Elana Newman, Ph.D. - The University of Tulsa
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Elana Newman, Ph.D.

R.M. McFarlin Chair in Psychology

Research Director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

Co-director, The Tulsa Institute for Trauma, Adversity and Injustice

About

Newman specializes in understanding and treating trauma-related conditions and training students and professionals from many professions about the skill they need to work effectively with people suffering from trauma-related problems. Newman’s research in the field of traumatic stress has examined a wide range of topics including the physical and psychological effects of trauma exposure upon adults and children, health care costs and trauma, journalism and trauma, occupational health and trauma, research ethics in studying trauma survivors, correctional issues and trauma, and substance abuse and trauma. She also examined prenatal exposure to methamphetamine. Newman co-facilitated the creation of the APA Trauma Competencies and is on the 2023 APA PTSD Guidelines Update Committee. Newman is a past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Locally, Newman has helped several mental health agencies raise the standard of care for trauma-exposed youth and adults by pursuing and consulting on several grants in best evidence-based practice (e.g. NCTSN).

Currently, Newman’s research focuses on disaster mental health and journalism and trauma. Newman’s work in journalism and trauma focuses on the occupational health of journalists, including safety, harassment, educational needs, coping with trauma exposure, ethics, and the impact of trauma news on consumers. She trains journalists in interviewing survivors, trauma-informed news management, covering traumatic events in local contexts including sexual violence on campus, self-care and occupational health, and general trauma information. Newman consults with journalists, news agencies, and documentary filmmakers about various ethical and professional trauma-related issues related to storytelling. Newman is a founding staff member of the Journalist Trauma Support Network to train qualified therapists to care for trauma-impacted journalists team members. Newman is a co-founder of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. She co-directed the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma’s’ first satellite office in NYC after 9/11. Newman is affiliate faculty in Media Studies.

Newman also trains law students about trauma and consults with lawyers about trauma-related issues. She is currently leveraging her expertise in trauma-informed work to explore ways that museum studies, folklorists, curators, and anthropologists can benefit from trauma-informed practices.

Education

  • Ph.D., Duke University
    • Dissertation: “The Process of Recovery in Adult Female Survivors of Sexual Abuse: Schema, Affect and Symptom Change”

Research interests and areas of expertise

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Journalism and trauma
  • Disaster mental health
  • Research ethics and trauma
  • Trauma and museums
  • Refugee mental health