It's a really exciting time for Division 56, with many opportunities to be directly involved in shaping the Division. Be part of transforming trauma's image in psychology. Membership is open to any Member, Associate Member, or Fellow of APA. We also offer Professional Affiliate membership to non-APA members who are professionals in the field of trauma psychology and related disciplines, and Student Affiliate membership to any matriculated student. If you need more information, please contact the various membership committee chairs directly.

Show Your Membership Proudly

Show your affiliation with Division 56! You can now purchase mugs, magnets, and bags at our Zazzle store with our Division logo on them, with proceeds benefiting the Division.

Member Spotlight

Please join us in celebrating the current Division 56 member spotlight, Dr. Faria Kamal!

Dr. Faria Kamal is a Division 56 Member who serves on the Division 56 Diversity Committee and is engaged in diversity-related research. Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the STEP (Specialized Treatment in Early Psychosis) Clinic at the Yale University School of Medicine, Faria’s doctoral dissertation focused on undocumented immigrants in the US and Canada. She sought to better understand identity development, acculturation, and the risks associated with a lack of formal immigration status.

Part of her research focused on how the absence of immigration status may serve as a form of ongoing trauma amongst undocumented adolescents. Generally, immigration consists of three distinct stages: (1) Pre-migration, (2) Migration, and (3) Post-migration. Her research found that in the post-migration context, not having immigration status was reported as being a continual form of trauma. For example, undocumented immigrants may be hesitant to report domestic abuse or access medically necessary treatment for fear of detention/deportation. Children also face potential traumas in overt and insidious ways, including being excluded from school events or fieldtrips without certain legal/medical documentation and not being able to meet developmental milestones such as getting a driver’s license, volunteering or gaining employment, and enrolling in post- secondary education. As such, much of the trauma narratives focus on themes of exclusion, power dynamics between individuals and the state, and how safety is compromised.

Due to her work, which has already been published in Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees (see “Relevant Articles” below), she and her research team received innumerable requests for consultation regarding how service providers in medical, social and mental health domains can improve services to undocumented immigrants. She noted that one way to improve undocumented immigrants’ access to services was to reduce inadvertent systemic bias during screening or intake procedures, such as asking for SSNs on screening forms and otherwise asking about the specifics of one’s immigration experiences. In the “Health For All” article below, some of these dos and don’ts are outlined.

Dr. Kamal stated that when she thinks about the post-migration traumas reported by participants, the most consistent theme was feeling excluded and rejected at sites of services (hospitals, community clinics, etc). Her primary message: “Don’t further traumatize [this population] when you’re trying to help – offer assistance and advocate for your organization to adopt policies of inclusion and explicitly advertise that in the community so people know.”