Term of Award

Summer 2024

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Ryan Couillou

Committee Member 1

Dorthie Cross

Committee Member 2

Kate Perry


Previous research has examined the complex mental and social health deficits of those who were trafficked that clinicians have to treat therapeutically (Litam, 2017; Pascual-Leone et al., 2017). Other research has explored how continuing education workshops often change the knowledge, competence, and attitudes of attendees to use more effective and evidenced techniques and skills (Neimeyer et al., 2009; Raghavan et al., 2008). However, there is a lack of understanding about how a complex topic, specifically treatment considerations of those who were trafficked, changes the knowledge and competence of continuing education workshop attendees. The purpose of the current study is to explore how mental health clinicians' knowledge and competence of working with human trafficking survivors changes as a result of a continuing education workshop on human trafficking. The study also examines the feasibility of conducting a continuing education workshop on human trafficking. A sample of psychologists completed self-report measures before and after a continuing education workshop on human trafficking. As hypothesized, results indicated sampled psychologists had about the same competence in human trafficking as general samples. However, data indicated sampled psychologists had a greater level of base knowledge of human trafficking. However, it is difficult to generalize these findings to other psychologists and mental health professionals given the low sample size. Additionally, analyses indicated a continuing education workshop changes perceptions of competence in working with individuals who were trafficked, but no significant changes in knowledge were observed. Also as hypothesized, the workshop was feasible to construct and promote to teach mental health professionals about human trafficking. Other clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Research Data and Supplementary Material