About

Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D.

I am a Ford Fellow, co-editor of the special issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation— Self Injury & Suicidality: The Impact of Trauma & Dissociation (2015), and postdoctoral fellow in the Wayne State University Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition Fellowship (PFT) Program studying urban disparities in adolescents and emerging adults at Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute.

Prior to attending college, I was a professional ballet dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem.

My research focuses on the effects of interpersonal trauma (e.g., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse) in diverse populations. In proposing cultural betrayal trauma theory, I include interpersonal trauma in conjunction with discrimination to examine mental health outcomes.

For example, in cultural betrayal trauma theory, I propose that if a Black woman is sexually assaulted by a Black man, the outcomes of this trauma, such as PTSD, are impacted by both the victim and perpetrator experiencing discrimination in society.

With cultural betrayal trauma theory, I examine the differential impact of inequality for minority victims of trauma that may contribute to urban disparities. I am dedicated to contributing work that has implications for people who are subjected to both discrimination and interpersonal trauma.

Highlights

Top 10 Most Cited Article of 2016

Are Hallucinations Related to Betrayal Trauma Exposure? A Three-Study Exploration among the top 10 most cited articles of 2016 in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy

Authors: Jennifer M. Gómez, Laura A. Kaehler, & Jennifer J. Freyd

August 2017

Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of Trauma Psychology

Awarded by the American Psychological Association Division 56 to Jennifer M. Gómez for Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory.

June 2017

National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID): Diversity Scholars Network

Invited Member

"Members of the Network are identified for their commitment and contribution to diversity research and scholarship." - Diversity Scholars Network

March 2017

Best Article of 2016

"Shifting the focus: Nonpathologizing approaches to healing from betrayal trauma through an emphasis on relational care" won the Richard P. Kluft Award for Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 2016 Best Article!

Authors: Jennifer M. Gómez, Jenn Lewis, Laura K. Noll, Alec Smidt, & Pamela Birrell

"This article provides an excellent framework for understanding the complexities of working with survivors of trauma. It successfully describes the danger in pathologizing reactions to extreme stress and discusses an adaptive treatment model, relational cultural therapy, that emphasizes the importance of the relationship when working with survivors. The article incorporates both empirically supported treatment options as well as influences from all spheres of the socioecological model, including the importance of empowerment, in treating individuals who have experienced complex trauma." -JTD Selection Committee

March 2017

Featured Work

My dissertation on cultural betrayal trauma theory is featured in The Association of Black Psychologists Student Circle Research webpage.

February 2017

Editorial on APA and the Hoffman Report

"Collusion, Torture, and Inequality: Understanding the Actions of the American Psychological Association as Institutional Betrayal" has been published in the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation.

Authors: Jennifer M. Gómez, Carly P. Smith, Robyn L. Gobin, Shin Shin Tang, & Jennifer J. Freyd

As of 4 July 2017, the article has received over 1,400 views.

July 2016

Feature Story

University of Oregon Graduate School ran a feature on my work with cultural betrayal trauma theory, entitled, "A Promising Scholar’s path from ballet to her own theory about culture and betrayal in trauma."

Excerpt:
"Gómez consulted Crenshaw’s Theory of Intersectionality, bell hooks Education as a Practice of Freedom, Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, and Freyd’s Betrayal Trauma Theory for her dissertation, which argues that within-group violence for minorities is uniquely harmful because of existing oppression . . . Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory . . . hypothesizes that the harm of traumas such as physical assault, sexual assault, child abuse, incest, and domestic violence can be exacerbated by a cultural betrayal implicit in within-group violence in minority populations and associated with diverse outcomes, such as PTSD, depression, and internalized prejudice."- University of Oregon Graduate School.

March 2016

Funding

Work for my dissertation, Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory, was funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine through the Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs.

April 2015

Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory

Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory

In Cultural betrayal trauma theory, I propose that societal trauma (e.g., discrimination) creates the context for interpersonal trauma (e.g., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse) within minority groups to be uniquely harmful.

Cultural betrayal trauma theory incorporates various aspects of the sociocultural context, such as societal trauma (e.g., discrimination) and (intra)cultural trust. Consequently, interpersonal trauma within minority groups--termed cultural betrayal trauma--may be linked with diverse outcomes, including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and internalized prejudice.

Condemned To Dance: Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory

Condemned To Dance: Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory is an arts-based research project (dissertation and choreography by Jennifer M. Gómez) that tells the story of a fictional group of people called the Wigglies, who are hurt by Oppression and endure cultural betrayal trauma through dance.

As of 18 September 2017, the video has received over 1,900 views.

FAQs on Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory (CBTT)

  • Does CBTT treat all minorities as if they are the same?

No. With CBTT, both within-group differences and between-group differences can be systematically examined.

  • Does CBTT propose that there is more trauma, violence, and abuse within minority groups?

No. CBTT says nothing about prevalence of trauma, as within-group trauma occurs across majority and minority groups.

  • Does CBTT assume that between-group trauma—particularly with majority perpetrators and minority victims—is not harmful?

No. CBTT focuses on one facet of trauma (within-group) and does not speak to other forms of trauma (between-group) that themselves may be uniquely harmful in their own way.

  • Does CBTT ignore all the other harmful aspects of trauma (e.g., severity, high betrayal)?

No. CBTT highlights cultural betrayal as a specific contributing factor of trauma outcomes, but also includes characteristics of trauma, interpersonal betrayal, institutional betrayal, judicial betrayal, and other factors.

  • Does CBTT presume that perpetrators of cultural betrayal trauma are actively trying to betray?

No. Similar to betrayal trauma theory, the intent of perpetrators is distinct from the betrayal implicit in the trauma.

  • Do victims of trauma need to explicitly feel cultural betrayal for it to count as such?

No. However, future research should explore if outcomes vary based on individuals' perceptions of cultural betrayal in the trauma.

  • Does CBTT ignore the complexity of identity?

No. CBTT is informed by intersectionality and multiplicity. There are various types of cultural betrayal that a single individual could experience (e.g., ethno-cultural betrayal; gender-cultural betrayal).

  • Isn't CBTT a cultural betrayal in and of itself, as it highlights trauma, violence, and abuse that occurs within minority groups?

No. The ultimate determinant of cultural betrayal is societal trauma. The next responsible party are perpetrators for violating (intra)cultural trust. Disclosing and/or discussing cultural betrayal trauma is not a cultural betrayal.

© Jennifer M. Gómez, 2016

Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae

Affiliation

Wayne State University
Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition Fellowship Program
Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute

Education

Areas of Expertise

Grants, Awards, and Honors

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

*Winner of the Richard P. Kluft Award for Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 2016 Best Article

*Top 10 Most Cited Article of 2016 in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy

Book Chapters

  • Gómez, J. M. (2014). Ebony in the ivory tower: Dismantling the stronghold of racial inequality from the inside out. In K. J. Fasching-Varner, R. Reynolds, K. Albert, & L. Martin, (Eds.), Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong (pp. 113-117). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

  • Gómez, J. M., Smith, C. P., & Freyd, J. J. (2014). Zwischenmenschlicher und institutioneller verrat [Interpersonal and institutional betrayal]. In R. Vogt (Ed.), Verleumdung und Verrat: Dissoziative Störungen bei schwer traumatisierten Menschen als Folge von Vertrauensbrüchen (pp. 82-90). Roland, Germany: Asanger Verlag.

Scholarly Publications

  • Gómez, J. M. (2016, May 11). Cultural betrayal trauma theory [Dissertation].

  • Gómez, J. M. (2015). Conceptualizing trauma: In pursuit of culturally relevant research. Trauma Psychology Newsletter (American Psychological Association Division 56), 10, 40-44.

  • Gómez, J. (2015). Rape, Black men, and the degraded Black woman: Feminist psychologists’ role in addressing within-group sexual violence. The Feminist Psychologist: Newsletter for the Society of the Psychology of Women (American Psychological Association Division 35), 42, 12-13.

  • Noll, L. K., & Gómez, J. M. (2013). Rotating betrayal blindness and the non-linear path to knowing. In Blind to Betrayal.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2013, June). The “Imposter Syndrome”? Dealing with racism from fellow graduate students in psychology. Psych Discourse—News Journal of the Association of Black Psychologists, 47, 23.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2012). Cultural betrayal trauma theory: The impact of culture on the effects of trauma. In Blind to Betrayal.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2011). Anxious attachment as a mediator between child sexual abuse and dating violence victimization among young women. San Diego State University Psychology Honors Thesis Journal, 1, 2-8.

Publications for the General Public

Professional Presentations

Invited Talks

  • Gómez, J. M. (2017, September). Cultural betrayal trauma theory: Impact of inequality and identity. Invited talk for University of Michigan Department of Psychology Personality & Social Contexts Area Brownbag, Ann Arbor, MI.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2017, September). Cultural betrayal trauma theory: How inequality impacts trauma outcomes. Invited talk for Wayne State University Department of Psychology Clinical Psychology Brownbag, Detroit, MI.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2016, April). Sexual violence at college: From betrayal and inequality to research and action. Invited talk for University of Oregon Psi Chi Speaker Series, Eugene, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2016, February). Dance Theatre of Harlem: Apartheid and dancing through barriers. Invited talk for University of Oregon Black History Month Celebration: Black, Then and There: A Tribute to the Harlem Renaissance, Eugene, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2015, November). The psychology of betrayal trauma: Implications for understanding sexual violence. Invited Keynote Address for the Annual Center For Community Counseling Mental Health Conference: Roadmap to the Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Violence, Eugene, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2015, September). Oppression and campus sexual violence: The need for inclusivity in research, intervention, and advocacy. Invited talk for the University of Oregon Social Justice Summit, Eugene, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2015, May). Cultural betrayal trauma theory. Invited talk for University of Johannesburg Department of Psychology Colloquium, Johannesburg, South Africa.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2015, January). Exclusion and institutional betrayal: A psychological perspective of Black life at University of Oregon. In C. Jackson (Chair), A hidden history: Contextualizing Oregon’s Historical and sociological African American migration. Invited talk for the University of Oregon Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence Panel for the Martin Luther King, JR. Week of Events, Eugene, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2014, June). The psychology of betrayal trauma: Interpersonal, institutional, & cultural. Center for Community Counseling, Eugene, Invited talk for the Center for Community Counseling Speaker Schedule, Eugene, OR.

  • Ulloa, E. C., & Gómez, J. M. (2010, May). Understanding teen and young adult relationship violence. Alliant International University, San Diego, Forensic Psychology Psy.D. program, Invited Talk for the Forensic Psychology Society Colloquium, San Diego, CA.

Paper Presentations

  • Gómez, J. M. (2017, September). Introducing cultural betrayal as a new dimension of harm: Intra-racial vs. interracial trauma. Paper presented at Michigan Regional Postdoctoral Symposium, Detroit, MI.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2017, April). Insomnia and depression among Black and White suicidal military members. Paper presented at the Medical University of South Carolina Sleep & Anxiety Treatment and Research Program Sleep Seminar, Charleston, SC.

  • Gómez, J. M., Smith, C. P., & Freyd, J. J. (2017, April). Minority students' experience of discrimination and institutional betrayal. Paper presentation at The Pacific Sociological Association’s 88th Annual Meeting/Conference: Institutional Betrayal: Inequity, Discrimination, Bullying, and Retaliation in Academia, Portland, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M. (2015, September). Sexual trauma, internalized prejudice, and ethnic identity: The impact of cultural betrayal. Paper presented at the 2015 Conference of Ford Fellows, Washington, D.C.

  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2012, October). Non-suicidal self injury, child sexual abuse, & hallucinations: An exploratory study. Paper presentation presented at the University of Oregon Department of Psychology Colloquium: First Year Projects, Eugene, OR.

  • Miller, T., Gómez, J. M., Ulloa, E. C., & Hokoda, A. (2010, September). Association between dating violence victimization & perpetration among adolescents. Paper presentation presented at the Institute of Violence, Abuse, and Trauma International Conference, San Diego, CA.

  • Gómez, J. M, Braga, D., Ulloa, E. C., & Hokoda, A. (2010, April). Helpless attributions as mediator between dating violence victimization and depression: Differences by gender. Paper presentation presented at the Western Psychological Association Regional Conference, Cancun, México.

Poster Presentations

  • Gómez, J. M. (2017, September). Testing cultural betrayal trauma theory: Within-group violence victimization among Black college students. Poster presented at the 22nd International Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma: Building Peace by Linking Research, Practice, Advocacy & Policy to End Violence & Abuse, San Diego, CA.

  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2017, September). Psychological outcomes of within-group sexual violence: Evidence of cultural betrayal. Poster presented at the 22nd International Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma: Building Peace by Linking Research, Practice, Advocacy & Policy to End Violence & Abuse, San Diego, CA.

  • Gómez, J. M., Rosenthal, M. N., Smith, C. P., & Freyd, J. J. (2015, August). Participant reactions to sexual violence questionnaires: Implications for campus climate surveys. Poster presented at the 20th International Summit & Training on Violence, Abuse & Trauma, San Diego, CA.

  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2014, October). *Changes in identity as a result of betrayal trauma? *Poster presented at the 31st annual meeting of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, Long Beach, CA.

  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2014, June). What’s in a name? Variability in identification with minority identity. Poster presented at The Third Biennial American Psychological Association Division 45 Research Conference, Eugene, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2014, June). Sexual trauma, cultural betrayal, and PTSD within cultural minorities. Poster presented at The Third Biennial American Psychological Association Division 45 Research Conference, Eugene, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M., Smith, C. P., & Freyd, J. J. (2014, June). Minority students’ experience of discrimination and institutional betrayal. Poster presented at The Third Biennial American Psychological Association Division 45 Research Conference, Eugene, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2014, April). Dissociation, high betrayal child sexual abuse, and hallucinations. Poster presented at the Western Psychological Association Conference, Portland, OR.

  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2013, August). High betrayal child sexual abuse, self injury, & hallucinations. Poster presented at the 121st Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

  • Braga, D., Gómez, J. M., Hokoda, A., & Ulloa, E. C. (2010, August). Anxious attachment as a mediator between anger control and dating violence perpetration. Poster presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.

  • Gómez, J. M., Ulloa, E. C., & Hokoda, A. (2009, November). Child sexual abuse as a correlate to the perpetration and victimization of dating violence. Poster presented at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, Phoenix, AZ.

  • Gómez, J. M., Braga, D., Lewis, M., Hokoda, A., & Ulloa, E. C. (2009, September). Attributional styles, dating violence victimization, and depression: A mediation model. Poster presented at the Institute of Violence, Abuse, and Trauma International Conference, San Diego, CA.

  • Lewis, M., Gómez, J. M., Weldon, A., Miller, T., Ulloa, E. C. & Hokoda, A. (2009, September). Anger control: A mediator between parental conflict and dating violence. Poster presented at the Institute of Violence, Abuse, and Trauma International Conference, San Diego, CA.

  • Gómez, J. M., Antônio, T., Koller, S., Hokoda, A., Ulloa, E. C., Miller, T., & Jordan, B. (2009, April). Teen relationship violence among Brazilian homeless youth: A descriptive study. Poster presented at the Western Psychological Association Regional Conference, Portland, OR.

  • Stamper, B., Gómez, J. M., Hokoda, A., & Ulloa, E. C. (2009, April). Examining the relationship between jealousy and sexual violence in teen dating relationships. Poster presented at the Western Psychological Association Regional Conference, Portland, OR.

  • Baeressan, K., Gómez, J. M., Akré, E., Ulloa, E. C., & Hokoda, A. (2008, September). Examining depression, harmful family influences, and adolescent dating violence: A mediational model. Poster presented at the Institute of Violence, Abuse, and Trauma International Conference, San Diego, CA.

  • Akré, E., Gómez, J. M., Hokoda, A., & Ulloa, E. C. (2008, April). Examining depression, family conflict, and teen relationship violence in Mexican adolescents: A mediation model. Poster presented at the Western Psychological Association Regional Conference, Irvine, CA.