We appreciate your interest in our graduate student training program. Educating graduate students about trauma and trauma-related issues is a major goal for the Center for Trauma Recovery (CTR). Dr. Steven Bruce is the director at the CTR and a member of the clinical psychology faculty. 

Students must first be admitted to the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program in order to receive specialized training in trauma therapy or research. Our research training of students at CTR works on a mentorship model. Thus, the most important criterion is that your interests and experience fit closely with a faculty mentor at CTR who is accepting a student in the upcoming year. Successful applicants typically have actual working experience in trauma or anxiety/affective disorders research.

Theoretical Approach
The Center for Trauma Recovery employs cognitive behavior theory in its approach to therapy. Students at the Center for Trauma Recovery will be introduced to various cognitive behavioral techniques for the treatment of trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

First Year Students
First year graduate students receiving an appointment to the Center for Trauma Recovery are required to work fifteen hours a week at the Center. These hours are in addition to any program hours required at Community Psychological Services as part of the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program. Each appointment is for eleven or twelve months.

The tasks a first year student can expect include:

  • Phone screens for individuals entering either the clinic or one of the research studies
  • Enter and double-check research data from various studies
  • Assist with gathering data for psychophysiological research, including placing data-collecting devices and conducting structured interviews
  • Assist with non-diagnostic clinical interviews
  • Opportunities to lecture and mentor undergraduate research assistants

Senior Graduate Students
Specialized training in research, assessment and therapy is available for senior graduate students accepted for clerkship positions at the Center for Trauma Recovery. Clerkship positions are typically twenty hours a week. Each appointment is for 12 months.

Some of the tasks a senior graduate student may perform include:

  • See clients for trauma focused therapy through the Center Trauma Clinic. Students can expect to have two to three clients at a time and will be under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist.
  • Students have the opportunity to work with several special populations: including rape, physical assault, and domestic violence survivors.
  • Assist with diagnostic interviewing.
  • Do screens for admission to the clinic.
  • Help with administration of the clinic.
  • Community outreach including talks at local agencies, participation in rallies such as Take Back the Night, and guest speaking on local radio shows.

In addition, graduate students are encouraged to attend the Center's colloquium series, and may receive training in conducting cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure, and stress inoculation in our annual training workshops conducted by the staff of the Center.

Research Opportunities at the Center
Multiple opportunities to become involved with research at various levels from gathering data to co-writing book chapters and articles. Clinical graduate students may conduct research for their independent research project (Master's thesis equivalent), specialty paper, or dissertation under the supervision of Steven Bruce, Ph.D. Some of the previous research projects conducted by graduate students are listed below.

A partial list of graduate student research projects:

  • Reduction of Self-Blame in Cognitive Processing Therapy and its Effects on the Accuracy of Traumatic Memory
  • Self-Efficacy and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Why do we Blame Victims of Sexual Assault?
  • Emotional Response Patterns and Emotional Numbing in Trauma Victims
  • The Incidence of Victimization in a Chemically Dependent Population
  • The Effects of Witnessing Parental Violence on Children in Shelters for Battered Women
  • Sexual Coercion and Rape in Dating Relationships
  • Reciprocal Attributes Among Men and Women that Facilitates Sexual Violence
  • Influence of Attributions of Causality, Responsibility, and Self-Blame on Long-Term Reactions and Recovery from Personal Victimization
  • Attributions, Depression, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: What is the Relationship?
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adolescent Witnesses of Family Violence
  • Coping and Postpartum Depression: An Analysis of Coping and Depression During Pregnancy and the Puerperium
  • Self-Blame in Rape Victims Seeking Treatment: Its Relationship with Rape Reactions

A number of advanced graduate students have received research assistantships on projects being conducted at the Center. The number of assistantships varies as a function of funding levels on grants and the current assistants' progress in the program. These assistantships offer experience in the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other Axis I disorders and experience in conducting ongoing research with trauma victims.