We encourage you to become active on one of our committees. Please contact the committee chair to indicate your interest. To find out more about what these groups are doing you can read the committee reports from our most recent meeting.

Executive Committee

APA Program Committee

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. The committee is currently co-chaired by Nnamdi Pole. Our Hospitality Suite Coordinator is Jessica Punzo.

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee is chaired by Constance Dalenberg. This committee develops criteria for awards, proposes new awards and creates processes for selecting the recipients of those awards, which are announced annually.

Disaster Relief Committee

The Disaster Relief Committee is chaired by Gilbert Reyes. This committee focusses on psychological responses to disaster.

Diversity and Multicultural Committee

Co-chaired by Lesia Ruglass. 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.

Early Career Psychologist Committee

Chaired by Tyson D. Bailey, 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.

Education and Training Committee

The Education and Training Committee, chaired by George Rhoades 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.

Fellows Committee

The Fellows Committee, which is chaired by Laurie Anne Pearlman, 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

Finance Committee

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

International Committee

Chaired by 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.

Liaisons to Other Divisions and Organizations

Chaired by Rebecca Randel, 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 Committee on International Relations in Psychology - Elizabeth Carll
  • Liaison from APA Presidential Task Force on Caregivers - Joan Cook
  • 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

Membership Committee

Chaired by Jessica Punzo. This committee is responsible for recruitment of members and processing applications. Please send any questions or comments about the membership process to

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.

Policy Committee

Chaired by 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.

Practice Committee

Currently chaired by Bethany Brand. 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.

Publications Committee

Currently chaired by Denise Sloan, this group develops content and standards for all of the division's publications:

Science Committee

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. Further information about the work of this committee can be obtained from its co-chairs, Constance Dalenberg and Brian Marx.

Social Media Committee

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. The current chair is Kathleen Kendall-Tackett.

Special Interest Groups

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. It is chaired by Stacey Seibel.

Student Affairs Committee

This committee is chaired by Christine Valdez. We have 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:

Task Force on Assessment of Trauma Sequelae

This group, chaired by Judith Armstrong, will explore and identify the range of methods for assessment the sequelae of trauma in both children and adults, as well as assessment in international settings. A goal of this group is the development of comprehensive materials to guide psychologists conducting assessments in a range of settings.

Task Force on the Capital Campaign

For the past sixty years the American Psychological Foundation (APF) provided support to young psychologists pursuing innovative work. Each year the APF provides one million dollars in scholarships and grants to deserving psychologists to serve as a catalyst to their careers. Now, the APF is in the midst of a Capital Campaign to raise funds to increase the number of deserving people who might receive financial support. The Division of Trauma Psychology is joining with the APF to increase the Fund for Trauma Psychology. At the annual meeting last August of the Board of Directors in Hawaii, we agreed to establish this Fund to support work by young psychologists. This fund will be a part of the APFŐs overarching Capital Campaign but the dollars raised will support work, broadly defined, that centers on exposure to psychological trauma and its effects. Our goal is to raise $250,000 and with commitments to date, we have raised a third of this amount, but we need more support. The Division's Task Force is headed by Terence M. Keane, Past President of Trauma Psychology and Beth Rom-Rymer, PhD, President-Elect of the Division. We will be contacting members systematically over the next couple of years to solicit support for this worthy cause. To donate or to discuss a donation, please contact one of us or go directly to the APA website, click on Giving Opportunities on the left side, and follow the directions to APF. Be certain to mention that this is for the Fund for Trauma Psychology.

Task Force on Diversity

Co-chaired by Priscilla Dass-Brailford and Sandra Mattar, this task force will work with the Diversity and Membership committees to increase membership in the division of people of color and from other diverse backgrounds, help us ensure diversity in what we do, and to interface with other similar groups within APA.

Task Fore on Media and Public Education

This task force is co-chaired by Steve Gold and Dan Grech. It will develop strategies for informing the public about science-based information regarding psychological trauma by using a variety of platforms and approaches (media appearances, trainings, partnerships, social media, panel discussions, podcasts, etc.). The task force will target two main audiences: (1) The general public consuming news coverage of traumatic events; and (2) Non-clinical professions that interact with trauma victims, including lawyers, doctors, teachers, public health professionals, social workers, and journalists.

Task Force on Practice and Education

This presidential task force aims to improve education about trauma-related topics and is co-chaired by Bethany Brand and Janna Henning. Its current specific project is to examine the content of undergraduate and graduate psychology textbooks for accuracy, adequacy, and breadth of coverage of trauma-related topics. The task force will educate the textbook publishers, authors, educators, students, and the public about the trauma-related content in textbooks, with the aim of improving information about trauma in undergraduate and graduate textbooks. The task force will publicly honor the textbook that provides the best and most accurate coverage of trauma with an award for excellence in teaching about trauma. Finally, the task force will share trauma-related research and resources with textbook publishers and authors, as well as educators and students.

Task Force on Trauma Psychology and Social Justice

Amber Douglas chairs this group. It will identify current projects in trauma psychology with social justice applications, and develop products to assist psychologists to create social justice applications for their work.

Task Force on Treatment of Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Christine Courtois is currently the chair of this collaborative effort with the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. The goal of this task force is to provide practicing clinicians and other health professionals guidance on the treatment of complex posttraumatic conditions that result from repetitive and chronic interpersonal trauma over the lifespan, specifically but not limited to developmental trauma beginning in childhood. Watch the division listservs and social sites for announcements, as the guidelines will be available in 2013.