Paola Michelle Contreras, PsyD

paola_contreras@williamjames.edu

Role(s)

  • Assistant Professor, Counseling Department

Degrees

  • PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
  • Licenciate in Clinical Psychology (BA & MA), Universidad Rafael Landívar (Guatemala)

Teaching

  • Clinical Skills and Practicum I
  • Practicum II
  • Mental Health Counseling Internship I and II
  • Human Trafficking: Introduction to Mental Health Providers
  • Psychopathology
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Latino Mental Health Immersion Seminar
  • Trauma Theory & Treatment

Research and Practice Interests

  • Human trafficking
  • Trauma
  • Attachment
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Psychological coercion=
  • Diversity
  • Cross-cultural
  • International immersion curricula
  • Liberation psychology
  • Participatory action research
  • Latino mental health
  • Supervision

Professional Licenses and Certifications

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Health Services Provider (Massachusetts)
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist (Guatemala)

Awards

  • American Psychological Association, August 2014, Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Stephen Hayes Community Service and Training Award, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, April 2011, Boston, MA

Publications and Presentations

Publications

Contreras, P.M. (In Press). Human Trafficking of Women and Girls in the United States. In Travis, C. (Ed.) APA Handbook of the Psychology of Women. Washington, D.C.: APA.

Contreras, P.M., Kalivayalil, D. & Herman, J.L. (2016). Psychotherapy in the aftermath of human trafficking: Working through the consequences of coercion. Women & Therapy.

American Psychological Association Task Force on the Trafficking of Women and Girls (2014). Report of The Task Force on Trafficking of Women and Girls. Washington, D.C.: Author.

Casas, P.M. & Contreras, M. (2012). Disociación a la luz del psicoanálisis: Análisis de un caso de trauma complejo [Dissociation from a psychoanalytic viewpoint: Analysis of a complex trauma case]. Revista Lúdica, 3, 17-25.

Contreras, P.M. & Farley, M. (2011). Human Trafficking: Not an Isolated Issue. In T. Bryant-Davis (Ed.), Surviving sexual violence (22-36). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Podcasts or videos

The psychology of modern day slavery. Film production released by APA, Division 35, Society for the Psychology of Women, full film available at vimeo.com/30360676

How psychologists are working to eradicate human trafficking, Psychology Benefits Society, APA Public Interest Directorate Blog, psychologybenefits.org/2015/01/26/how-psychologists-are-working-to-eradicate-human-trafficking/

Current Professional Leadership and/or Concurrent Work Experience

  • Psychoanalytic Candidate–Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute (BPSI)
  • Private Practice–psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, trauma
  • Action Research Consultant & Supervisor–RIA House, anti-trafficking program serving adult women
  • Consultant–Project REACH at JRI/Trauma Center, human trafficking assessments and cross-discipline trainings
  • Visiting Faculty–Universidad del Valle, Gender & Psychotherapy Instructor (Guatemala)

Prior Professional Leadership and/or Work Experience

  • Director, MA in Counseling Psychology and Global Mental Health, William James College
  • Chair, APA’s Division 35 Special Committee on Violence Against Women
  • Chair, APA’s Division 35 Task Force on the Feminist Perspectives on the Trafficking of Women
  • Intake Coordinator, SAMHSA funded HIV & Mental Health Program, Latin American Health Institute
  • Program Coordinator, DOJ/OVC funded Anti-Trafficking Program, Project REACH at JRI/Trauma Center 

Professional Affiliations

  • American Counseling Association, Member
  • North Atlantic Regional Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Member
  • American Psychological Association, Member
  • International Psychoanalytic Association, Candidate Member
  • APA’s Committee on Women in Psychology, Elected Member
  • Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Candidate Member

Community Engagement

  • Pro-bono participatory action research consultation with Massachusetts & Latin American anti-trafficking organizations
  • Pro-bono adviser to Still I Rise film team–a film about how American sex trafficking survivors rise up to become leaders and protect victims