Candidate Statements for Division 56. Trauma Psychology

Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.

Candidate: Carolyn B. Allard, PhD, ABPP

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

As a proud Charter Member, I am honored to have been nominated to serve as President of this trailblazing Division. Along with my service in the executive committee as past ECP Committee Co-Chair and current PTTRPP Editorial Board member, I would bring to this position leadership experience from my roles as past Director of the VA San Diego Military Sexual Trauma & Interpersonal Trauma Clinic and the Advanced Fellowship in Women's Health, and as current Program Director of the APA accredited Clinical Psychology Program at Alliant International University.

My mission as President would be to integrate the best of all worlds of trauma psychology - practice, science, advocacy, education, policy making - into a well-rounded, collaborative, formidable force that can advance knowledge, and prevention and intervention efforts, far beyond what each discipline can accomplish individually.

My own experience embodies this mission. My clinical work, research, teaching, and advocacy mutually benefit one another. Informed by my clinical work, my research focuses on identifying risk and resiliency factors, treatment predictors, and developing and testing novel interventions to address disparities in treatment outcomes.

I am excited at the possibility of serving Division 56 as President, and commit to promoting integrative efforts and to ensuring expertise from each discipline has equal voice in our Division governance as well as in the advancement of the field of trauma psychology.

I welcome ideas and suggestions of how best to serve the Division. Please feel free to contact me at carolyn[dot]allard[at]alliant[dot]edu.




Candidate: George Franklin Rhoades Jr., PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

I would be honored to serve as President-elect of Division 56. A Founding Member of the Division 56 Executive Board and having Native American and African American heritage, I served as the first Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee. As past Chair Education and Training Committee and Continuing Education Committees, we started the successful webinar series and obtained Division CE accreditation.

Currently on the Editorial Board of Psychological Trauma, our Division Journal; Chair of the Webinar and Continuing Education Committees for Division 56; Member of the Division’s “International Committee” and the Steering Committee for the “Refugee Mental Health Resource Network.”

A Clinical Psychologist, Founder and Director of Ola Hou Clinic in Hawaii, supervising Masters and Doctorate Graduate Students. An international trauma speaker and author, conducting trauma trainings/Consultations/Counseling in over 30 countries, recently focusing on Syrian Refugees and traumatized persons with albinism in Tanzania. Executive Director of “Roads to Hope” and Director of Clinical Training for “Global Aid Network-Canada,” humanitarian missions addressing international trauma.

Fellow with International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and served on their Executive Council. International Expert on Sexual Trafficking and Director for The H.O.P.E. Team for sexually trafficked teenage girls, boys and transgenders.

Past Director of an JCAHO Inpatient Program for children, adolescents and adults at Kahi Mohala Psychiatric Hospital. Past Professor of Psychology and Chair at International College and Graduate School.

I would be honored to help Division 56 to continue the standards of excellence in academic, clinical and international work in trauma psychology.




Candidate: Christopher R. DeCou, PhD

Office: Secretary

Candidate Statement:

I am very excited to be running for the position of Secretary for Division 56. I have previously served as the Student Representative for Division 56, and as a member of the Division 56 International Committee, and am currently the Division 56 listserv moderator. These roles have helped me appreciate the diverse range of important activities and initiatives carried out by the Division and the importance of coordinating the many different committees and resources that are needed to accomplish our shared goal of advancing the field of Trauma Psychology. I would be honored to serve as Secretary for the Division, and to help coordinate the efforts of the Executive Committee in this role. Thanks so much for your consideration.




Candidate: Loren M. Post, PhD

Office: Secretary

Candidate Statement:

It is with great enthusiasm that I am running for Secretary of Division 56 – Trauma Psychology. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine. I serve as the Associate Research Director in the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program and am a member of several Wounded Warrior Project’s Warrior Care Network committees and the Emory University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Faculty Development Committee. I earned my PhD in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University with training in the PTSD Treatment and Research Program. I completed my predoctoral internship at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System with a primary rotation in the Women’s Mental Health – PTSD Clinical Team and my postdoctoral fellowship at the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program, Emory University School of Medicine and the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program. I specialize in the treatment of PTSD and trauma-related disorders and have research interests and publications focusing on transdiagnostic processes between PTSD and co-occurring disorders and biopsychosocial and treatment factors influencing the effectiveness of evidence-based PTSD treatments. I am passionate about moving PTSD clinical care forward through research, teaching, and advocacy. I am confident in my ability to be an active committee member contributing to the focus on trauma psychology in Division 56 and hope to earn your vote for Secretary!




Candidate: Amy L. Ai, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

It would be a great honor to serve on the board of Division-56(D-56). I am an interdisciplinary researcher and a professor in psychology department and other agencies at the Florida State University. My work has been focusing on traumatic events and resilience, especially on the role of transcendence/spirituality in coexisting posttraumatic stress and growth. My research has covered very different types of traumatic events in life, private or collective, from open-heart surgery, regional war, terrorist attacks, and national disasters, to childhood abuse among minority immigrants. My publications in trauma led to invitations for me to consult on crisis-, trauma-, and disaster-related research projects and to lecture in Europe and Asia. Based on my practical experiences, I also developed projects on the role of behavioral intervention (e.g., enhanced mindfulness practices) for disadvantaged populations. As a Fellow of the American Psychological Association(APA) and the American Psychological Science(APS), I have served as an at-large committee member for another division. As an educator, my teaching has linked cultural diversity with trauma-related mental health. My background will enable me to effectively extend the influence of Div-56 in broad scientific areas, to enhance our collaboration with other divisions, and to promote Div-56 membership beyond the American scene. In addition, I will take the opportunity of my service to promote behavioral intervention for trauma and to encourage interdivisional collaboration at APP conventions. I will also work to attract young psychologist scholars to pursue this area of scholarship. I promise to fulfil my duty, if I am elected.




Candidate: Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, EdD, MPH

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I would like to introduce myself and ask for your support of my nomination for Member-at-large for APA’s Division 56 (Trauma Psychology). I am affiliated with two academic institutions: Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Georgetown University and Chair of the Department of International Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington DC,

As a behavioral scientist, I have researched the effects of trauma and other stressful events and am particularly interested in whether individuals from historically oppressed or stigmatized groups experience unique stressors and coping. In 2001, I was a first responder in NYC after the terrorist attack and in 2005 was deployed to New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina. My edited book, Crisis & Disaster Response: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina (2009) captured my work in New Orleans while my first book, A Practical Approach to Trauma: Empowering Interventions (2007) documents clinical work with trauma survivors in marginalized communities.

I have been involved with APA governance since 2004 and served in many capacities; as a member of the Board of Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI), Chair of the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA), member and vice-chair of the Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP), co-chair of the multicultural sub-committee of the Division of Trauma Psychology and member and chair of the Community Engagement Committee of the Society of Counseling Psychology. I am proud of my identity as a psychologist and consider my work with trauma survivors an honor and responsibility.




Candidate: Jack Tsai, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I am grateful for the opportunity to be considered for Member-at-Large for Division 56. In this role, I would like to boost student involvement, support the presidential initiative, and support publication products from the Division. I have past experience in APA that would help me contribute in this position. For Division 56, I currently Chair the Publications Committee and the Liaisons Committee. I am finishing my term as Member-at-Large for Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) and have served a 3-year term on the Board for Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) where I have been part of APA governance. In addition to APA, I’m involved in the American Public Health Association (APHA) where I hold several active leadership roles. In my day job, trauma is an important part of my clinical work, research, and administrative duties. I am the staff psychologist for the Critical Time Intervention program at VA Connecticut where I serve high-risk adults experiencing homelessness, extensive traumas, and other psychosocial problems. I am Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Mental Health Services Research at Yale University School of Medicine where I’ve published over 150 peer reviewed studies and received federally funded grants to study how best to provide services to vulnerable populations. Together, these experiences and resources can help me contribute to Division 56 and I would appreciate your support in giving me the opportunity to do so.