Follow me on Twitter, or visit my Facebook page. It is my policy not to follow clients on Twitter or to Friend them on Facebook, however, in order to maintain safe boundaries around the therapy relationship.
Students are welcome to follow me after class has ended and final grades have been posted. I may follow you back.
I have worked with child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse, since I was a caseworker with the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) back in the late 1970s.
After I went back to school to get my Masters degree in Community Counseling from Georgia State University in 1981, I went to work for the Cobb County Community Mental Health Center in Marietta, Georgia where I was instrumental in forming a task force to deal with newly-discovered cases of child sexual abuse in the community. This task force included representatives from local police departments, the juvenile court, DFCS, and mental health. As our agency's representative, I attended regular meetings to discuss the progress of cases through the system. I provided individual and group psychotherapy to victims and non-offending parents and served as coordinator for the therapy team.
After I went into private practice, I co-led groups for adult female survivors of childhood sexual abuse under the aegis of The Georgia Council on Child Abuse and Neglect as well as continuing to see survivors for individual psychotherapy.
In 1990, I returned to school for a second Masters degree, this time in clinical psychology, and my doctorate. By this time I had accumulated quite a bit of training and clinical experience with adult survivors and had become interested in the whole issue of the nature of traumatic memory--specifically, the differences between traumatic and ordinary memory and whether 'false memories' could be created in therapy, so I wrote my Clinical Research Project on the so-called "False Memory Syndrome".
After graduating from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology in 1997, I continued to devote most of my clinical hours to working with older adolescents and adults who had experienced trauma in childhood. The kinds of traumas that my clients survived included growing up in poverty; general and medical neglect; physical, sexual, and verbal abuse; divorce of and abandonment by one or both parents; parental alcoholism and drug addiction; paternal abuse of the mother; and early loss of a parent through illness, disability, and death.
At bottom of each of these issues is the destruction of a child's faith in the world as a good place, her or his trust in other people, and his or her own self-confidence. Not having got their needs met as children, teen and adult survivors have become stuck in the past. Many, if not most, neglected or abused children grow up with a bone-deep belief that they are somehow to blame--that if somehow they had been better children this would not have happened to them. Our work together consisted of getting unstuck, developing compassion for the child that they were, and using that more realistic understanding of who they are to make their way in the world they live in now.
Dr. Wood participates in continuing education in a constant effort to add to her knowledge base and improve her skills.