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Session 414 - Leadership Series: Culturally Based Trauma and Adversity: Recognition, Definition, and Implications



There is an increasing awareness of the critical need to understand culture and societal context within the field of trauma intervention. With this comes the need to refine trauma conceptualization, terminology and treatment methods. This presentation offers the term culturally based trauma and adversity (CBTA) to distinguish trauma in which social, cultural or societal circumstances are a primary source of adverse consequences. Within this framework, ten distinct types of CBTA are presented along with specific examples. The sharper recognition of dimensions of CBTA can better affirm client experiences, improve assessment, clinical planning, and treatment outcomes. The term culturally based strengths and opportunities (CBSO) is also introduced to affirm culturally linked resources and resilience in the face of adversity. Considerations for the further recognition of CBTA within the field of trauma intervention are discussed. Overall, the presentation seeks to engage a collective effort to expand and advance EMDR effectiveness with CBTA.

  1. Participants will be able to describe why it is important to recognize, define and treat the effects of culturally based trauma and adversity (CBTA).
  2. Participants will be able to describe specific types/themes of culturally based trauma and adversity (CBTA).
  3. Participants will be able to describe specific examples of CBTA experiences which might be appropriate targets for EMDR reprocessing.


  • Mark Nickerson, LICSW - Moderator

    Mark Nickerson, LICSW, a psychotherapist, clinical consultant, EMDR Institute trainer, and member of the Council of Scholars. He conducts advanced EMDR trainings nationally and internationally on topics including integrating culture and healing culturally based trauma and adversity, treatment for problem behaviors, and the effective use of EMDR protocols. He is editor/author of Cultural Competence and Healing Culturally Based Trauma with EMDR Therapy: Insights, Strategies and Protocols (Springer, 2016- 2nd edition, 2022 in press) and The Wounds Within (Skyhorse, 2015), an expose on the challenges for war veterans and their families. More information at and

September 18, 2022
Sun 12:30 PM CDT

Duration 3H 30M

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