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Welcome to the Trauma Research Foundation. We started the Trauma Research Foundation in 2018 as a successor to the Trauma Center, which went back to 1982, and which for four decades focused on exploring optimal treatments for traumatized children and adults appropriate to their cultural context, levels of psychological development, particular clinical presentation, social support and biological functioning.
The Trauma Research Foundation continues the tradition of the Trauma Center in combining a quest for finding optimal clinical interventions with the training of advanced professionals, and state of the art research into the nature of traumatic stress and attachment disturbances. Over the past four decades the Trauma Center has one some of the earliest scientific studies on the psychopharmacology of PTSD, the efficacy of EMDR, yoga, theater, neurofeedback and sensory integration, and the Trauma Research Foundation continues that tradition with its current studies on the effects of mind altering substances such as MDMA (in conjunction with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies- MAPS), and the neuroscientific investigation of the altered experience of touch in traumatized children and adults, as well as the degree to which touch (and movement) based interventions are capable of re-wiring critical brain circuitry.
Currently, in the US and most other countries, the availability of particular treatments is largely determined by insurance companies who determine what is reimbursed. This highlights social inequality, in that it makes inaccessible many effective interventions that can help people to be more connected with their bodies, more capable of staying focused and regulated, and having more harmonious and effective relationships - within families, intimate relationships, and in parent-child interactions .
The goals of the Trauma Research Foundation are to 1) highlight and support, through our Therapeutic Alliance, a variety of innovative programs that have been developed in a diversity of cultural contexts- in school systems, prisons, refugee camps, foster care systems, domestic violence shelters etc. etc., and to make these programs more accessible both to professionals and to consumers, 2) to thoroughly train professionals in the fundamentals of traumatic stress and its treatment, with an emphasis on the neuroscience of trauma; attachment and caregiving systems; social and cultural dimensions, and a large variety of treatment approaches- through our Certificate Program and supervisory options, 3) to promote and actively support scientific research into fundamental issues in developmental trauma, such as sensory integration, touch, and attentional systems, 4) to initiate and promote public health initiatives such as neurofeedback, yoga, and other community building and self-regulation promoting interventions in culturally appropriate settings, including school systems.
As always, we are still growing and developing –regularly learning new angles and approaches. I hope you will join us in our endeavors in any way that is appropriate for your particular circumstances.
Bessel A. van der Kolk MD
President Trauma Research Foundation
Author, The Body keeps the Score, now for 109 weeks on the NYT best seller list.
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