Curriculum Vitae

Pre-order the book here!!!! (Book Birthday: 11 July 2023)

Read the Introduction Chapter: What’s Racism Got To Do With It? Black Women & Girls, Sexual Abuse, & Liberation

Affiliations & Roles

I am an Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW), Clinical Practice Department, and Faculty Affiliate at BU’s Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health. I am also on the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Research Advisory Committee of the Center for Institutional Courage, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming institutional approaches and responses to abuse, harassment, violence, and inequality. Additionally, I am a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) and the American Psychological Association (APA) Presidential Task Force for Culturally Informed Trauma & Grief Kits (APA President: Thema Bryant). Finally, I am a MCUAAAR Research Scientist (2020-23) and a Senior Researcher in Dr. Margaret Hicken’s University of Michigan Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Racism & Health Inequalities (RacismLab).

I am a former Stanford University CASBS Fellow (2021-22), Ford Fellow (Dissertation, 2015-16; Postdoctoral, 2018-19), National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Kavli Fellow (2019), co-editor of the special issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation—[JTDSelf Injury & Suicidality: The Impact of Trauma & Dissociation (2015), and lead co-editor of the special issue of JTDDiscrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities (2021). I am additionally on the Editorial Boards of JTD and Journal of Clinical & Child Adolescent Psychology. I also contributed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine (NASEM) Proceedings of a Workshop: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Intervention to Prevent & Address Sexual Harassment (National Research Council, 2021).


I graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from San Diego State University (2011), having additionally received undergraduate education from City College of New York and San Diego Mesa College.

Following my M.S. in 2012, I earned my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Oregon in 2017.

In that time, I completed my American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited clinical internship at the Charleston Consortium Psychology Internship Training Program at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) & Department of Veterans Affairs in the Traumatic Stress Track (2016-17).

Lastly, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Wayne State University Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition Fellowship (PFT) Program at MPSI in 2019.


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, physical, behavioral, and cultural health outcomes. 

For example, in cultural betrayal trauma theory, I propose that if a Black girl is sexually assaulted by a Black man, the outcomes of this trauma, such as dissociation, 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 marginalized youth, young adults, and elders who experience trauma. With this research, I hope to both document harm and identify avenues of hope and healing for youth, families, communities, institutions, and society.

My short article from The ConversationThe Unique Harm of Sexual Abuse in the Black Community, explains CBTT for a general audience (over 637,000 readers as of October 2022).

More information in my Research, Grants, HOPE Lab, and Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory sections of my website, as well as in my Curriculum Vitae.

Book Project

As a CASBS Fellow at Stanford University (2021-22), I wrote my first book project- The Cultural Betrayal of Black Women & Girls: A Black Feminist Approach to Healing from Sexual Abuse (Publisher: American Psychological Association; anticipated publication date: Summer 2023). This will be the first book to use the cultural betrayal trauma theory (CBTT) research to contribute to academic and national discussions regarding anti-Black racism and sexual violence. Following synthesizing the transdisciplinary research and scholarship on structural racism, intersectional oppression (chapter 2), sexual abuse in the Black community (chapter 3), and CBTT (chapter 4), this book provides implications for culturally competent trauma therapy (chapter 5), radical healing in the Black community (chapter 6), and institutional courage to change the world (chapter 7).

Filmed January 2022, I discuss the content of the book and my writing process in Cultural Betrayal & ‘Conundrums’: The Making of a Book, at the BUSSW Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series.

More information on the book in my HOPE Lab section of my website. 

Research Dissemination

1,200+ Google Scholar Citations, h-index 20, i10-index 27; ORCiD: 0000-0003-3580-4634

I aim for my research (detailed above and in the Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory and HOPE Lab sections) to have an impact both within and outside of academia. Consequently, I have published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles (39), book chapters (10), scholarly writings (10), pieces for the general public (26), and professional development documents (30) published in outlets including in: {journals} Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Journal of American College Health, Journal of Black Psychology, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health, Transcultural Psychiatry, Perspectives on Psychological Science, and others; {books} Handbook of Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan, Macmillan Encyclopedia of Intimate and Family Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Sexual Boundary Violations in Psychotherapy: Facing Therapist Indiscretions, Transgressions, and Misconduct, Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong, Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, & Resistance of Women in Academia, and others; {newspapers/magazines} Inside Higher Ed, The Conversation, The Hill, Blavity, and others; {open access professional development documents}: the Open Science Framework. I have additionally contributed research perspectives on violence, sexual abuse & harassment, racism, and sexism in national news outlets, including in The Lily, a product of Washington Post, NBC News, Huff Post, Newsweek, Forbes, and others. Finally, I have given over 150 research presentations locally, nationally, and internationally at conferences, other universities, and community organizations, including the United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) Side Events, Stanford University, University of Michigan, University of Toronto, UC Berkeley, ISSTD, BBC Woman’s Hour, Motor City Singers Space, Detroit Public Schools via Michigan Opera Theatre, and more.

More information in my CV, Public Scholarship, & In The News sections of my website.


I have received numerous awards and honors for research: including the 2021-22 CASBS Fellowship at Stanford University; the 2022 Outstanding Contribution Award in Training and Education in Professional Psychology (TEPP) presented by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) for Who are we missing? Examining the Graduate Record Examination quantitative score as a barrier to admission into psychology doctoral programs for capable ethnic minorities (Gómez, Caño, & Baltes, 2021); the 2021 American Psychological Association (APA) Division 35, Section 1 Carolyn Payton Early Career Award for Black Women & Girls and MeToo: Rape, Cultural Betrayal, & Healing (Gómez & Gobin, 2020); American Public Health Association Aging & Public Health Section 2020 Betty Cleckley Minority Issues Research Award (Byrd, Gómez, & Ficker); 2020 APA Division 56 Award for Media Contributions to the Field of Trauma Psychology (Cook & Gómez); 2017 American Psychological Association (APA) Division 56 Award for Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of Trauma Psychology: Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory (Gómez); Richard Kluft Award for Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 2016 Best Article for Shifting The Focus: Nonpathologizing Approaches to Healing From Betrayal Trauma Through An Emphasis on Relational Care (Gómez, Lewis, Noll, Smidt, & Birrell, 2016); Top 10 Most Cited Article of 2016 in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy for Are Hallucinations Related to Betrayal Trauma Exposure? A Three-Study Exploration (Gómez, Kaehler, & Freyd, 2014); and the 2020 Wayne State University Academy of Scholars Junior Faculty Research Award (Gómez); service: including 2020 Metro Detroit Association of Black Psychologists Certificate of Appreciation as Board Member: Cultural Liaison (Gómez); Wayne State University Certificate of Appreciation for Efforts in Building an Inclusive Community (Gómez); and community engagement: including 2010 San Diego Domestic Violence Council Certificate of Excellence for Personal Commitment, Dedication, and Performance (Gómez).

More information in my CV and Awards/Honors section of my website.

Teaching, Advising, & Mentoring

Teaching, advising, and mentoring junior scholars are high priorities for me (for resources I make publicly available for students, see my Current Students, Prospective Students, & HOPE Lab sections of my website; the Gómez HOPE Lab Professional Development Series; the Gómez Social Justice & Institutional Change Collection).

I have been honored to work with many amazing students. Below are representative comments from former students in my HOPE Lab, graduate classes, and undergraduate courses at Wayne State University, where I was an assistant professor (2019-2022).


  • The HOPE lab meetings have been a wonderful opportunity to think creatively about research and gain perspective… Dr. Gómez does an excellent job of including people (faculty and students) and allows discussions to be uninhibited while holding structure to meetings. I would definitely seek professional advice from Dr. Gómez given her professional work, perspective, and demeanor toward myself and others. Without a doubt, my HOPE lab interactions and interactions with Dr. Gómez have been some of the most thoughtful and reenergizing experiences during my time here at Wayne State…
  • Dr. Gómez is one of a kind and really takes a unique and proactive approach to mentorship, teaching, and overall education of…grad students…
  • These meetings are one of my favorite, most valuable and enriching parts of this program.
  • In the meetings…I feel like I sit there and am unpacking a lot as the meeting goes on, but I always leave incredibly rejuvenated and validated. These are amazing, thank you!
  • Dr. Gómez is an excellent, inspiring, and efficient professor. The topics she picks are always relevant and useful for real world application, and the materials are organized and easy to understand. The meetings are set up to be inclusive and safe spaces to discuss sensitive topics and Dr. Gómez does an amazing job of educating us students and I always feel enthusiastic and rejuvenated/excited to do research after leaving her meetings. I would take any class taught by her and would recommend other students to attend.

Graduate Courses (Ethics & Diversity):

  • Dr. Gómez is an excellent teacher, and I always looked forward to hearing about her experiences and receiving feedback from her.
  • Jennifer was passionate, engaging, and very knowledgeable about the subject matter.
  • I really appreciated the format of this course because it allowed for thoughtful discussion in the course as well as with our writing prompts. Dr. Gómez’s feedback each week was helpful and thought provoking. I also appreciated the ideas and resources she provided throughout the course to help guide our learning and growth as clinicians.
  • This was one of the (if not THE) most thought–provoking courses I’ve taken here at WSU. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to reflect and grow in a safe and supportive environment, which should be credited directly to Jennifer’s skill as a teacher.

Undergraduate Courses (Introduction to Statistical Methods in Psychology):

  • I liked that you encouraged us to do high–quality work but gave us the help we needed to achieve that.
  • One of the few teachers at Wayne state to openly acknowledge our differences, and make our differing voices heard
  • Very respectful to all students and treated students with dignity and respect with any question or comment they may have.
  • I appreciate you putting things into real–life scenarios, and for thoroughly explaining the material each week. I also appreciate you adjusting the workload for the pandemic and for being aware and empathetic with the stress of the pandemic. You were a great instructor and I wouldn’t change anything about the way you taught the course!
  • One of the best professors at Wayne State! Dr. Gómez teaches material in a clear, concise manner. She is both professional and approachable. She is super kind and will help, and does not make her students feel bad. She is kind and empathetic, which is needed now more than ever.

Prior Career: Ballerina

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

Count 9 Podcast: From Ballerina to Professor

Interviewed by Ben Goodly for his Count 9 podcast regarding the career transition from professional ballet dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem to academic.

What I learned “…direct from Mr. {Arthur} Mitchell: buck against the system. Of just you cannot, cannot wait for things to be equal enough and for oppression to be eradicated. And wait for me to walk in the room as a Black woman and have people assume I’m a professor before I get up to speak. I cannot wait for those things to happen. I have to just do it anyways. And I think it’s the biggest lesson from him and then from what he’s done with Dance Theatre of Harlem, that you just do it anyways. And when you’re doing it anyways, change is happening. Things do become more equal by your presence of just kind of pretending that you belong and that people want you here. Even when you’re not sure that’s true, because of racism or sexism.”–Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez

September 2020


Email: gomezjm@bu.edu
Twitter: @JenniferMGmez1