Healing from trauma is much more than just eliminating pain.
It is reconnecting with your self, remembering what it's like to be strong, accepting the love of others, and regaining hope in what's to come. - Dr. V 


About Me

Integrating research, clinical experience, and trauma-informed approaches to help individuals, families, and communities heal and develop resiliency 

Hello! I'm an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University and Northern Iowa, and primarily teach courses in the trauma-informed MSW specialization. I consider myself a healer and educator, and someone who strives to help others understand the complexities of trauma and its impact on individuals, families, and society. In my teaching and practice, I try to incorporate the latest evidenced-informed practices, body-centered approaches, culturally responsive healing practices, and clinical wisdom (both my own and from others). I also recognize that meaningful and long-lasting healing occurs when communities come together to help and support its members. Providing long-term, community-based solutions to combating adversity, healing from trauma, and promoting resiliency is thus a central tenet woven in all of my work.  






My current area of research focuses on the effects of body-based interventions (e.g., Chen Style Tai Chi, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, KINNECT, and Rainbowdance) on trauma and other mental health disorders. My previous research includes the effects of childhood trauma, long-term neglect on infant and child mental health, and attachment disorders. I am currently a consultant the Washington School District, Texas Health and Human Services. I've also provided consulting services to Pathways Behavioral Services of Waterloo, Iowa, the Child Welfare Training Academy of Iowa, Midwest Trauma Services Network of Hubbard Nebraska, and International Trauma Center of Boston, Massachusetts.
If you are a educator, practitioner, and/or healer, and would like to learn more about working together to lessen the impact of trauma, and becoming more trauma-informed, I would love to hear from you!
Dr. V 1.PNG

Upcoming Workshops

Below you'll find a list of workshops scheduled for the 2022. All workshops offer continuing education units (CEUs) from the Iowa Board of Social Work and Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences. Note: CEUs are typically applicable to out-of-state licensing boards of similar professions. If you are unsure if these credits will apply, it is recommended you contact your state’s licensing board for confirmation. 

TBD Fall 2022

Online (Zoom)

August 7-8, 2022

Hilton Garden, Inn

Cedar Falls, IA



Consulting Services