the risk and protective factors associated with greater or lesser resilience.

Diversity and Multicultural Committee

Co-Chairs: Divya Kannan and Bekh Bradley-Davino

The Diversity Committee is interested in highlighting the intersections of multicultural experience and trauma. We're especially interested in increasing representation both of psychologists of color, and issues of people of color and other underrepresented groups in research, practice, and education about trauma. We are working on the development of international cross-cultural practicum/internships in Trauma Psychology and beginning work to establish accreditation of these sites.

Practice Committee

Chair: Paul Frewen

This group is concerned with all aspects of treating the effects of psychological trauma and will monitor the state of the field, identify areas of need for training and research, funding and dissemination, and look for ways to help provide informational resources to Division members. This committee is currently working on a number of projects including a project with Division 35 on curricula about violence against women and children, inclusion of a complex trauma diagnosis in the DSM V in collaboration with other groups within the field of trauma treatment, writing a Monitor article on trauma, developing training videos on trauma through APA, creating a current best practice standards for trauma treatment.

Special Interest Groups

Chair: Seda Terzyan

The SIG Committee develops guidelines for SIGs within the division, assists interested members in establishing new SIGs, and coordinates between SIGs and the Executive Committee. 

  • Child and Adolescent Trauma SIG Chair - Ricky Greenwald
  • Post-Colonial Peoples SIG Chair - Lisa Thomas
  • Secondary and Vicarious Trauma SIG Chair - Sara Maltzman
  • Disaster Related Trauma and Response Chair - Angeleque Akin-Little
  • Adult Survivors of Abuse Chair - Harold Siegel
  • Medical Trauma, Illness, and Rehabilitation - Stephanie Machell

Policy Committees

International Committee

Chair: Elizabeth Carll

This committee insures that international issues are represented in division business and policies and fosters international collaboration and communication concerning trauma related issues including research, practice, training, and policy.

Liaisons to Other Divisions and Organizations

Chair: Jack Tsai

This committee maintains liaisons to other trauma-related professional organizations, including but not limited to ISTSS and ISSTD.

  • Liaison from Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) - Lisa Brown
  • Liaison from Division 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women) - Julii Green
  • Liaison from Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) - Tamara Greenberg
  • Liaison from Division 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues) - David Pantalone
  • Liaison from Division 45 (Society for the Psychology Study of Ethnic Minority Issues) - Cheryl Talley
  • Liaison from Division 48 (Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence) - Judith Kuriansky
  • Liaison from APA Committee on Aging (CONA) - Joan Cook
  • Liaison from Committee on International Relations in Psychology - Elizabeth Carll
  • Liaison from Traumatic Stress Section of the Canadian Psychological Association (TSS-CPA) - Paul Frewen
  • Liaison from International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) - Julian Ford
  • Liaison from International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) - Paul Dell

Policy Committee

Chair: Diane Elmore

The mission of the APA Division 56 Public Policy Committee is to share the scientific and clinical expertise of the division membership and the broader trauma field with policy makers to help inform and promote appropriate and effective public policies related to psychological trauma. The Public Policy Committee has been working on a variety of federal policy issues related to psychological trauma in conjunction with the Public Interest Government Relations Office at APA. These efforts have included sharing information and resources with policy makers, drafting and reviewing legislative proposals, recommending trauma experts for consultation and presentations and meeting with congressional offices, federal agencies, and stakeholder organizations.

Research Committee

Science Committee

Chair: Constance Dalenberg

The Science Committee monitors the state of the field, identifies areas of need for research, and provides informational resources to Division members regarding scientific research on trauma. We will also provide guidance to Division 56 leadership on an as-needed basis. Our goals include working on ways to make the science of psychological trauma more available to the general public in a way that is accurate. These include working on Wikipedia entries on psychological trauma and related issues and on conceptualizing and selling a better federal funding structure for trauma research. 

Teaching & Training Committees

Education and Training Committee

Co-Chairs: Carlos Cuevas and Terri Weaver

This committee encourages education and training at doctoral and post-doctoral levels in the science and practice of trauma studies, and oversees the creation of Continuing Education programs.

Webinar Committee

Chair: George Rhoades

This committee is responsible for planning and organizing the Division 56 webinar series. Please contact the chair if you have suggestions for a topic or to request an opportunity to present.

Publications Committees

Publications Committee

Chair: Jack Tsai

This group develops content and standards for all of the division's publications:

Social Media Committee

Chair: Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

The Social Media Committee develops and maintains the Division's social media presence, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Our goal is to communicate with members and engage with others who are interested in trauma. These channels will allow us to highlight current events regarding trauma, present highlights of work that Division members are doing in the field of trauma, and quickly communicate about events that are happening at the APA convention.

Convention & Awards Committees

APA Program Committee

Program Co-Chairs: Jessica Punzo and Bryann DeBeer | Hospitality Suite Coordinator: Robyn Gobin

This committee is responsible for organizing the annual APA convention program for the division. This includes soliciting and reviewing submissions for the convention, developing the convention program, and planning suite programming. 

Awards Committee

Co-chairs: Kathleen Kendall-Tackett and Sandra Mattar

This committee develops criteria for awards, proposes new awards and creates processes for selecting the recipients of those awards, which are announced annually.

Fellows Committee

Chair: Laurie Anne Pearlman

This committee assists members in applying to APA for initial Fellow status. We also encourage Division members who are already APA Fellows to become Fellows of Division 56. Complete information about the applications process is contained in the Fellowship Application

Membership Committees

Early Career Psychologist Committee

Chair: Christine Valdez

This committee represents Division 56 to APA's Early Career Psychology Network, and coordinates ECP activities within Division 56. You can now join the Division 56 ECP Listserv. There are currently three subcommitees working on various projects related to professionals in their early career:

Membership Committee

Co-Chairs: Ilene Serlin and Lesia Ruglass

This committee is responsible for recruitment of members and processing applications. Please send any questions or comments about the membership process to division56membership@gmail.com.

Student Affairs Committee

Chair: Christopher DeCou

This committee created a nationwide network of fellow students with interests in trauma, as well as a forum in which we can participate in current academic conversations and events regarding cutting-edge work within the field of trauma. You can also join the Division 56 Student Listserv. Our committee currently has three sub-committees:

EC/Business Committees

Finance Committee

Chaired by the Treasurer, this committee deals with all budgetary matters for the Division.

Nominations and Elections Committee

The Past-President serves as chair of Nominations and Elections. Please contact that person if you are interested in any elected office in the Division. Nominations are due by January 15th of the year in which an election is held. For information about which offices are open in any given election, please check the Fall issue of the Newsletter.