Treating the Trauma of Sexual Assault IECA Presentation


Understanding the trauma of sexual assault is essential in finding the proper treatment intervention for healing. Dr. Kristen Zaleski’s presentation at IECA 2022 in San Diego will discuss current research on single incident vs chronic sexual violence as well as sub-types of violence such as rapes that are drug-facilitated and technology-facilitated. Dr. Zaleski will overlay neurobiology and Herman’s (1992) tri-phasic healing conceptualizations in choosing the various sexual assault therapies available today.


Speaker: Dr. Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW

The Mental Health Collective’s Clinical Director

Monday, November 7th . 2:30 to 3:30 PM PDT


About Dr. Zaleski:

Kristen Zaleski, Ph.D., LCSW is a nationally-recognized author, researcher, and psychotherapist on trauma related disorders and an expert on sexual trauma within both civilian and military culture. Dr. Zaleski is the author of two books, multiple research articles, and is a consultant and trainer on trauma disorders and survivorship to entities such as Facebook and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Dr. Zaleski came to the Mental Health Collective after a decade-long tenure at University of Southern California as Clinical Associate Professor for the Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Zaleski continues to be affiliated with USC as an adjunct professor and Founding Director of the USC Keck Human Rights Clinic which is a pro-bono organization offering forensic evaluations for survivors of international human rights abuse.
Dr. Zaleski sits on the board of two Orange County non-profits- Center for Law and Military Policy and HOPE 365- where she advocates for survivors of human trafficking, sexual violence, and forced marriage around the world and within the United States military. She also consults with television production companies on how to represent mental health realistically in their programs.

Dr. Zaleski has specific training in neurobiology and modern day attachment theory. Her area of expertise centers around somatic and body-based treatments to heal trauma holistically. She has previously worked at UCLA Rape Treatment Center, Veterans Administration Healthcare Center in Long Beach, and Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital. She also has a private practice based in Hermosa Beach, CA.

CERTIFICATIONS: EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and various 2nd and 3rd generation cognitive behavioral evidence based practices.

EDUCATION: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) BA in Sociology and BA in Psychology, University of Southern California (USC) Master of Social Work, and Sanville Institute for Social Work and Psychotherapy, Ph.D.
CLINICAL SPECIALIZATIONS: Dr. Zaleski utilizes a trauma-informed, attachment focused lens to client work.  Her training integrates interpersonal neurobiology to understand mental health holistically. Dr. Zaleski has advanced training in “bottom-up” somatic treatment modalities to assist the client to feel more in control of their body’s reactions to life events while coupling “top-down” narrative therapies to promote behavioral and cognitive changes. Her clinical experience has centered around military trauma and interpersonal violence that include sexual assault and human trafficking.


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