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Judith L. Alpert

Professor Emerita Applied Psychology

Applied Psychology

My focus is on trauma and on Psychoanalysis and Psychology of Gender. How is it possible for memories of trauma that have been forgotten for a long time to be remembered decades after the trauma occurred? Why do children try hard to forget trauma while adults try hard to remember trauma? I study trauma, such as war, terrorism, school violence, child sexual abuse and child abuse. I am interested in such questions as how trauma impacts the survivor and the survivor's family, why the perpetrator initiates trauma, why witnesses are slow to identify it, and how memory for trauma changes over time. I focus on these questions in my clinical and research work from a psychoanalytic as well as a social systems perspective and with a view toward treatment as well as prevention. More recently, I have also become interested in the inter-generational transmission of trauma.

How can feminist psychology and psychoanalysis co-exist? What would psychoanalysis be like if Freud had been a woman? How can you change the practice of a profession? How can psychoanalysis contribute to solving world problems? Questions such as these also interest me.

Selected Publications

  • Alpert, J. L and Goren, E. (Guest Eds.) 2013. Special Issue: Psychoanalysis,Trauma, and Community, vol 18 (2).
  • Alpert, J. L., Goren, E., and Rihm, A. (2013). Expanding our analytic identity: The inclusion of a larger social perspective. In Psychoanalysis, Culture, & Society. vol 18 (2), 113-127.
  • Goren, E. and Alpert, J. L. (2013). The analyst as witness, historian and activist: A conversation with Robert Jay Lifton. In Psychoanalysis, Culture, & Society, vol 18 (2), 199-216.
  • Goren, E. and Alpert, J. L. (2013). Psychoanalysts out of the Office. In Psychoanalysis, Culture, & Society, vol. 18 (2) 217-221.
  • Alpert, J. L. (2017). Enduring Mothers, Enduring Knowledge: On Rape and History. In J. Salberg and S. Grand (Eds.) Wounds of History:Repair and resilience in the Trans-Generational Transmission of Trauma. J. Salberg and S. Grand (Eds.). London: Routledge, p.149-162.
  • Alpert, J. L. (2017). The Witnessing Gaze Turned Inward: Legacies of Sexual Violence. In S. Grand and J. Salberg (Eds.). The Ethical Turn: Otherness and Subjectivity in Contemporary Psychoanalysis. London: Routledge.
  • Alpert, J. L. (2017). Academic Trauma. Indirect Experience, Far-Reaching Effect. In R. B. Gartner (Ed.) (2017). Trauma and Countertrauma, Resilience and Counterresilience: Insights from Psychoanalysts and trauma Experts. London: Routledge. p.225-235.


Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness

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School Counseling

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Clinical Case Seminar in Trauma Studies: Transdisciplinary Reappraisals of Clinical Work

The work of mental health clinicians will be the focus of study. The complexity of the clinician’s trauma work will be considered through clinical presentation by clinicians, readings, & discussions. Topics include: the meaning & experience of trauma, interventions in clinical trauma work (such as child abuse, sexual abuse, rape, human trafficking, battering, racism, & war & its aftermath, terrorism & political action); & working with natural disasters. There will be academic autopsies of case material.
Course #
APSY-GE 2505
Applied Psychology