Julian  Ford, Ph.D. University of Connecticut

Julian Ford, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry

  • Farmington CT UNITED STATES

Director, Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice and Center for the Treatment of Developmental Trauma Disorders

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Dr. Julian Ford is a board certified clinical psychologist and tenured Professor of Psychiatry of Law where he is Chair on two panels of the Institutional Review Board, and on the faculty of the University of Connecticut School. He is the Principal Investigator and Director of two Treatment and Services Adaptation Centers in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice and the Center for the Treatment of Developmental Trauma Disorders. He serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation and European Journal of Psychotraumatology and as Chair of the American Psychological Association Division of Trauma Psychology Presidential Task Force on Child Trauma. for the American Psychological Association Division of Trauma Psychology. He has served on the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Board of Directors and as the Society’s Vice President and Secretary. He has published more than 250 articles and book chapters and am the author or editor of 10 books, including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, 2nd Edition, Treating Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach and Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Scientific foundations and therapeutic models. He developed and has conducted randomized clinical trial and effectiveness studies with the Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET©) model for and youth adults with complex PTSD.

Areas of Expertise

Treatment of Trauma
Trauma in Children


State University of New York at Stony Brook


University of Michigan



  • American Board of Professional Psychology, ABPP Diplomate in Clinical Psychology


Champion of Children

Center for Children's Advocacy




Media Appearances

The trauma of witnessing war, near and far

WNPR - Where We Live  radio


It has been just over one month since the Israel-Hamas war began, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians and a worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The images and reports coming out of this region are dire. Many have been left traumatized from witnessing the atrocities of this war up close and from afar. Some experts say this war alone will create a generation in trauma. That’s on top of the trauma that’s already been experienced by children in the region. Children impacted by trauma can experience long term side effects and regression in their development.

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Complex PTSD finally has a name; now those living with it want acceptance

Cronkite News  online


But Burns and other sufferers say that, even with official WHO recognition, they still struggle to get the right diagnosis and treatment for a little-understood disease. That affects not only their ability to get proper treatment, but also to get disability, insurance and other support. Dr. Julian Ford, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, said that many times clinicians understand and use the concepts of complex PTSD, but record it as PTSD.

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Helping Our Kids Overcome a Traumatic Background

Creating a Family Podcast  online


We know our kids have experienced trauma, but how can we help them overcome this trauma to become healthy happy adults. We talk about resilience and overcoming an adverse beginning with Dr. Julian Ford and Dr. Amanda Zelechoski. Dr. Ford is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry and Law at the University of Connecticut where he directs two Treatment and Services Adaptation Centers in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Dr. Ford is past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and has published more than 250 articles and book chapters and is the author or editor of 10 books.

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It's all connected: Understanding how our physical and mental health are linked

WNPR - Where We Live  radio


If you experience headaches, fatigue or gastrointestinal issues during difficult times, you’re not alone. Today, we explore the link between our physical and mental health. Doctors typically treat these areas of health separately, but there is a lot more connecting these two areas of health than you might think. Dr. Julian Ford, clinical psychologist and professor in the department of psychiatry at the UConn School of Medicine joins us to talk about the physical consequences of chronic stress.

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Want to improve your mental health? Start with self-care.

Connecticut Magazine  print


When facing stress and anxiety, one simple step is a daily practice called “SOS,” says Julian Ford, professor of psychiatry at UConn Health. It involves stepping back from what you’re doing, orienting yourself to whatever is most important and doing a self-check. This pause can be as short as 10 seconds, Ford says. He suggests doing it throughout the day, and before long, it becomes second nature.

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‘Restoring My Lost Childhood’: How children’s homes revived the youngest Holocaust survivors

Jewish News Syndicate  online


Healing from such intense childhood pain is not a simple process, says one expert on the effects of childhood trauma. “Not only did these children experience the forced separation from their parents at an early age, but all too often, they also suffered abuse at the hands of their caregivers, so they felt unsafe, emotionally as well as physically,” says psychologist Julian Ford, a professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and part of a team that identified Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD). This can give rise to a host of problems, including difficulty in forming loving bonds in the future.

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Virus takes subtle toll on students, as loss of normality can affect mental health

Journal Inquirer  print


Julian Ford, a clinical psychologist and psychiatry professor at the University of Connecticut, said the pandemic has been particularly difficult for teenagers, who are striving for independence and freedom. When students wear facemasks, it makes it difficult to gauge what their peers are saying, heightening the stress, Ford said.

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Do I have PTSD? Take our self assessment quiz and learn about the symptoms and diagnosis of this debilitating condition

Insider  online


PTSD makes your body stay in survival mode so that you are prepared if it happens again, says Julian Ford, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut who specializes in trauma treatment. You may be more likely to develop PTSD if you experience other mental disorders like depression or anxiety, or if you have a history of substance abuse. Genetics may also play a role, and your PTSD risk may be higher if you have a parent with a mental health condition.

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After the pandemic and an economy in the tank, this brutal storm feels like a knockout punch

Hartford Courant  print


“The sense of not having a safe home is really profound because that’s where we really get our sense of security,” said Dr. Julian Ford, professor of psychiatry and law at UConn Health. “To have to be isolated because of the spread of the virus, and at the same time finding that the best place to be isolated to shelter in place is now either fundamentally altered, and maybe even destroyed or very seriously damaged: that’s just a double punch.”

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Coronavirus pandemic could create mental health crisis, experts warn

Hearst Connecticut Media  print


The coronavirus, which is stressing the American spirit unlike any crisis since World War II, could create an unprecedented outbreak of anxiety and depression unless mental health systems intervene with a sweeping strategy to deliver psychological first aid, experts say. “We absolutely should expect to see a very strong increase in depression symptoms in the general population,” said Julian Ford, a professor of psychiatry and law at the UConn School of Medicine. “Not only are people experiencing loses due to deaths and unemployment — which is already a major blow to people’s mental health — but we don’t know exactly how much people are being affected by the isolation and disconnection due to social distancing.”

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The Invisible Way Guns Are Used To Keep Women In Abusive Relationships



That chronic fear can be extremely detrimental to a person’s physical and mental health, said Julian Ford, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Law. If a person does not feel safe inside their own home and believes they could be injured or killed at any time, they will go into a survival state, he said, describing it as being in a constant “fight or flight” mode ― but having nowhere to go. “It is enormously hard on the person psychologically and on the body physically,” he said. Experiencing trauma of this kind can make a person more susceptible to medical illnesses, Ford said, as well as a wide range of emotional and behavioral difficulties including depression, anxiety and sleep problems...

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Can Your Genes Make You Kill?

Popular Science  


One afternoon last fall, the University of Connecticut Health Center campus in Farmington stood nearly flooded after a late-season downpour. Julian Ford, a clinical psychologist who specializes in children and adolescents with PTSD, sat in his book-lined fourth-floor office. Ford helped write the official 114-page investigative report on Adam Lanza and the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting...

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How To Set Goals That Will Keep You Fulfilled And Focused

Fast Company  


From the perspective of our brains, personal goals define who we are. Our goals are our identity. And when we think and act based upon goals that reflect our core values as well as what we have to deal with due to life’s stresses, we create an identity for ourselves that can withstand any stress...

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Trauma Memory Processing in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Psychotherapy: A Unifying Framework

Journal of Traumatic Stress

Julian Ford

2018 Trauma memory processing (TMP) is an empirically supported approach to psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, TMP is not a single, uniform intervention but instead a paradigm that can be operationalized through a variety of component procedures that have not been systematically elucidated and formally tested.

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Developmental timing of polyvictimization: Continuity, change, and association with adverse outcomes in adolescence.

Child Abuse & Neglect

Dierkhising CB, Ford JD, Branson C, Grasso DJ, Lee R

2018 Children who experience polyvictimization (i.e., exposure to multiple and varied traumatic stressors) are at heightened risk for psychopathology. While polyvictims generally have worse outcomes than those with fewer types of traumatic experiences, not all polyvictims experience significant, or similar, impairment suggesting that polyvictims are a heterogeneous group.

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PTSD and dissociation symptoms as mediators of the relationship between polyvictimization and psychosocial and behavioral problems among justice-involved adolescents.

J Trauma Dissociation

Ford JD, Charak R, Modrowski CA, Kerig PK

2018 Polyvictimization (PV) has been shown to be associated with psychosocial and behavioral impairment in community and high risk populations, including youth involved in juvenile justice. However, the mechanisms accounting for these adverse outcomes have not been empirically delineated. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociation are documented sequelae of PV and are associated with a wide range of behavioral/emotional problems.

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Randomized clinical trial pilot study of prolonged exposure versus present centred affect regulation therapy for PTSD and anger problems with male military combat veterans

Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Julian D. Ford, Damion J. Grasso, Carolyn A. Greene, Michelle Slivinsky, Jason C. DeViva

2018 A randomized controlled trial pilot study with N = 31 U.S. male military recent combat veterans with PTSD and severe anger problems was conducted comparing 10‐session individual therapy versions of Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET) versus prolonged exposure (PE).

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Toward an Empirically Based Developmental Trauma Disorder Diagnosis for Children

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Julian D. Ford, Joseph Spinazzola, Bessel van der Kolk, Damion J. Grasso

2018 Developmental trauma disorder (DTD) is an integrative syndrome for assessing the biopsychosocial sequelae of early life traumatization and attachment disruption. The psychometrics of a DTD Semi-Structured Interview (DTD-SI) and the validity and structure of the DTD construct were tested.

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When Nowhere Is Safe: Interpersonal Trauma and Attachment Adversity as Antecedents of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Developmental Trauma Disorder

Journal of Traumatic Stress

Joseph Spinazzola, Bessel van der Kolk, Julian D. Ford

2018 Developmental trauma disorder (DTD) has been proposed as clinical framework for the sequelae of complex trauma exposure in children. In this study, we investigated whether DTD is associated with different traumatic antecedents than posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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