Seeking Safety Associate Trainers

There are currently six associates who have been trained by Lisa Najavits to conduct the same training that she does (i.e., same slides, videos, content, format).  The associates have conducted Seeking Safety for many years, have supervised a wide variety of clinicians on it on various projects, and have conducted the Seeking Safety trainings all over the country.  They are described below. 

Please note that various other people around the country conduct training on Seeking Safety that they have developed, but these have not been reviewed or supervised by our group, and thus we cannot determine their quality.   

Please note: if you have an interest in having one of them conduct a training, please contact info@seekingsafety.org or 617-299-1620. See also the section Training on this website for more.

Martha Schmitz, Ph.D.offers continuing education workshops and supervision in the treatment of PTSD and substance abuse to clinicians throughout the United States and abroad. She has worked with Lisa M. Najavits, Ph.D., author of Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse, since 2000. Dr. Schmitz is a Staff Psychologist at San Francisco VA Medical Center and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF School of Medicine. She received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri at Columbia after earning her masterís and bachelorís degrees from the University of California at Davis. She has collaborated on several research projects in both the United States and France. Her clinical and research interests include posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and resiliency in survivors of trauma. She is based in San Francisco, CA. 

Kay M. Johnson, LICSW has 25 years clinical and administrative experience in outpatient and residential substance abuse, mental health, and trauma programs.  She specializes in trauma and co-occurring disorders. Kay is a senior associate for Lisa M. Najavits, PhD, author of Seeking Safety) and has worked with her on research projects in the US and Canada since 1997. She has presented workshops and staff training in the United States and Canada on Seeking Safety, Creating Change, A Womanís Path to Recovery, and Trauma Informed Care since 2002. She is based in New York, NY and Boston, MA.

Gabriella Grant, MA, trains professionals in the social services on an array of topics, including trauma, substance abuse, PTSD, eating disorders, problem gambling, domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. She has worked with criminal justice agencies, the courts, social service agencies and public health departments. As a trained policy analyst, Ms. Grant looks at how understanding the neurobiological effects of trauma, safety and coping can be adapted for effective programming, staff training and policies and procedures to create a therapeutically beneficial milieu for a variety of treatment modalities and outcomes. Her background includes heading the nation's first community corrections-based victim advocacy program for the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, [1996-1999] and running a three-year project funded by the California Department of Public Health to increase access to domestic violence shelters by women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues [2006-2009]. She has a bachelors' degree from Amherst College, a Latin teaching certificate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, and a Masters of Arts in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University. She has taught at the primary, secondary and university levels and has trained professionals, advocates and consumers in a wide variety of settings.  Ms. Grant started working with Dr. Najavits in 2006, when she oversaw a statewide project in California to increase access to domestic violence shelters by women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues. She coordinated the trainings on Seeking Safety and helped guide and evaluate its implementation within domestic violence shelters. She currently conducts Seeking Safety in a community setting. Ms. Grant is the director of the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care, located in Santa Cruz, California, overseeing the Centerís research, program and professional development as well as policy analysis activities.

Brenda L. Underhill, MS, has been a professional in the substance abuse field for over 35 years. As a policy advisor for the state of California and for the federal government she advocated for the expansion and funding of services for women. She has been an organizational consultant in management, planning, training, supervision and program design for trauma-informed and trauma specific substance abuse treatment services. In the 1990ís Ms. Underhill evaluated over 70 innovative federally funded comprehensive treatment programs for women and children sponsored by CSAT. Further she served as Recovery Consultant for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationís (SAMHSA) initiative, Women with Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Disorders who have Histories of Violence Study (WCDVS). She continues as a consultant, evaluator and grant reviewer for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition, she was a consensus panel member and work group leader for Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 51, Substance abuse treatment: Addressing the specific needs of women. She is the recipient of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors Career Achievement Award and has authored and edited numerous publications on substance abuse treatment for women including, Chemical dependency: Women at risk. She is based in San Rafael, CA.

Kevin Reeder, PhD currently serves as the clinical consultant for the Residential PTSD Program of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. In 2008 the Arkansas Psychological Association named him Medical Center Psychologist of the Year. He is involved in the planning and provision of treatment for veterans in the residential program where he provides individual and group therapy. He specializes in the provision of treatment services for veterans dually diagnosed with PTSD and substance use disorders. He has used Seeking Safety wiith veteran populations in both outpatient and residential treatment settings for the past seven years. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he completed his pre- doctoral internship at the VA Tennessee Valley Veterans Healthcare System in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed his postdoctoral residency at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. His clinical interests include posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and readjustment issues of returning veterans. He is based in Little Rock, AR.

Joni Utley, PsyD is currently a research associate working directly with Lisa Najavits, PhD, developer of Seeking Safety. In this role, she serves as project director, clinician, and Seeking Safety trainer/consultant as part of several clinical research studies being conducted within VA Boston and VA Bedford for substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder. She completed an APA-accredited internship in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she obtained a broad range of clinical training experiences with a focus on trauma, addictions, and co-occurring disorders working within an academic medical center, community-based outpatient clinics and at Worcester State Hospital, a state psychiatric hospital. Prior to internship, she worked in several different clinical settings, including a university counseling center, an outpatient U.S. Air Force base clinic, a university career counseling center, the Palo Alto VA Medical Center, and community mental health centers. Dr. Utley has research experience with posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, posttraumatic growth, and cognitive-behavioral couplesí therapy. She earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. She is also a veteran; she has served in the U.S. Coast Guard since 2000 and is currently a Lieutenant Commander (O-4) in the Coast Guard Reserve in Boston, MA.

Summer Krause, LPC, CADCIII is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor III, with a clinical practice in Oregon. Summer completed her Masterís degree in Counseling with a specialization in children and adolescents and has specialized training in Trauma-Informed Care. She has worked in nonprofit, group home, juvenile justice, residential and outpatient settings. After being trained by Dr. Lisa Najavits in Seeking Safety treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, Summer implemented Seeking Safety groups for adolescent boys and girls into a residential treatment program. Summer developed a passion for this model and began adapting Seeking Safety for the adolescent population to optimize their engagement. Currently Summer and Dr. Najavits are working together on an adolescent version of Seeking Safety. Summer provides training and consultation to others regarding the use of Seeking Safety as an associate of Dr. Najavitsí, while also actively facilitating adolescent and adult Seeking Safety groups and individual treatment.

Karen E. Krinsley, Ph.D. has been leading Seeking Safety groups since 1999 and conducting training/supervision on the model for several years.  She is the PTSD Section Chief for the VA Boston Healthcare System.  She is also affiliated with the National Center for PTSD; and the Center for Returning Veterans at VA Boston, and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. She received her masterís and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from Rutgers University.  Dr. Krinsley has 18 years of clinical experience working with trauma survivors who also have substance abuse problems, and has presented trainings to both professional and community audiences.   She has collaborated on research projects involving trauma and substance abuse, and the impact of multiple traumas across the lifespan.  She is based in Boston, MA