Postdoctoral Fellowship Program


In 1984, the Trauma Center was founded and began actively exploring the impact of overwhelming life experience on the psychological development and well-being of children and adults, guided by the theoretical and research contributions of Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. Currently a program of the Justice Resource Institute and a partner in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the Trauma Center continues to pursue its mission of helping trauma survivors re-establish a sense of safety and predictability in the world, and providing them with state-of-the-art therapeutic care during the process of reconstructing their lives.

Since its founding, well over one thousand patients have been seen for evaluation and treatment. In addition to clinical service, the Trauma Center is dedicated to the expansion of the knowledge base about the impact and treatment of overwhelming life experience. Research studies conducted by Trauma Center personnel, under the directorship of Dr. van der Kolk, have explored topics ranging from the impact of traumatic stress on neurological functioning, the relative efficacy of medication versus psychotherapeutic treatments such as EMDR, and the effectiveness of alternative interventions such as yoga and improvisational theatre.

Beginning in 1986, the Psychology Training Program has offered training fellowships to qualified applicants. Currently under the direction of Jana Pressley, Psy.D., the fellowships provide the unique opportunity to work intensively with children and adults who have experienced a broad range of traumatic life events. Clinical work is carried out in a challenging atmosphere of curiosity and dialogue about the scientific and social dimensions involved in the treatment of trauma.

The program aims to provide exposure to the clinical and scientific models of trauma studies. Fellows learn the clinical expertise necessary to effectively diagnose and treat the sequelae of trauma, particularly complex posttraumatic responses. Skills such as evaluation and treatment planning, psychotherapy, and consultation are developed through supervised clinical experience, seminars, and relevant readings. The Trauma Center's emphasis on current research and theoretical underpinnings of trauma requires fellows to participate in a core seminar. Fellows also have the opportunity to partake in specialized seminars.

The fellows work on a multi-disciplinary team and are responsible for providing individual therapy, both short- and long-term; intake evaluations; crisis interventions; case administration; and consultation with community agencies. Fellows also have the opportunity, based on interest and aptitude, to conduct trauma-informed psychological and neuropsychological evaluations.

Clinical work is conducted with children, adolescents, and adults. Fellows who have experience with any of these populations will be considered; fellows are encouraged to work with the full age range while on fellowship.

In addition to outpatient work, conducted on-site at The Trauma Center clinic, fellows spend two days/week at a partner agency, providing specialized services to trauma-impacted populations, and/or participate in grant-funded research projects. Fellows will receive training and supervision in models of intervention for populations such as juvenile justice, gay-lesbian-bisexual youth, and child welfare.

Fellowships are full-time (40 hours/week). Fellows receive both salary and benefits. The training year begins Sept. 1st, or as otherwise indicated, and there is a required two-year commitment.

Learn more about the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and how to apply:


Contact Dr. Jana Pressley at or call 617-232-1303 x2044.


SUMMER INSTITUTE: 6th Annual Summer Training Institute, Cape Cod, July 17-21, 2017