Division 56, the Division of Trauma Psychology, was established in 2006 by a joint effort of researchers, clinicians, educators, and public policy experts with an interest in the psychological effects of trauma.

We provide a forum for scientific research, professional and public education, and the exchange of collegial support for professional activities related to traumatic stress. By doing so, we facilitate a state-of-the-art response by psychologists and move our understanding of trauma psychology forward. We offer a specifically psychological voice to the interdisciplinary discourse on trauma, blending science, practice, and a commitment to human welfare in our work.

Projects we're doing - for our members and for APA

The Division of Trauma Psychology provides a number of important services to both APA as a whole, and to individual members. Here are some of the projects and services we're already providing and hope to provide.


Training for Graduate Students, Interns, and Fellowships in the area of traumatic stress exposure and PTSD. These are exemplified by the first Summit on Interpersonal Violence and our APA Convention Programming.

Health Service Delivery

Our members work toward improving health service delivery in mental health and in physical health for people with trauma exposure through the work of our Education and Training Committee.

Emergency Preparedness

The Division of Trauma Psychology provides psychologists with the tools they need to respond to crisis situations, and inform U.S. policy for Homeland Security through our Disaster Relief Committee.


Our members integrate diverse areas of study such as: combat, rape, domestic violence, child physical and sexual abuse, refugees, torture survivors, prisoners of war, community violence, and occupational traumatic stress. Our scholarly work is aimed to provide an understanding the underlying principles leading to the development of psychopathology, disability, and distress as well as leading to resilience and mental and physical health. Via our journal and our convention programming, we encourage the integration of knowledge from clinicians into research and knowledge from research into practice.

Academic Support

We support academic researchers studying these diverse areas, with our divisional journal providing a scholarly platform for their findings. The journal will highlight and further a more practice-informed approach to trauma research and a more scientifically informed approach to trauma practice.


We work in conjunction with federally funded centers of excellence to support clinicians, researchers, and students in the area, through our Science and Public Policy committees. We work with APA and other related organizations to influence funding agencies, both private and public to understand the public health consequences of trauma exposure and PTSD.


Our members produce publications on a wide range of trauma-related topics including:

  • Psychological treatments and effects
  • Pharmacological treatments and effects
  • Promotion of education about effects of and treatment for trauma
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Psychopathology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Health services (delivery of services to trauma populations)
  • Epidemiological studies and risk factor studies
  • Neuroimaging studies
  • Trauma and cultural competence

We encourage authors who are members of Division 56 to consider donations of royalties to the Division.