Utah Trauma & Addiction Centers uses many diverse modalities to help our clients find the true and lasting healing they want and deserve. Take a few minutes to read about the many different practitioners/clinicians/experts in our field that inspire us. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel van Der Kolk is an American psychiatrist and researcher who was born in 1943. He lives in Boston. His research in post-traumatic stresses has been ongoing since the 1970s. The Body Keeps Score, a New York Times bestseller by him, is his best-known work. Van der Kolk was formerly the president of The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and a co-director for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Professor of psychiatry and President of the Trauma Foundation, Brookline Massachusetts.

Van der Kolk is the author of over 150 scientific peer-reviewed articles. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (1984), Psychological Trauma (1997), Traumatic Stress (1996) with Alexander C. McFarlane & Lars Weisaeth), and The Body keeps the score (2014).

Van der Kolk, born 1943 in The Netherlands. In 1965, he studied pre-medical studies at the University of Hawaii with a major in political science. In 1965, he earned his M.D. He earned his M.D. in 1970 at Pritzker School of medicine, University of Chicago. In 1974, he completed a psychiatric internship at Massachusetts Mental Health Center at Harvard Medical School.

Van der Kolk was a hospital director at Boston State Hospital after his training. In Boston, he became the staff psychiatrist of the Boston Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic. Van der Kolk became interested in traumatic stress while treating Vietnam veterans with PTSD in 1978. He worked as a researcher on the 1980 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Van der Kolk founded the Trauma Center in Brookline Massachusetts, while working at Harvard Medical School as a junior member of the faculty. He has since conducted a number of training programs and trials. Van der Kolk has performed extensive studies on the nature of traumatic memory and took a leading role in the first studies on the psychopharmacological treatments of PTSD. He was involved in some of the earliest research on the biological basis of PTSD, and stress-induced pain relief. Van der Kolk was involved in the neuroimaging of PTSD and DID. He received the National Institutes of Health’s first grant to study EMDR, yoga, and PTSD.

Van der Kolk is particularly interested in the development of psychopathology, and how trauma can have a different effect depending on developmental stages and attachment security. The term “Developmental Trauma Disorder”, also called complex post-traumatic disorder (CPTSD), was coined by Van der Kolk to describe the range of complex psychological and physiological reactions that occur over time in response to trauma.

Van der Kolk created the National Child Traumatic Stress Network in 1999. In 2019, the network had expanded to 150 locations that treat traumatized families and children in various parts of the US. He is a proponent of innovative treatment for traumatized children and adults. These include trauma-sensitive Yoga, embodied therapy, neurofeedback, and psychedelic treatments.

He has served as the director of Boston International Trauma Conference since 1989. This conference brings together top scientists and clinicians who specialize in trauma, development psychopathology and attachment, body-oriented therapy, theater and expressive arts.

Van der Kolk published The Body Keeps Score in 2014. The Body Keeps the Score spent more than 200 weeks in the New York Times bestseller list by September 2022.

Van der Kolk’s employment with the Justice Resource Institute was terminated in 2017 due to accusations that van der Kolk had created a hostile work environment which allowed him to abuse his position as executive director at the Trauma center. Van der Kolk claimed that Justice Resource Institute terminated him to reduce its legal liability for the misconduct. All senior Trauma Center members resigned after the executive team unanimously condemned this termination. Van der Kolk sued the Justice Resource Institute on several counts, including defamation and misrepresentation. A Non-Disclosure Agreement was reached at the end of the suit. A quick settlement was reached outside of court. The Justice Resource Institute’s Trauma Center was closed permanently in 2020.

Van der Kolk founded the Trauma Foundation in May 2018 with funds he won from his settlement agreement with Justice Resource Institute. In July 2018, the Trauma Research foundation was officially registered as a nonprofit organization.

Van der Kolk has taught in the United States as well as internationally. He’s also been to China, Japan and Australia as well as New Zealand, Egypt and Israel.


Van der Kolk, B. A., ed. Post-traumatic stress disorder: psychological and biological sequelae. Washington DC, American Psychiatric 1984.

Van der Kolk, B. A. Psychological Trauma. Washington DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1987.

Van der Kolk, B. A. McFarlane Alexander C. Weisaeth L. (editors). Traumatic stress: the effects on mind, body, and society of overwhelming experiences. New York: Guilford, 1996

The Body Keeps Score: Brain and body in healing trauma. Viking, 2014.

Daniel J. Siegel

Daniel J. Siegel is an executive director of Mindsight Institute and a clinical professor of medicine at UCLA School of Medicine.

Daniel J. Siegel earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School. He completed his postgraduate training at UCLA in child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy. As a National Institute of Mental Health Research fellow at UCLA, he studied family interaction with a focus on the influence of attachment experiences on emotions, behaviors, autobiographical memories and narrative.

Siegel, a clinical professor of medicine at UCLA School of Medicine is the co-founder of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. He is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has received several honorary fellowships. Siegel, who is the Executive Director of Mindsight Institute (an educational institution), offers both online and face-to-face seminars on the topic of how to enhance the development of mindsight among individuals, communities, and families by looking at the interaction between human relationships and biological processes. Ses psychotherapy clients include children, teens, adults, families, couples and even parents. He is the Medical Director of LifeSpan Learning Institute, and a member of the Blue School’s advisory board in New York City. The Blue School has built their curriculum on Siegel’s Mindsight Approach. Siegel also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Garrison Institute.

Siegel is a prolific writer for a professional audience. Siegel is an author of many articles, chapters, and The Developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are (2012). The book is a great introduction to the field of interpersonal neurobiology and it has been used by many clinical and research organizations worldwide. Siegel is the founding editor of the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, which includes over sixty textbooks. The Mindful Brain (2007) examines how mindful awareness harnesses social circuitry in the brain to promote mental, physical, and relationship health. The Mindful Therapy: A Clinician’s Guide to Mindsight & Neural Integration (2010) explores how focusing techniques can be used for both the clinical development and the clients’ neural integration. The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, An Integrative Handbook of the Mind, (2012) explores the application of the interpersonal neurobiology to develop a healthy brain and empathic relations. Mind: A journey to the heart of being human (2016) is a profound exploration of the mental life as it emerges from our body, our relationships with each other, and the environment around us. Aware: Science and Practice of Presence, his book from 2018, offers practical instructions for mastering The Wheel of Awareness. This tool helps cultivate more presence and focus in daily life. Siegel’s books for both professionals and general readers have been translated in over 40 different languages.

Siegel has developed the Interpersonal Neurobiology field, an interdisciplinary approach to life that draws from over 12 branches of science in order to provide a framework of understanding our subjective and inter-personal lives. Siegel’s latest work integrates theories of Interpersonal Neurobiology and theories of Mindfulness Practice. It proposes that mindfulness is an advanced process of inter- and interpersonal attunement.


Towards a Neurobiology of Interpersonal Experience: New York, Guilford Press 1999

Healing Trauma: Attachment: Mind, Body and Brain (New York, WW Norton & Company 2003). Edited jointly with Marion Solomon.

Parents from the inside out: A deeper self-understanding can help you raise children who thrive (New York, Tarcher 2004). Author with Mary Hartzell.

Mindful Brain: Attunement and Reflection in the Cultivation of Wellness (New York, WW Norton & Company 2007)

The Healing Power Of Emotion: Development & Clinical Application (New York, WW Norton & Company 2009). Edited in collaboration with Diana Fosha, Marion F. Solomon.

A Guide for Clinicians to Mindsight and Neural Integration: The Mindful Therapist (New York, WW Norton & Company 2010).

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, New York: Bantam Books 2010,

The Whole-Brain Children: 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind, survive everyday parenting struggles, and help your family thrive (New York, Delacorte Press 2011). Author with Tina Payne Bryson.

A Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, An Integrative Handbook of the Mind. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Brainstorm – The Power and Purpose Of Teenage Brains (New York, Penguin Putnam 2013)

No-Drama discipline: the whole-brain way to calm down chaos and nurture your child’s developing mind (New York, Bantam 2014). Author with Tina Payne Bryson.

The Mind: A Journey into the Heart of Being Human, New York: WW Norton & Company (2016)

The Yes Brain: Cultivating Courage, Curiosity and Resilience (New York, Bantam 2018). Author with Tina Payne Bryson.

Aware: The science and practice of presence (New York, TarcherPerigee 2018).

Deb Dana

Deb Dana is a LCSW and a clinical consultant who specializes in complex trauma. She serves as a clinical advisor for Khiron Clinics and Unyte ILS, in addition to being a consultant at the Kinsey Institute’s Traumatic Stress research consortium. 

She has been trained in Internal Family Systems (IFS), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Tapas Acupressure Technique. At the Trauma Center, she also completed the Certificate in Traumatic Studies. Deb has developed the Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series, and she lectures on Polyvagal Theory in relation to trauma survivors.


The Polyvagal Theory in therapy: Engaging the rhythm of regulation (Norton 2018).

Polyvagal Exercises and Connections: 50 client-centered practices (Norton 2020).

Befriending your Nervous system (Sounds true, 2020).

How to befriend your nervous system using Polyvagal Theory.

Clinical Applications of The Polyvagal Theory, The Emergence of Polyvagal Informed Therapies, (Norton 2018).

Gabor Mate

Gabor Mate, is a Canadian author and physician born on January 6, 1944. His background is in family medicine and his special interests include childhood development and trauma. He also has an interest in the potential long-term effects of physical and mental conditions such as autoimmune diseases, cancers, ADHD, addictions, and many other conditions.

Mate’s treatment of addiction is based on the trauma that his patients experienced and how to deal with it in recovery. In the book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts Close Encounters With Addiction by Mate, he discusses the traumas that people with addiction have suffered and how it affects the decisions they make in the future.

Five of his books cover topics such as ADHD, addiction, development psychology, and stress. He writes a column for The Globe and Mail and The Vancouver Sun.

Mate was born 1944 in Budapest. When Mate was only five months old, his maternal grandparents died in Auschwitz. His aunt vanished during World War II, while his father was forced to work by the Nazi Party. Mate was 1 when his mother placed him with a stranger to care for him over a period of 5 weeks. She did this in an effort to save her son’s life. After their reunion, Mate the child was so upset that he refused to look at his mother. This continued for several days. This “abandonment” trauma continues in adulthood, manifesting as anger, despair, and rage.

Mate immigrated to Canada in 1956. In the late 60s, he was studying during the Vietnam War and received a B.A. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Rae Mate, a fellow UBC graduate and artist who married Mate in 1969 and had three children with him including Aaron Mate the writer and journalist.

He returned to University of British Columbia after several years of teaching high school English. In general family practice in 1977.

Mate was a family physician in East Vancouver, Canada for more than 20 years. For seven years, he was the coordinator of Palliative Care Unit in Vancouver Hospital. He was the resident physician of Portland Hotel in Vancouver for 12 years. His patients often had chronic illnesses, including HIV, and mental health issues. He was a harm-reduction clinic worker in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, he has described his experience working with people with substance abuse disorders.

Mate has made headlines for defending the doctors working at Insite, a legally supervised injection site, after Tony Clement (the federal minister of health) attacked them.

Mate was interested in the potential of ayahuasca, a traditional Amazonian medicine to treat addictions. In 2010, Mate partnered up with a Peruvian Shipibo ayahuasquero, a traditional shamanic healing practitioner. He began to lead multi-day addiction retreats in a Coast Salish First Nations Community that was the subject of a health research observation study conducted by researchers at the University of Victoria and University of British Columbia. The research findings, although preliminary due to the design of the study, showed significant improvement in certain psychological measures, and a reduction in problematic drug use. This suggests that Mate’s claim that he was able to treat addiction is well founded. When the Canadian government discovered Mate’s involvement with ayahuasca, in 2011, Health Canada warned that they would refer Mate to the RCMP if he didn’t immediately cease his illegal activities.

Mate’s books and talks emphasize the importance of psychosocial trauma, stress, and biopsychosocial factors in pathology. Mate emphasizes the importance of relationships and social attachment in learning and health. He has ideas that are in line with trauma-informed approaches to care.

Addiction is defined by Mate as any substance or behavior that relieves pain temporarily but has negative long-term consequences. A person will try to stop, but will eventually crave more relief. They are prone to relapse if they do not address the cause of their pain. According to this definition, many modern things have the ability to be addictive, such as sex and food, gambling, drugs, work, or social media. According to him, the “war against drugs” punishes those who have been abused by enforcing addiction more deeply. Studies show that stress drives addictive behavior and relapse. According to him, the “war on drugs” only worsens addiction by marginalizing, isolating, and institutionalizing people into facilities that provide no care or easy access.

Hubert Evans Prize Literary Non-Fiction. Mate was awarded the Civic Merit Award of Vancouver in 2011 “for his work regarding addiction treatment, his contribution to mental health of youth, including addiction, stress, and childhood development”. Mate received the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civil honor on May 11, 2018.

Some criticize him for attributing addictions of all kinds to childhood trauma and ignoring the genetic factor in ADHD/addiction.

Mate, in a high-profile interview that was live streamed with Prince Harry, publicly diagnosed him with PTSD and ADHD. He also said he had read his autobiography, Spare, as well. During their chat, Mate told Prince Harry that he diagnosed him as having ADD after reading his autobiography and listening to his experiences. Some critics deemed his decision unorthodox and reckless.


The Myth Of Normal: Trauma Illness And Healing In A Toxic Society, Toronto Canada A.A. Knopf Canada 2022

The Origins of and Treatment for Attention Deficit Dysfunction: Scattered minds. Toronto: A.A. Knopf, 1999.

The origins of attention deficit disorder and what you can do about it.

Stress: the hidden cost of the body’s refusal to accept it. Toronto: A.A. Knopf, 2003.

The Stress-Disease Link: When Your Body Says “No”

Keep your kids close: Parents matter more than peers. Authored with Gordon Neufeld. Toronto: A.A. Knopf, 2004.

The Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Close Encounters with Addiction. Toronto: A.A. Knopf, 2008.

Patrick Carnes

Patrick Carnes, born 1944, is a proponent in the United States of the view that certain sexual behaviors are addictions. CBS News claims that he is the person who popularized the phrase sex abuse. He founded the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, as well as many addiction treatment centers and the CSAT Certification.

Carnes earned a doctorate in counseling education and organization development in 1980 from the University of Minnesota. The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, formerly the National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity(NCSAC), awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award. SASH awards the Carnes Award each year to researchers and clinicians that have contributed to sexual medicine.

He has worked in the field of sexual addiction in a number of other capacities, including as clinical director for sexual disorder services at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona, editor-in-chief of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention (official journal of the National Council of Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity), board member of the National Council of Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity organization, advisor on the national advisory board of the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders. Carnes is a Senior Consultant and Founder of The Meadows’ Gentle Path program in Wickenburg Arizona.

Carnes attributes addictions to a belief system. Carnes believes the core belief that is wrong or incorrect provides the driving force for addiction. Addicts don’t think of themselves as valuable people. They also don’t believe other people will care about them or help them if they knew everything, even their addiction. They believe that sexual intimacy is the most essential need. Sex makes it possible to tolerate isolation. Alcohol, food, gambling, and risk are all good options if you don’t trust people. But sex is always what it says it will be for the moment. As in our definition, addiction is a relationship with sex, not people.”

Carnes’ concept of sexual addiction is controversial. Carnes admits that sexual addiction is not a term in DSM-IV. The word “addiction” itself is not mentioned. He continued, saying, “Every edition of this work represents the consensus of its time about mental disorders. Every edition since has been a reflection of the changes that have occurred in our understanding. It is best to view the DSM system as “a work in progress” rather than a bible. In 2013, the DSM-5 was published and did not cover sexual addiction because the research into these behaviors were considered insufficient.


Do not Call it love: Recovering from sexual addiction Bantam Books. 1992.

The Sexual Addict: Contrary Love. Hazelden Publishing. 1994.

Sexual Anorexia – Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred. Hazelden Publishing. 1997.

Betrayed Bond: How to Break Free from Exploitative Relationships HCI. 1997.

Open Hearts: Renewing relationships with recovery, romance & reality. Gentle Path. 1999.

Hazelden Publishing. Understanding Sexual Addiction: Out of the Shadows. Hazelden Publishing. 2001.

Face the Shadow: Sexual Recovery and Relationships: A Gentle Way to Begin Recovery. Gentle Path. 2005.

The Shadows of the Net – Breaking free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior. Simon and Schuster. 2009.

Recovery Zone: Internal tasks to make lasting changes. Gentle Path. 2009.

Start Recovery From Alcohol and Drugs. Gentle Path. 2011.

The Twelve Steps of a Gentle Path: A Guide to Living Values. Hazelden Publishing. 2012.

It is a classic guide for all people in recovery. Simon and Schuster. 2012.

Peter A. Levine

Peter, as a child was fascinated with natural phenomena. He was ten when he accidentally discovered Newton’s first law, and Archimedes Law of Fluid Displacement. Peter’s passion and determination to understand natural laws has guided him throughout his entire life. Peter’s interest in and commitment to life have served him in developing his work.

He has discovered the root causes of trauma, and the healing paths that can be found. Peter was driven by a strong desire to heal himself and others. He had a difficult childhood, like many. You could even say that Peter did a lot of “Peter-search” in his research.

Peter, while working toward a PhD in Medical and Biological Physics at the University of California Berkeley, had a dream that set the course of his research on trauma and the human condition. Peter was in a dream where he was approaching a spherical two-column elevator. That’s when he realized it was an autonomic ganglion.

Peter turned around and saw the disapproving cold look of a mentor from his undergraduate days. Peter was unable to turn back from the autonomic path he had chosen in the dream. His mechanical worldview did not allow for emotions or sensations.

In 1978, he was introduced to Stephen Porges who shared his passion for emergent properties and bottom-up processing. Peter’s friendship with Porges, and his prescient vision heavily influenced (SE) somatic experiencing.

Peter has mentored thousands of therapists, healers, and gurus around the world over the last 50 years. He developed SE and taught it to everyone who listened. He became a “Johnny Appleseed” spreading his knowledge all over the world. This passion has now been extended to faculty who have dedicated themselves to passing this legacy on.