As the committees of Division 56 get to work we're developing resource materials to share with our members. These materials were contributed by members of the Division Executive Committee. If you have a presentation, course syllabus, or other educational resource to share here please send an electronic copy (no paper copies accepted) to the web editor. Inclusion of materials here does not imply endorsement of their content by Division 56. Materials have not been reviewed for accuracy

American Psychological Association (APA)

Early Career Professional Webinar Series

Division 56 recognizes the unique position Early Career Professionals are in, and is committed to supporting their growth and development. The Division sponsors several webinars each year that bring together professionals at a variety of career stages to address issues that are relevant to ECPs in the field of trauma psychology.

Developing Resilience in Trauma Workers

    Lesia M. Rugless
  • Developing Resilience in Trauma Workers
    Charles Figley & Kathy R. Figley
    View the slides
  • Why Early Career Trauma Providers Should Care About Self-Care
    Mira Brancu
    View the slides
  • Developing Resilience in Trauma Workers
    Adeyinka M. Akinsulure-Smith
    View the slides

Education and Training in Trauma Research and Practice

The Education and Training Committee compiles resource information for educators and students. Below we share information about doctoral training opportunities with a trauma focus, and teaching resources on the topic of trauma. If you wish to contribute to these resources please send your information to the Chair of the Education and Training Committee.

Undergraduate class syllabi

Graduate class syllabi

Syllabi collection

  • Bethany Brand's TeachTrauma site also contains a variety of course syllabi and other helpful information on teaching trauma in an academic setting.

Task Force Report on Psychologist's Role in Interrogation

Division 56 has been concerned about the question of psychologists’ role in interrogations since it was founded in 2006. The first division President, Judie Alpert, charged member, Nnamdi Pole to Chair a task force to “examine psychologist’s role in interrogation from the perspective of trauma” and report back to the Division Executive Committee.  Task Force members included Julian D. Ford, Sue Grand, Ibrahim Kira, Gil Reyes, Riccardo Rivas, and Morgan Sammons.

The task force was not empowered to conduct the kind of investigation described in the Hoffman Report.  For example, it did not have the power to obtain e-mail correspondence or to interview relevant officials. Instead, it was limited to media reports, a few documents disclosed by the federal government, and the scholarly literature. It is important to note that much of the task force’s work took place at a time when the federal government was denying or refusing to comment on much of what was being alleged about America’s involvement in harsh interrogations. Furthermore, the task force was careful to maintain a scope within its relevant expertise (i.e., trauma psychology) without wading deeply into the controversies that were engulfing the larger APA with respect to ethics and other matters. These matters were considered extremely important but unfortunately beyond the scope of a single APA division.

In December 2008, the task force completed its work and delivered its report. Its main conclusions were “that some of the interrogation procedures ascribed to the United States military and intelligence agencies including but not limited to waterboarding, humiliation, and painful stress positions have been empirically/credibly associated with traumatic stress both to the interrogated and the interrogator.” The full report also provides 10 recommendations based on the work of the task force.

Trauma Research Resources

Trauma Research and IRB

Over the past year (2012-2013), Division 56 has received increasing complaints and concerns from faculty and student researchers who are negotiating with their IRB's in trauma research. IRB's are often unaware of the research that shows that disclosure of trauma history in research settings falls under the category of minimal risk in most cases. Just as those unaware of research on suicide fear that asking questions about depression and suicide might spark a suicidal act, reviewers who are unaware of research on trauma at times believe that trauma disclosure is a negative act. Thus, IRB's at times not only block research that would meet ethical standards within the trauma field, but also might require statements in informed consents that might be damaging to trauma survivors who are research participants (such as informing them that trauma disclosure is likely to cause long term distress in some minority of cases).

The Executive Committee of Division 56 wrote a helpful guide to provide general information about the literature on trauma research risk. The statement is not a set of standards intended to define ethical and unethical research, is not meant to be proscriptive, and is not an official APA standard. Rather, the statement is intended to be used to provide information to researchers and IRBŐs who are interested in the latest information on risks of trauma research.

Additional Research Information

Sister Organizations