CCFH Training Faculty and Staff

Our training faculty and staff are nationally recognized and experienced in a wide range of trauma-focused topics.

George (Tripp) Ake, PhD, is a Licensed Psychologist and serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Dr. Ake provides trauma treatment services and supervises many of the psychology postdoctoral fellows, interns, and practicum students from Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill who provide services in the mental health clinic. He has extensive experience in providing trauma-focused mental health treatment to children and adults. Dr. Ake’s clinical and research interests are in the area of trauma, interpersonal violence, and trauma-informed child welfare practice.

Areas of Focus: Trauma-informed organization/practice, trauma screening and assessment, Child Welfare TRAUMA Training Toolkit, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Resource Parenting Curriculum

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Lisa Amaya-Jackson, MD, MPH, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with more than 25 years of experience in the field of child trauma treatment. She is a tenured professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center, an associate director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, and the director of Duke Psychiatry’s Evidence-based Practice Implementation Center. Dr. Amaya-Jackson is a co-founder of CCFH and co-directs the NC Child Treatment Program. She is known for her research in assessment and cognitive-behavioral treatment, and for her experience in effectively implementing child trauma-informed, evidence-based treatments (EBTs) in community practice. Dr. Amaya-Jackson's research and training interests currently focus on implementation science and decision-making guidance in the use of EBTs to create a trauma-informed mental health workforce. She has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and co-edited Enhancing Early Attachments: Theory, Research, Intervention, and Policy.

Areas of Focus: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 12 Core Concepts of Childhood Trauma, trauma screening and assessment, trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and taking action, implementation science, trauma-specific evidence-based treatments

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Karen Appleyard Carmody, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and assistant professor at the Center for Child and Family Health (CCFH) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. For more than 20 years, Dr. Carmody’s clinical and research expertise has focused on infant mental health, child-parent attachment, early childhood trauma and maltreatment, and evidence-based practices to address these issues. Dr. Carmody serves as the Program Director for the Healthy Families Durham evidence-based home visiting and child maltreatment prevention program and the Durham Early Head Start Home-Based Program. Dr. Carmody also has significant experience providing trauma treatment (e.g., TFCBT, CPP, ABC) to children and families and is the former co-director of the North Carolina Child Response Initiative, a police-mental health partnership designed to provide crisis intervention and support to children and families who have witnessed domestic and community violence. Dr. Carmody is engaged in several program evaluation and dissemination projects for evidence-based practices for young children who have experienced trauma and early adversity, including Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).

Areas of Focus: ABC, Secondary Traumatic Stress, reflective supervision

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Cheri Coleman, MSW, is a Family Support Worker with the Healthy Families Durham program at CCFH. As a home visitor, she provides support to families of young children utilizing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers and Healthy Families America models in her work. She is a certified Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) practitioner and a certified ABC supervisor.

Areas of Focus: ABC

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Ashley Fiore, LCSW, has more than 20 years of experience treating childhood trauma in Children's Advocacy Centers, domestic violence/substance abuse agencies, and community mental health providers. Ashley provides evidence-based mental health trauma treatment to children and their families and disseminates evidence-based treatment (EBT) practices. She is endorsed as a master trainer by the developers of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). She has developed successful TF-CBT programs in several agencies, serves as the clinical consultant to the Partnering for Excellence Project, and has provided implementation support of EBTs to agencies in NC as well as other states.

Areas of Focus: TF-CBT, trauma screening and assessment, EBT implementation, trauma-informed organizations

Dina Gerber, M.S., LCSW, has worked with children and families since 2008 and joined CCFH in 2015. Ms. Gerber improves trauma-informed care in the NC child welfare system by training others in the NCTSN Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC), Attachment Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC), and the Trauma Informed Leadership Training (TILT). Before working at CCFH, Ms. Gerber provided therapeutic services in homes and at schools. Ms. Gerber's main area of interest and clinical expertise is with families with young children, and she has been trained in many evidenced based models including Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS), Positive Parenting Program (Levels II, III, IV) and Attachment Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC).

Areas of Focus: RPC, ABC, TILT, Child Adult Relationship Enhancement, post-adoption training, early childhood and behavior management

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Felicia Gibson, PhD, is a Licensed Psychologist at CCFH. She received her doctorate in School Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Gibson is co-director of the School-Based Mental Health Program and a clinician in the Post-Adoption Support Service program. She is currently partnering with Durham Public Schools to teach staff about the impact of trauma on children and consult with specific schools on how to most effectively implement trauma-informed practices. Dr. Gibson conducts comprehensive trauma-informed mental health assessments for children who have been adopted and provides evidenced-based treatments to address oppositional behavior and symptoms of traumatic stress. She facilitates the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's Resource Parenting Curriculum (RPC), for foster, kinship, and adoptive caregivers in multiple counties across North Carolina and trains facilitators of this curriculum. Dr. Gibson is also the lead developer and facilitator of a companion RPC group for adopted children, designed to help increase communication about adoption between parents and their children and to help children who are adopted connect. She is rostered as an adoption competent clinician through the Center for Adoption Support and Education, a Master Trainer in RPC, and is completing training to be rostered in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).

Areas of Focus: Post-adoption training, RPC, PCIT, Trauma-informed schools, trauma assessment and screening, and school-based mental health.

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Robin Gurwitch, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist, Director of CCFH's PCIT Program, and faculty in Duke's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Gurwitch has been involved in research, training, and clinical services involving Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for more than 20 years; she is one of 22 PCIT Master Trainers, certified by PCIT-International. She has studied the application and adaptation of PCIT to many populations, including children with a history of maltreatment and neglect, military children, children with prenatal substance exposure and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Native American children, and children in foster care settings. Dr. Gurwitch is a co-developer of Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE), a program for use with any adult interacting with children and teens. Since the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, Dr. Gurwitch has concentrated professional efforts on the impact of trauma and disasters on children and their families, including material development, training, research, and clinical services. She has responded to numerous events in the United States and internationally. Dr. Gurwitch is a member of the APA Disaster Response Network and sits on the National Commission on Children and Disasters, Subcommittee on Human Services Recovery. Among other appointments, Dr. Gurwitch is a subject matter expert regarding at-risk populations for the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. She currently serves on the HHS National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters.

Areas of Focus: PCIT, CARE, 12 Core Concepts of Childhood Trauma, trauma and disasters, psychological first aid, disruptive behavior disorders, Secondary Traumatic Stress, veterans/military

Julie Hansford, LCSW, has worked with CCFH's Post Adoption Support Services program since 2008.  She conducts comprehensive trauma-informed mental health assessments for children within adoptive families and provides evidence-based treatments to address trauma symptoms and oppositional behaviors in children. Ms. Hansford is rostered as an adoption clinician with The Center for Adoption and Support Education. She is also a rostered Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Ms. hansford facilitates the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's Resource Parenting Curriculum (RPC), for foster, kinship, and adoptive caregivers in multiple counties across North Carolina and trains facilitators of this curriculum. Additionally, Julie has work experience in child protective services, law enforcement following up with families with children that experienced violent crime, shaken baby prevention, domestic violence, and adult self-sufficiency.

Areas of Focus: Post-adoption training, Resource Parenting Curriculum

Eboni Lanier, LCSW, has worked with children who have experienced multiple forms of trauma and abuse since 2004. Eboni provides mental health treatment in many evidence-based treatments including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS). She is also a certified Incredible Years Parent Group Facilitator and a Master Trainer in SPARCS. Eboni has also worked extensively in the public school setting providing mental health consultation and support for students and staff.

Areas of Focus: SPARCS

Katie Linn, LCSW-A, has provided support, education, advocacy, assessment and treatment for post-adoptive families in 20 North Carolina counties for the past three years. She is also rostered in Cognitive Processing Therapy and facilitates the the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's Resource Parenting Curriculum (RPC), for foster, kinship, and adoptive caregivers.  Ms. Linn received her MSW with honors from Hunter College's Silberman School of Social Work in New York City and has more than 10 years of experience working with individuals and families impacted by serious mental illness. She was previously the director of Parachute NYC's Crisis Respite Center in Brooklyn, NY, which was part of an innovative program aimed to support young adults as they navigate their first experiences with mental health issues.

Areas of Focus: Trauma, mental health issues, adoption, children and adolescents, and adults impacted by trauma

Robert Murphy, PhD, has served as Executive Director since 2004 and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. A clinical psychologist with a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, he completed training and joined the faculty of the Yale Child Study Center, directing evaluation for the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence. Dr. Murphy is co-principal investigator on a long-term project to reduce community-wide maltreatment in Durham County, NC. He is a developer of Family Connects, a brief, universal, postnatal home-visiting program for which two randomized controlled trials indicate improved infant, family, and health service utilization outcomes. The developers have created a dissemination model resulting in the program replication in communities across the nation. He leads efforts to improve military families' access to and use of evidence-based mental health services and is an investigator for the Millennium Cohort Family Study, a longitudinal study of military families and their functioning. He has been active in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network since 2001.

Areas of Focus: Family Connects implementation, evaluation, and dissemination; child traumatic stress; evidence-based prevention and treatment of child traumatic stress; military families

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Kate Murray, PhD, is a Licensed Psychologist. She received her doctorate in school psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She co-directs CCFH's Post Adoption Support Services program, overseeing the provision of family support and mental health services to adoptive families in 20 North Carolina counties. Dr. Murray is a Master Trainer of the Resource Parenting Curriculum (RPC), a certified facilitator of NCTSN’s Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma for students and mental health professionals, and has vast experience training multidisciplinary professionals in trauma-informed care. Dr. Murray trains clinicians in and provides the early intervention model Attachment and Biobehavioral Catchup (ABC). She is also experienced in providing evidence-based interventions to traumatized children and families including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.

Areas of Focus: ABC, RPC, Secondary Traumatic Stress, post-adoption training, trauma-informed organizations, trauma assessment and screening, Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit

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Donna Newberne, MA, LPCS, is clinical faculty with the North Carolina Treatment Program (NC CTP) and has more than 12 years of clinical experience working with traumatized families. In 2004 she graduated from North Carolina Central University with a Masters of Arts in Counselor Education.  Ms. Newberne is a Master Trainer in Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) and serves as CCFH's Center's Quality Assurance Manager. She conducts in-depth trauma-informed mental health assessments, and provides evidence-based mental health treatments including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Abuse Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy and SPARCS. Ms. Newberne  has worked in various public elementary and high schools in Durham, NC linking families to community resources and helping adolescents learn more effective ways to cope, problem-solve and communicate. 

Areas of Focus: SPARCS; clinical supervision and consultation; cultural sensitivity, awareness, and competence

Donna Potter, LCSW, has worked with traumatized children and families since 1992 and has been an instructor for Duke University’s Department of Psychiatry since 2000. She has conducted forensic evaluations of child physical and sexual abuse and neglect and has acted as an expert witness for the courts. She also provides consultation to the North Carolina's Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse on issues of diagnosis and treatment of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), including having co-written the clinical guidelines for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of RAD. Donna provides evidence-based mental health trauma treatment to children and their families and disseminates evidence-based treatment practices throughout the North Carolina and the country. She is endorsed as a trainer by the developers of both Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). The majority of her training and consultation focuses on issues of early childhood, attachment and trauma.

Areas of Focus: TF-CBT, CPP, RAD, Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit, assessment and case conceptualization

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Chaney Stokes is the Family Partner Coordinator and her primary role is to address elements of trauma-informed practice in specific service settings, informed by her wealth of experience with family engagement and peer-to-peer to support. As a foster care alumna, Ms. Stokes has advocated on behalf of youth in the foster care system across the country. She is also an alumna of Strong Able Youth Speaking Out (SAYSO), a statewide advocacy organization in North Carolina. She served as co-chair of the Partnering with Youth and Families Collaborative group with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and currently serves as a consultant, providing feedback on product development and resources for parents, children, and providers. Ms. Stokes previously served as faculty for a Breakthrough Series Collaborative providing support to mental health and child welfare professionals. As faculty, Chaney helped develop a model for training child welfare workers as facilitators of the Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents curriculum.

Areas of Focus: Post-adoption training, RPC

Kelly Sullivan, PhD, is a Licensed Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. She has worked at CCFH for more than 10 years. Dr. Sullivan serves as Director of Mental Health Services for CCFH’s outpatient clinic, Project Director of the agency’s SAMHSA-funded grant, co-Project Director of Post-Adoption Support Services, and training faculty for Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). She facilitates the NCTSN's parenting workshop, “Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma,” for foster, kinship, and adoptive caregivers and trains facilitators of this curriculum. She also has provided training to child welfare using NCTSN’s Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit. Dr. Sullivan conducts assessments, provides training, and consults with the North Carolina Division of Mental Health/DD/SA on trauma-informed care, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and children with severe behavior problems who have experienced chronic interpersonal trauma. She formerly managed the implementation of a statewide project to educate caregivers on infant crying in order to prevent abusive head trauma among North Carolina infants. She also has provided school-based mental health services and worked with police officers to respond to children who have been victims or witnesses to violent crime.

Areas of Focus: Post-adoption training, RPC, PCIT, RAD, Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit, trauma-informed organization, trauma assessment and screening, disruptive behavior disorders

Angela Tunno, PhD, is a post-doctoral fellow and a licensed clinical psychologist at Duke University Medical Center, the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, and CCFH. She received her doctorate in Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Kansas (KU) and completed her clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center. She received her M.S. in Applied Clinical Psychology at the University of South Carolina-Aiken. Prior to attending KU, she completed a one-year fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Violence Prevention, Prevention Development and Evaluation Branch where she helped develop and disseminate prevention efforts for child maltreatment and community violence. She specializes in clinical interventions for adolescents, children, and families presenting with an array of behavioral and emotional difficulties, including traumatic exposure and chronic emotion dysregulation. Dr. Tunno's research interests include public policy and advocacy for children, youth, and families; prevention of child maltreatment; resiliency factors post-traumatic experiences; and dissemination/implementation of evidence-based therapeutic interventions.

Areas of Focus: Trauma-informed evidence-based treatment, trauma-informed organization/practice, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Resource Parent Curriculum

Darden White, LPC, is a licensed clinician and clinical faculty with the NC Child Treatment Program. She obtained her MEd in Community Counseling from the University of Oklahoma in 2011. Ms. White specializes in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and effective prevention and treatment programs for families with young children who have behavioral concerns, including internalizing and externalizing disorders. She primarily provides therapeutic intervention and trains therapists to provide services to traditionally underserved populations. Ms. White is a Level 1 Trainer endorsed by PCIT International and serves as a member of the PCIT International Task Force on Marketing and Advertising.

Areas of Focus: PCIT, Child Adult Relationship Enhancement

Jan Williams, LCSW, has worked for 30 years with children and families. After being instrumental in the formation of Healthy Families Durham at CCFH in 1996, she served as Program Director for 15 years and is now serves as Clinical Supervisor. She has a strong interest in evidence-based programming for the prevention of child abuse and promotion of school readiness in young children, and has experience working in the Healthy Families, Parents as Teachers, and Early Head Start home-based models. She has devoted much time to understanding the impact of trauma and secondary traumatic stress on home visitors and home visiting programs, and is becoming known as a national speaker on these issues. Ms. Williams is the recipient of the Donna Stone Award from Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina and two Champion for Children awards from Durham’s Partnership for Children.

Areas of Focus: Secondary Traumatic Stress, reflective supervision, safety and ethics for home visitors

Mary Wise, LCSW, is a bilingual clinician and clinical faculty for the NC Child Treatment Program. She conducts in-depth trauma-informed mental health assessments, and provides evidence-based mental health treatments including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Mary provides clinical and reflective supervision at CCFH, as well as clinical consultation to external trainees. She is on the DC:0-5™ Expert Faculty Roster and endorsed to facilitate trainings on its use as a diagnostic classification for the assessment of mental health symptoms in infancy and early childhood. She is also the co-developer and facilitator of a training curriculum on the ethics of safety and family engagement in home visiting and has a particular interest in working with immigrant and refugee populations.

Areas of Focus: Trauma screening and assessment, trauma-specific evidence-based treatments, trauma-informed organization/practice, reflective supervision, safety and ethics for home visitors, immigrant and refugee population

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