For Current Students

This document was adapted and expanded upon from that of my graduate advisor (your academic grandparent), Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd.


  • Introduction to JG
  • Things I Strive to be as a Mentor & Advisor
  • Things I Strive to do as a Mentor & Advisor
  • What Are My Expectations for Students Who Are Working with Me?
  • My Advice for Students
  • Mandatory Reporting
  • Resources

Introduction to JG

Note: More about me can be found on my faculty and professional websites. You can also follow me on Twitter, @JenniferMGmez1.

Abbreviated CV

I, Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez (JG), am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development (MPSI).

As faculty, my job responsibilities include:

  • Research (from data collection and analysis to manuscript writing; giving talks in the U.S. and abroad; and engaging in public scholarship)
  • Teaching undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Advising and mentoring undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs at WSU and other universities
  • Service (institute, departmental, and university committees, including the Psychology Diversity Committee and students’ master’s and dissertation committees; field service, including serving on journal Editorial Boards)
  • Running my research laboratory
  • Developing professional relationships with community agencies here in Detroit
  • As new faculty, getting my office and lab set up (e.g., purchasing computers, chairs, etc. from my start up funds)
  • Generally, specifically, and consistently working towards social justice and equity for all
  • Being a happy lady in all facets of my personal and professional life

I truly love all of the different responsibilities I have, though one of my favorite things to do is mentor and advise students because:

Being available to my own graduate students, as well as students across the Department of Psychology and MPSI, is a top priority for me. As advising and mentoring students is not my only responsibility, however, I have put together this page to share expectations.

Things I Strive to be as a Mentor and Advisor

  • Supportive
  • Responsive
  • Flexible (“every hand needs a different glove” approach; basics are the same throughout—e.g., communication is key—but I adapt based on the needs and wants of each student)
  • Open/curious
  • Committed
  • Safe (to bring up concerns and uncomfortable topics, including issues students are having with their course work, clinical work, research, myself, etc.)

Things I Strive to do as a Mentor and Advisor

  • Provide critical feedback
  • Be receptive to feedback
  • Have a forward gaze (paying attention to where you want to be and what you will need to get there)
  • Relay and provide opportunities for professional growth
  • Provide guidance

Follow Up: Why do I like to give critical feedback?

  • We are in service of the populations we serve, as researchers, teachers, and clinicians; therefore, our work should be the best it can be
  • I believe you can do your best
  • I believe your best will keep improving over time
  • I believe in you as a thinker, scholar, and person
  • I am invested in helping you develop and grow

What Are My Expectations for Students Who Are Working with Me?


Being Responsible/Responsive

For my graduate students in particular—but also for any graduate students who have a working relationship with me (e.g., mentorship committee; letter of recommendation writer, etc.): it is very important for you to respond to a question, query, or message I send in a timely manner.

For my graduate students, that means responding to me within 24 hours on business days (Monday – Friday, excluding holidays). If I ask you a question you do not know the answer to, respond that you do not know. If I send you resources or information, respond with a simple “Got it!” or “Thank you!”, etc. Please refrain from not responding at all. If you will be out of communication for any reason, it is your responsibility to let me know once you know, remind me just before you leave, and set up an automatic away message on your Wayne State email.

Though the advisor/advisee and mentor/mentee relationships are asymmetric due to our differences in roles and power, it is still a two-way relationship. Your advisor/mentor (that is me, JG!) is not only here to serve your needs and yours alone. It is expected that you will actively engage in fostering a healthy, communicative relationship. This means being responsive as detailed above, being respectful, coming to meetings on time and prepared (more on that below), asking questions when you have them, and keeping me updated on your progress in your classes, your clinical work, your research, etc.

Why is open communication so important to me?

For us to foster a healthy mentorship/advising relationship.

Important: If I don’t know, I can’t help!

If you are having problems, confusion, etc., I cannot provide guidance if I do not know about it. It is always your choice as to what and how much to disclose to me (e.g., I will not demand that you tell me secrets you don’t want me to know!). However, an open, responsible, responsive, communicative relationship will mean that you are able to assert your needs, and I will be able to do my best to help guide and support you.

Tip: If there’s something going on in your personal life that you do not feel comfortable sharing, you could say, “I am going through something right now personally. I don’t want or need to talk about the details of it. But I wanted to let you know that I may be a bit distracted and slower on doing work while I’m dealing with it.”

Getting a Response from JG


Email is often the quickest way to get a hold of me, as I tend to answer emails quickly. For my graduate students, I aim to respond to emails within 24 hours on business days. If I am going to be out of communication for any reason, I will let my students know and will have an away message up on my Wayne State email.

If you want a response or feedback on a document that is longer than about a page, please give me both a hard copy and an electronic version (more on this below).

Lab Meetings

Lab meeting attendance is expected of my graduate students. As I am new to faculty, lab meetings will commence once a month and will be open to select graduate and undergraduate students who request and are approved to attend. These lab meetings are good times to get me to sign forms or ask me quick questions. When you are scheduled to make a presentation at the lab meeting, it is important for you to work with me in developing the presentation. This includes discussing the topic to present, sending me powerpoint slides and/or handouts to review, etc. For us to have time to review and revise content, such material should be to me at least 2 weeks before you are scheduled to present.

On all presentations and handouts should be your name, as well as the name of all collaborators, acknowledgements to those who have provided help or feedback, the date, and usually a disclaimer that explains that the information is preliminary and should not be cited or shared beyond the lab meeting.

One last tip: it is important to openly acknowledge collaborative work (as most research is collaborative). When discussing such research, always use the plural rather than singular (“our study” vs. “my study”, etc.). If in doubt, ask me and/or err on the side of sharing credit.

Individual Meetings

In addition to lab meetings, I will meet with my graduate students regularly. Other departmental/MPSI graduate students are welcome to contact me to set up a time to meet for drop-in or more regular meetings. I will do my best to accommodate these requests as my schedule permits. Meetings can take place in one of my offices, my lab, or in taking a walk. All students are responsible for keeping track of what is discussed in our meetings—including deadlines, topics to follow up on, etc.

Coming to Meetings On Time & Prepared

In preparation to meet with me (outside of office hours), students should:

  • Email me the morning-of to confirm the meeting; without such confirmation, I will consider the meeting canceled (this is to avoid the time wasted waiting for no-shows)
  • Have a plan of what will be discussed
  • Be prepared (e.g., if a first meeting to discuss research, have reviewed my website: ; have prepared questions, points of discussion, topics, etc.)
  • Be on time; communicate if you will be running late

To have efficient meetings, it is incumbent on students to take ownership over their own knowledge and growth. Being prepared, having a plan, and having a clear sense of the goals of the meeting will make our time together: mutually beneficial; you will be more likely to get what you need from me and our meeting; and you will communicate respect of the time and expertise of your grad advisor/mentor (me!).

What to Do After Meetings

It is your responsibility to keep track of what is discussed in our meetings, what your follow up steps are, and getting any answers or clarifications you need from me.

Scheduling Committee Meetings

When you need to schedule an advising or mentorship committee meeting for a semester, begin planning at the beginning of the semester. (Wrangling a bunch of busy faculty members can be time-consuming!). Please follow these steps to schedule:

  • Write to JG with your available times
  • JG writes back with overlapping available times
  • THEN write the rest of the committee, cc-ing JG, with just the times that you and I are both available. I recommend using Doodle or another scheduling software for the last step

Papers, Documents, Forms, and Other Written Things


  • GIVE ME BOTH a HARD COPY and ELECTRONIC COPY of documents, presentations, etc.
  • ALLOW ME 2 WEEKS to review whenever possible.

More detail: Providing me with both hard and electronic copies aids in me being able to provide feedback in a timely manner. As a general rule, do NOT wait until the last minute to send me something! It is quite possible that if you wait till the last minute, I will not be able to review the paper, write the letter of recommendation, approve the Abstract for submission, etc. I recommend giving me TWO WEEKS to review something. The reason is there will likely be times where multiple students need feedback from me simultaneously, in addition to my own deadlines. This is particularly true at crunch times (e.g., late Fall term, as Letter of Recommendation season).

Materials you send me to review should include contextual information so that I know what it is. For papers and manuscripts, this includes:

  • A cover page with authorship, date, title/working title, word count, intended journal or outlet, any word limits, any deadlines
  • Both hard and electronic copies
  • Descriptive file name (e.g., instead of “master’s thesis”, “Last NameThesisVariablesDateInitials of last person to edit”, so “GómezManuCBTT hallucinations8.12.19JG”)
  • Page numbers throughout
  • Double-spaced

Feedback on Papers, etc.

My goal is to get you feedback on manuscripts, presentations, etc., within 2 weeks of you giving it to me. (Note: potential departmental exceptions to theses and dissertations).

Letters of Recommendation

For letters of recommendation, I usually will need:

  • 4 weeks notice (but: best to tell me as soon as you know)
  • Materials, such as copy of the application essay, description of the award
  • How to submit
  • A document describing highlights of your fanciness and our relationship (e.g., been an RA for 1 year; this GPA; you saw me give this talk for X conference, etc.)

Tight Timeline

If you discover that you are not going to be able to get me something to review 2 weeks of a deadline--or 4 week for letters of rec, let me know as soon as possible. Note: even for big events (a conference, a thesis, a dissertation, a manuscript for a special issue), you are responsible for keeping yourself and me accountable for deadlines. Meaning, do not assume that if I have not received a document that needs review that I am calculating the accelerated turn-around time—not for lack of caring, but for juggling my own + my students deadlines.

My Advice for Students

  • Be organized and efficient:The better you are at managing your time, the more cool stuff you get to do!
  • If you don’t know something, think and then ask, if needed
  • If you are scared that you’re bad at something, seek it out: E.g., If you’re scared of public speaking, don’t spend 5 years avoiding public speaking. Take the opportunity to practice, grow, and learn
  • Take ownership over your own learning, professional development, and advancement
  • Come prepared
  • Act as if you believe in yourself, even when you don’t
  • No one mentor or advisor can be everything you need: Get a mentorship network
  • Admit to yourself when you have made a mistake or series of mistakes
  • When not relationally unsafe, admit to others when you make a mistake or series of mistakes: E.g., Tell me!
  • Prioritize your full self: You are more than a walking head
  • Say Thank You!: Faculty and staff do a LOT to help students. Often, we don’t know if our efforts are actually helpful. So: if faculty or staff (or a peer! Or anyone!) has done something that has been useful to you (e.g., brought in a great speaker; given great guidance in a meeting, etc.), a simple Thank You is not only appreciated, but also helps the person tailor their efforts to you, thus resulting in doing more of the things that are helpful for you

Mandatory Reporting

The issue of mandated reporting of campus sexual violence has received considerable attention for the greater part of a decade. There are varying views on the appropriateness of blanket mandated reporting (see Dr. Freyd’s website with compiled resources and my own scholarly opinion piece that I wrote as a graduate student in 2016).

Universities also have various interpretations of what Title IX actually requires regarding reporting.

Here is WSU’s current rules, from our Title IX Office website:

"Mandatory reporting – Responsible Employees

Wayne State University faculty and staff are considered Responsible Employees and are obligated to promptly report incidents of sexual misconduct. The only exception is confidential employees in Counseling and Psychological Services and the Campus Health Center.

Consistent with Wayne State's obligations under federal law, Wayne State is required to notify a student who reports having experienced sexual misconduct by another student, a faculty member or a staff member of the university, that the student has the option to report the matter to law enforcement, to the university, to both, or to neither, as the student may choose.

Regardless of what course of action the student chooses, Wayne State faculty and staff who know of or have received information about a sexual misconduct or potential sexual misconduct incident that occurred on campus, in a university program, or at a university-sponsored event, must promptly report that incident to the Title IX Director so that Wayne State can fulfil its institutional obligations. Your knowledge is the university's knowledge. When in doubt, report it.

In light of this mandatory reporting requirement, it is important for faculty and staff to know that if a student reports an incident to you, you cannot promise confidentiality and should inform the student that you are required to report the incident to the Title IX Director. Once reported, for the privacy of the parties involved, it should not be discussed with anyone else.

Wayne State is still obligated to investigate, even where the student chooses not to report or where the student is unwilling or reluctant to participate in an investigation. Wayne State will proceed in a way that takes into account the concerns of the student survivor/victim and Wayne State's responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment to the entire campus community.”


As WSU faculty, I am obligated to report information I know of or have received regarding sexual misconduct or potential sexual misconduct that: 1) occurred on campus, in a university program, or at a university sponsored event; and/or 2) that was perpetrated by a member of the university (student, staff, faculty) to the Title IX coordinator, regardless of the student’s wishes. Please keep this in mind should you choose to share such information with me.

WSU has provided a resource page for students.

Note: I have no experience with the above resources.


For more about me, see my faculty website, professional website, and/or Twitter, @JenniferMGmez1

For more grad student resources, see Dr. Jennifer Freyd’s website

For more advice on faculty-grad student interactions, see Stanford's page

For WSU resources for students, see Dean of Students Warrior Life

If going to or from campus at odd hours (e.g., very early morning, late at night), there is the WSU Police Department's Safe Walk Program. It's free. Call 313-577-2222, and police will escort you to your car or residence.

For more information about WSU Police and Safety at Wayne, see website

For Prospective Students

Recruiting Students

I am an Assistant Professor in clinical psychology at Wayne State University in Detroit and will be recruiting graduate student(s) for admission, Fall 2020.

Deadline for applications: 1 December 2019

Abbreviated CV

Research Interests

Note: I like to work with people who are interested in what I’m doing research-wise, and also who stretch intellectually where the research is going.

My research is focused on Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory.

In the foreseeable future, I plan to have data from a validation study of the Cultural Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory for African American Young Adults (ages 18-29). The validation manuscripts will likely be spoken for, but data with the various measures (cultural betrayal trauma, mental health outcomes, internalized prejudice, racial identity, etc.) will be rife for projects.

It is also likely that I will have data on Black and White participants: cultural betrayal trauma and suicidality, among a host of relational and mental health measures.

Lastly, I have a rich data set testing cultural betrayal trauma theory, which used a diverse ethnic minority college student sample, and looked at cultural betrayal trauma and diverse outcomes.

Additionally, there will likely also be opportunities for graduate students to lead projects incorporating constructs of interest, focused around cultural betrayal trauma theory and Black youth and young adults.

Sample Questions for Campus Visit Interviews

To help all applicants be on equal footing in preparing for the campus visit, below are sample questions for the 30-45 minute interview with me:

Welcome! How has the day been so far?

We have a relatively short amount of time, so we can dive right in. I’m going to ask you a few questions, and then we’ll hold space at the end for you to ask me questions. This is designed for us to get to know each other, not to be an interrogation!

These things will evolve, but at this moment:

  • What research projects are you most excited about doing—from limitations you’ve noticed in the work on CBTT so far, directions to take?
  • Why Me as advisor?
  • Why Wayne State?
  • What would your ideal relationship with your graduate advisor be?/What are you looking for in your graduate advisor?
  • What kind of career do you want to have after you earn your Ph.D.?
  • What questions do you have for me?

Wayne State University Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology at the research-intensive (R1) Wayne State University provides a broad spectrum of graduate education that prepares students for careers in both academic and applied settings. The department has five doctoral programs in: (1) Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, (2) Clinical Psychology, (3) Developmental Science, (4) Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and (5) Social-Personality Psychology.

Our graduates have careers as research scientists, scholar-teachers at colleges or universities, and professionals in business and industry, health care, schools, community organizations, and government agencies. We have a dynamic and dedicated faculty with wide ranging interests and active research programs in almost all areas of psychology, including: trajectories of homeless youth; violence victimization in minority populations; racial and sexual harassment within organizations; cognitive and behavioral neuroscience; substance abuse; memory; relationships; lifespan development; infant and child mental health; and many more. The department fosters collaborations with research institutes across the university, including the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development and the Institute of Gerontology.

Wayne State University is located in Metropolitan Detroit, a historic city that served as a final stop for the Underground Railroad prior to crossing the Detroit River into Canada. The Department of Psychology serves a racially, ethnically, economically, and religiously diverse student body. Wayne State University is located in the Museum District, near art and historic sites, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Opera House, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

The Department of Psychology is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in our students, faculty, staff, and in the broader communities we serve (including substantial Black/African American and Arab/Chaldean populations). With faculty, staff, and graduate student members, the mission of the department's Diversity Committee is to ensure that diversity, in all its forms, is respected and valued. The department is engaged in fostering and maintaining an open, non-discriminatory, and empowering environment of inclusiveness within the Psychology Department through advocacy, programming, training, and assessment of diversity issues. Graduate students have the opportunity to gain mentorship skills through the Mentoring Undergraduate Students towards Excellence (MUSE) Program. This program is sponsored by the Diversity Committee and helps undergraduate students from typically underrepresented/minority groups and first-generation college students navigate their paths to psychology graduate programs.

Applications for the Graduate Program are due December 1, 2019, with interviews in February 2020.

Awards My Graduate Students Have Won
Wayne State University Dean's Diversity Fellowship
Daeja Marzette (2019)

Graduate Programs with a Trauma Psychology Focus

  • Wayne State University (Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez; Dr. Antonia Abbey, non-clinical).
  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (community health, Dr. Robyn Gobin)
  • University of Georgia (Dr. Isha Metzger)
  • University of Denver (Dr. Anne Deprince)
  • Oregon State University (non-clinical only; Dr. Kathy Becker-Blease)
  • University of Tulsa (Dr. Lisa Cromer)
  • University of Regina (Dr. Bridget Klest)
  • University of California, Santa Cruz (non-clinical only; contact Dr. Eileen Zurbriggen)
  • University of California, San Diego (contact Dr. Carolyn Allard)
  • Alliant University (contact Dr. Constance Dalenberg)
  • Nova Southeastern University (contact Dr. Steve Gold)
  • Western Washington University (Master's degree only; Dr. Brianna Delker)
  • Towson University (Master's degree only; contact Dr. Bethany Brand)
  • Penn State-Erie (Master's in Applied Clinical Psychology, Dr. Melanie Hetzel-Riggin)
  • APA-Div 56's list of trauma psychology graduate programs
  • ISSTD's list of academic supervisors with trauma focus

Resources on Choosing Graduate Programs

Advice for Marginalized Students on Choosing a Ph.D. Program


Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D.

I am an Assistant Professor in the Wayne State University (WSU) Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development (MPSI).

I earned my Ph.D. in [clinical] psychology from University of Oregon in 2017. I am a Ford Fellow (Dissertation, 2015-16; Postdoctoral, 2018-19), National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow (2019), co-editor of the special issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation— [JTD] Self Injury & Suicidality: The Impact of Trauma & Dissociation (2015), and lead co-editor of the upcoming special issue of JTD, Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the WSU Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition Fellowship (PFT) Program at MPSI in 2019. I have published over 45 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, scholarly writings, and pieces for the general public.

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 female is sexually assaulted by a Black male, 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.

Abbreviated CV

Twitter: @JenniferMGmez1


Abbreviated CV


The Conversation

The Unique Harm of Sexual Abuse in the Black Community was published in The Conversation, which is a news outlet for researchers to translate their work for a non-academic audience of over 10 million users.

"The body of research to date suggests that cultural betrayal may be a unique harm within violence in minority populations, including the black community. As such, the alleged sexual traumas perpetrated by R. Kelly and Clarence Thomas have a cultural betrayal that isn’t found in Woody Allen’s alleged abuse. Moreover, black men’s death threats against Tarana Burke are (intra)cultural pressure that is laced with misogynoir, or sexism in the black community."

The research study featured in this article is Isn’t It All About Victimization? (Intra)cultural Pressure and Cultural Betrayal Trauma in Ethnic Minority College Women (Gómez, 2018).

Also published on the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) Blog, featured on Today@Wayne, and re-published by over 15 other news outlets.

As of 8 September 2019, the article has over 7,400 readers.

May 2019

Project on Institutional Courage

I am an Advisor and Research Team Member on Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd's Project on Institutional Courage.

This collaborative special project has two interrelated goals. One is to nurture a research and action agenda for addressing sexual violence through institutional courage. The other is to give birth to an enduring organization with the working name The Center for Institutional Courage (CIC).

April 2019

CNN Business

Interviewed by Julia Carpenter for her CNN Business article, Serena Williams' Nike ad exposes the double standards women face at work.

"Women in the workplace are tasked with the additional work of managing these perceptions, Gómez says.

"So much time is spent worrying adapting your speech and figuring out what to say and how you can say it differently and that is taking away from time and energy and effort for your job," she says. "It's a job for you to figure out 'how can I say this in this meeting without people painting me in this emotion corner?' and I think the trap with that is that it's not in the woman's control."

25 February 2019

Who's Betraying Who? R. Kelly, Sexual Violence, & The Dismissal of Black Women & Girls

New piece:

"The second truth is where it seems we consistently get into trouble: The rape of Black women and girls does matter. . . As a Black female clinical psychologist, I have coined the term cultural betrayal to describe instances where violence happens within the Black community. . . Nevertheless, in these discussions of sexual violence, often what is termed “betrayal” is something quite different. . . We must ask ourselves why."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

As of 24 May 2019, this article has received over 700 views.

25 August 2019

Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities

Open Call for this Special Issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation: Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities

Co-Editors: Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D., Robyn L. Gobin, Ph.D., & Melissa L. Barnes, M.S.

Goal: to understand the joint impact of discrimination and interpersonal trauma on minorities

Deadline for Submissions: 1 December 2019

Cultural Betrayal Trauma Video

In this short video, discussion of Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory and the article, Isn't It All About Victimization? (Intra)Cultural Pressure and Cultural Betrayal Trauma in Ethnic Minority College Women, which was published in Violence Against Women.

As of 25 August 2019, this video has been viewed over 450 times

January 2019

National Academy of Sciences' 30th Annual U.S. Kavli Frontiers of Science

Invitation from National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to attend the NAS' 30th Annual U.S. Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium.

This symposium series is the NAS' premiere activity for distinguished young scientists.

Attendees are selected by a committee of Academy members from among young researchers who have already made recognized contributions to science, including recipients of major national fellowships and awards and who have been identified as future leaders in science.

From Today@Wayne Press Release:
“I’m not surprised that Jennifer was invited to this high-level scientific meeting given the quality of her scholarship and her passion for groundbreaking research,” said Ambika Mathur, associate provost for STWD and dean of the Graduate School. “Being part of the Kavli Symposium and her appointment as a Ford Fellow marks an important milestone in the PFT experience at Wayne State, and we are so proud of her impressive accomplishments."

December 2018

Open Essay on Gender Discrimination, Freyd's Lawsuit, & Recommendations for Universities

Open Essay: Gender Discrimination, Dr. Jennifer Freyd's Lawsuit, & Recommendations for Universities

"There are few emotions as potent as those caused by the pain of watching someone you respect, admire, and care for be discriminated against. Understanding how this discrimination, which feels so isolated and personal, actually is endemic of academia’s dirty little secret of systemic gender discrimination—contributing to the leaky pipeline for women—is more painful still."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

As of 25 August 2019, the open essay has been viewed over 700 times.

December 2018

Black Women & #MeToo

Op-ed comparing Ford/Kavanaugh with Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas: "Black Women & #MeToo: The Violence of Silencing" translates research on cultural betrayal trauma theory to the general public.

"Following a quarter of a century - from the testimonies of Anita Hill, J.D., to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford - the U.S. is still struggling: with both how not to violate women, as well as how not to silence them. More difficult still is attuning to the crosshairs that Black women additional face related to race, class, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, nation of origin, and the intersection of these and other identities. Through centralizing various forms of oppression in addressing sexual violence against Black women, I can only hope that in 2045 - 27 years from now, we are not still haunted with these same ghosts of violence, silencing, and denial of Black women’s experiences."--Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

December 2018

CNN Business

Interviewed by Julia Carpenter for her CNN Business article, Minority employees are often asked to work double-duty.

This "double shift" is common in many workplaces. White, cisgender or straight colleagues may be fearful of accidentally saying the wrong thing. So instead, they task employees of different races, backgrounds or sexual orientations with the "diversity work" that otherwise wouldn't get done.

"I don't think people realize how much emotional time it takes and how much physical time it takes," says Jennifer Gómez, . . . Wayne State University. "I believe that oftentimes it's seen as 'It's not my issue. I'm a white person. Racism isn't my issue. It's not about me. It's about those people over there.' and really, diversity and equity is everyone's responsibility."

November 2018

Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Awarded the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine

From Wayne State University Graduate School article:

"Being a PFT fellow is truly a dream job for me as a junior researcher who wants to make my career at Wayne State,” says Gómez. The Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship will support her work in developing and validating a culturally sensitive measure of CBTT on black emergent adults. “Known as the Cultural Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory,” she explains, “this measure will engender needed research on mental health and personal growth in black people who experience both violence and discrimination.”

March 2018

United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs

With Help Not Handcuffs, Inc., presented Institutional Betrayal Against People Who Use Drugs as part of the panel, How The Treatment/Recovery Narrative Perpetuates Harm and Human Rights Violations at the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.

My portion of the full panel.

As of 25 August 2019, this video has been viewed over 100 times

March 2018

CNN Money

Interviewed by Julia Carpenter for her CNN Money article, The 'Emotional Tax' Afflicting Women of Color at Work.

This is where offices and managers can step in to lift the burden, experts say. The first step is focusing on retention as well as recruitment.

"Don't just focus on getting people here, but listening when they are here," Gómez says. "Sometimes in the workplace it can be 'OK, we have two women of color on staff, they're gonna be in charge of the diversity committee and they're gonna fix it.' If we want to make this workplace one that isn't rife with racism, sexism, and sexual harassment, then it's all of our jobs."

March 2018

NIH NICHD Trainee Award

Trainee Award for the 2018 Summer Training Institute for Research in Child Abuse and Neglect, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

January 2018


Featured in the Wayne State University Spotlight on Postdoctoral Scholar Series for Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory

December 2017


Work featured in article, "New Trauma Theory Examines Cultural Betrayal" in the Wayne State University Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute newsletter, Imprints.

"Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez, MPSI’s new post-doctoral fellow, has revealed yet another critical factor: cultural betrayal. . . 'If a Black woman is raped by a Black man, the racial loyalty is also disrupted. A member of her ‘group’ has turned on her,' Dr. Gómez said. These effects happen in ethnic minority groups, because years of racial oppression by 'outsiders' can foster deep loyalty between members. Members unite for support, validation and a sense of community. This circle of trust can be protective and secure. When within-group violence between members breaks this (intra)cultural trust, though, the effects of this cultural betrayal trauma can intensify. The victim may feel shunned by the group that used to protect her. She may have no safe haven, no one to trust."

November 2017

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

As of 25 August 2019, the article has received over 6,750 views.

March 2017

Cited in Annual Report of the Director of Public Health

The above article was quoted in the Annual Report of the Director of Public Health, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Resilience and Trauma Informed Care: A Public Health Approach to Understanding and Responding to Adversity. (Scotland)

"There is a risk that professionals are seen as placing the ‘pathology of trauma within the individual - often an individual who has been deeply betrayed - instead of within the person(s) or environment(s) responsible for the betrayal’121. Gomez et al argue that ‘a nonpathologising model of trauma takes the stance that the abnormality is generally in the situation rather than the person. When the trauma is relational, it is the nature of the act that is unhealthy and not the individual who has experienced the act.’"--p. 52

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 25 August 2019, the article has received over 3,400 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."

"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


Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Work for the development and validation of the Cultural Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory for Black emerging adults (ages 18-29) will be funded by the Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine.


Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

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



Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory

Abbreviated CV

Table of Contents

For Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory (CBTT)

  1. CBTT Description with a Short Video
  2. CBTT Description with figures
  3. CBTT Terminology
  4. Condemned to Dance: Arts-Based Research Project
  5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  6. CBTT Publications
  7. CBTT Funding

CBTT Description with a Short Video


In this short video [2019], Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez explains cultural betrayal trauma theory and discusses her article, "Isn't It All About Victimization? (Intra)Cultural Pressure and Cultural Betrayal Trauma in Ethnic Minority College Women", which was published in Violence Against Women.

CBTT Description with Figures

Individuals' experiences are impacted by aspects of the sociocultural context. For minorities, such as Black people in the U.S., who have experienced interpersonal trauma (e.g., physical, sexual, psychological abuse), that context includes inequality at various levels.

In cultural betrayal trauma theory, I propose that societal trauma (e.g., discrimination) creates the context for interpersonal trauma 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.

CBTT Terminology

The term "victim" is used to emphasize the harm of victimization, as well as for brevity. Preferred language is "person who has been victimized," which does not impose a label onto a person based on something they have experienced.


  • A person who has one or more identities that are marginalized in society
  • Examples: in the U.S., people of color, LGBTQ+, Muslims, women

Societal Trauma

  • Negative experiences that systemically occur at the societal level
  • Examples: attempted genocide, discrimination, oppression, second-class citizenship, racialized police brutality

(Intra)Cultural Trust

  • Connection (e.g., dependency, attachment, loyalty, love, and/or responsibility) with other members of one's minority group(s), potentially as a buffer against societal trauma
  • Examples: the "sweet sense of solidarity" with other minorities, in which there is an expectation of understanding and support; personal connection with the successes, joys, failures, and harms of one's minority group(s)

Cultural Betrayal

  • From a fellow minority, violation of (intra)cultural trust in the form of trauma, abuse, violation, or other negative occurrences
  • Examples: being rejected by other members of one's minority group; being accused of 'acting White' by other racial minorities

Cultural Betrayal Trauma

  • Violation of (intra)cultural trust through interpersonal trauma (physical, sexual, or psychological abuse); the victim and perpetrator(s) share at least one minority identity
  • Examples: within-group violence in minority populations (e.g., minority perpetrator, minority victim)

(Intra)Cultural Support

  • An extension of (intra)cultural trust. The needs of the victim are as important as the needs of the minority group. Victim is supported in the aftermath of victimization, as well as in the tensions created by inequality (e.g., need to protect the Black community from discriminatory systems)
  • Examples: being told that you are not responsible for protecting the person(s) who victimized you; helping you think of the pros and cons of disclosing to formal sources, including those that have been and/or continue to be discriminatory against Black people

(Intra)Cultural Pressure

  • Resulting from societal trauma, a negative transformation of (intra)cultural trust; the needs of victims of cultural betrayal trauma are overshadowed by the perceived needs of the perpetrator and/or the entire minority group
  • Examples: being told by a fellow minority to keep problems "in house" and not disclose to law enforcement, therapists, etc. because doing so would reflect poorly on and/or harm the perpetrator, other members of the minority group, and/or the minority group as a whole

Abuse Outcomes

  • Typically-studied outcomes of interpersonal trauma
  • Examples: PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder); depression; anxiety

Cultural Outcomes

  • Currently un-studied or under-studied outcomes of interpersonal trauma that are identity, cultural, or sociocultural in nature
  • Examples: internalized prejudice; changes to identification with minority identity

© Jennifer M. Gómez, 2018

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 12 April 2019, the video has received over 2,300 views.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • 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

CBTT Publications

Book Chapters/Dissertation/Scholarly
  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2019). Betrayal/trauma. In J. J. Ponzetti (Ed.), Macmillan Encyclopedia of Intimate and Family Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Approach (pp. TBD). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning Inc.

  • 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.

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

Public Scholarship

CBTT Funding

  • 2018: Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine; $45,000

  • 2015: Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine; $25,000