My research interests are wide-ranging, but generally center on trauma, attachment, and sexuality.
Dissertation/ Definitions of Trauma My dissertation focuses on how subjective experiences of trauma relate to “objective” definitions used by clinicians and theoreticians. It emphasizes trauma as a psychological phenomenon, rather than a physical event. My goal is to argue for a clinical definition that acknowledges subjective experience while also maintaining a clear set of characteristics (based in the psychological impact of the experience) to prevent a blurring or weakening of the construct.
I defended my proposal in November 2012 and am currently working on my first draft of the full dissertation.
Sexuality in Female Experience
I am currently working on two projects in this area, one on my own and one with a colleague. The first is an exploration of attitudes towards sex and sexuality in the Orthodox Jewish community. The second is an exploratory examination of the “loose girl” experience as written about by psychotherapist and author Kerry Cohen. Both are qualitative studies conducted through analysis of interviews.
History of Trauma in the Orthodox Jewish World I have previously presented on the history of child sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish world, and am currently in the process of compiling a more comprehensive project looking at the parallels between the history and attitudes of this community with those of the Catholic church.
Other Interests My other projects include a study of the intellectual history of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, an exploration of trauma as a theme across American literature, and the links between attachment style and personality style, as well as how they relate to anxiety and mood disorders.