Call for Submissions

Non-Pathologizing Approaches to Trauma Intervention

A Special Issue of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

Special Issue Guest Editors: Pamela Birrell, PhD, Kristen Reinhardt, MS, & Marina Rosenthal, MS

Email for Guest Editors:


When psychological treatment knowingly or unknowingly medicalizes human experience and/or human distress, does that pathologizing cause harm?  What are the costs and benefits of pathologizing human experience and/or psychological distress?  Do some forms of trauma intervention necessarily or inherently pathologize mental distress?  Or can any intervention be delivered in a non-pathologizing way?  What are the core features of non-pathologizing approaches to trauma?  This issue of the JTD will explore the ways in which pathologizing and non-pathologizing features of trauma intervention have the potential to help and to harm. We are seeking articles on topics such as (but not limited to) the following: the failure of treatment to place mental illness in a societal context (including identities of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and religion); implicit and explicit blaming the victims of sexual violence in the course of treatment; the over-medicalization of normative psychological experiences, empirical studies of non-traditional psychological treatments for trauma, and empirical studies of traditional psychological interventions for trauma that are delivered in a non-pathologizing manner. Papers that offer alternatives to the medical model are encouraged. Both empirical and theoretical work will be considered.  Submissions will be peer-reviewed.

Manuscripts should be 1500-5500 words. Submissions should include at least one paragraph regarding how the treatment approach or theory connects with a non-pathologizing framework for trauma intervention.  For more instructions, see Submission Instructions for Authors.

Inquiries and submissions should be sent to the special issue editors at

Submit papers for the special issue, along with the Author Assurance Form & Submission Checklist, to by December 1, 2014.

Receipt of papers will be acknowledged by email.

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