Kay Saakvitne, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor
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Kay Saakvitne (Sock-quit-knee) is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1986. She was the clinical director of the Traumatic Stress Institute in South Windsor CT for 13 years where, with Laurie Anne Pearlman, she wrote the two original books on vicarious traumatization: Trauma and the Therapist: Countertransference and Vicarious Traumatization in Psychotherapy with Incest Survivors and Transforming the Pain: A Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization. She is the lead author of Risking Connection, a training curriculum for working with survivors of childhood trauma and the author of its teaching manual, Relational Teaching, Experiential Learning. She has authored a parenting resource handbook, Support for Survivor Parents: Breaking the Cycle of Abuse One Day at a Time and numerous chapters and journal articles.

She is a Risking Connection faculty trainer and a nationally and internationally recognized expert in psychological trauma who has taught workshops and trainings to mental health professionals and offered clinical consultation to hundreds of clinicians for over 30 years. She has received awards for distinguished contribution to the practice of trauma psychology from both the Connecticut Psychological Association and the Division of Trauma Psychology of the American Psychological Association, in which she is a fellow. She is currently in private practice in Northampton, Massachusetts, offering psychotherapy and clinical consultation and has been on the faculty in the doctoral program at Smith School of Social Work since 2008.