UO Psychology 607 Graduate Seminar Winter 2008

Understanding Childhood Trauma:

Historical and Societal Contexts

Syllabus Version: 29 February 2008


Winter 2008 Psychology 607 Seminar
Short Title: Sem Child Trauma
CRN: 24561
Instructors: Jennifer Freyd & Pamela Birrell
Grading option: Optional
Credits: 1-4
Time: T 12:00-13:50 in 143 Straub Hall

Application Form: Instructors Consent is Required for graduate students not enrolled in Psychology graduate program (for both students who wish to register and those who wish to audit). Applications will be considered as long as there is space available.

Course Home Page http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jjf/courses/psy607-win08/

Course Materials for Registered Students Located at http://blackboard.uoregon.edu/

Clinical Elective: This seminar can be used as a clinical elective for grad students in UO Clinical Psychology program.

Overview:   Our understanding of childhood trauma has undergone enormous change over the last century.  In this seminar we will read current and historical reports and analyses of childhood trauma, asking not only how trauma impacts children and the adults they become, but also how the societal and historical context molds our approach to the questions and issues. Although we can learn much from the current literature, we anticipate this examination of psychology's changing understanding of childhood trauma will lead us to a deeper understanding of the human response to childhood trauma. This graduate seminar will be informed by, and inform, a new collaborative digitization project with the UO Library in which we are digitizing pre-1923 psychological literature on trauma and dissociation. 

Required book for the course:

Terr, L. ( 1990) Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood. Harper & Row.

(This book will be available for purchase in the text book section of the UO bookstore, and will be on reserve at Knight Library.)

Additional readings:

See weekly reading assignments.

Course Work: Students will be expected to attend all class meetings, do all assigned readings, and to participate actively in seminar discussion. In addition each participant will lead a class discussion and, in advance of the class meeting, create a set of discussion questions by the Friday at noon before the Tuesday class. The student will send the questions to the instructor and then the questions will be distributed to the class via email by the instructor prior to the discussion and posted on the discussion board by the discussion leaders. After the class, the student(s) leading discussion will create a document including the discussion questions, any other presentation material, and capturing important discussion points from class. This revised document must be submitted to the instructor for posting on the course web site by the Wednesday at noon following class. The revised version of the handout must be in either powerpoint, word, or rich text format. An alternative assignment for the discussion write-up will be discussed in class. Finally, one additional assignment for each student during the term will be to write a synopsis for an article in the Dissociation Archive project. More detail about that assignment will be provided in class.


Topics & Readings by Week

( = readings from required book)

January 8: Introduction and Organization

Discussion Leaders: Jennifer Freyd & Pam Birrell


January 15: History of Study of Childhood Trauma

Discussion Leader: Mary Ann Winter-Messiers


January 22: Impact of Childhood Trauma

Guest Speakers: Karen Estlund and Barbara Jenkins, UO Libraries
Discussion Leader: Jenna Quillen


January 29: Impact Continued

Guest Speaker: Ray Broderick of the Child Advocacy Center
Discussion Leaders: Shin Shin Tang and Melissa Foynes


February 5: Accommodation

Discussion Leaders: Melissa Platt and Jocelyn Barton


February 12: Memory and Dissociation

Discussion Leaders: Robyn Gobin and Erica Musser


February 19: Fantasy and Dreams

Discussion Leaders: Laura Kaehler and Anne Kraft


February 26: Play

Discussion Leaders: Deniz Tahiroglu and Tasha Oswald


March 4: Treatment

Discussion Leaders: Annmarie Hulette and Bridget Klest


March 11: Summing Up

Discussion Leaders: Jennifer Freyd & Pam Birrell
Guest Speaker: Jane Vogel, PhD, will talk about her treatment of traumatized children



Course Readings

Book to Purchase


Additional Books (specific chapter assignments may be selected from this list that is still under construction)

Readings on the History of Childhood (specific chapter assignments may be selected from this list that is still under construction)

Additional articles on childhood trauma

Historical articles on dissociation and trauma for UO Dissociation Archives project

Also see

Jennifer Freyd <jjf@dynamic.uoregon.edu>