Saltzman Center

Trauma Informed Psychological Services Clinic

All treatment is directly overseen and supervised by Dr. Merry McVey-Noble, Director of the Trauma-Informed Psychological Services (TIPS) Clinic.

The Trauma Informed Psychological Services (TIPS) Clinic is located at Hofstra University’s Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center. The clinic offers services to children, adolescents, adults, and families who have experienced trauma, or are diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is a reaction that can occur in response to traumatic events or experiences. The reaction is characterized by re-living the event, avoiding reminders of the event, hypervigilance (being on edge, hyper-aware of one’s surroundings, easily startled), and an increase in negative thinking after the traumatic event(s) as compared to prior.

What defines a traumatic event?

  • Perceived lack of control
  • Violation of our expectations
  • The perception that we are unprepared to cope with the event
  • The perception that one is unable to prevent the event/s from occurring
  • The experience of powerlessness
  • Threat to self or other's safety/life
  • Experience of intense negative emotions

What are traumatic reactions?

  • Reliving the event (“flashbacks”)
  • Nightmares
  • Feeling “numb”
  • Trouble trusting others
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Easily startled/hypersensitivity
  • Avoid certain settings, i.e. crowds
  • Irritability
  • Having a “short fuse”
  • Feeling like you’re walking in a dream
  • Brain fog

Examples of traumatic events include, but are not limited to:

  • Childhood sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious automobile or other accidents
  • Bullying
  • Death of a loved one

After such events, one may feel scared, confused, and/or angry. If these feelings do not diminish, PTSD may be present. These symptoms may disrupt one’s life and make it hard to continue with daily activities. When this happens, treatment is highly recommended.

What type of treatment is available for PTSD?

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, Trauma Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Trauma Focused ACT therapy), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT) are the preferred modes of treatment for PTSD.

What is cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) and how can it help?

After a traumatic experience, many people are fearful, unhappy, and distrustful about their world and the people around them. Guilt, self-doubt and negativism are also common outcomes.

In CBT, your therapist helps you understand and change the way you think, feel, and behave in response to your traumatic experience. You will learn how to identify problematic thoughts about yourself and the world that are making you fearful and have resulted in you withdrawing from previously enjoyable activities. With the help of your therapist, you will learn how to replace these thoughts with less distressing ones and behave in effective and self-fulfilling ways.

What is exposure therapy?

Exposure therapy is an important part of CBT. In exposure therapy, the goal is to confront your fears, to stop avoiding trauma-related thoughts, feelings, and situations.

Exposure therapy may involve simply discussing your concerns in detail. By talking about your trauma in-depth and frequently with a therapist, you will learn how to control these unwanted thoughts and feelings. You learn to stop fearing your past. This may be hard at first; it might be difficult to intentionally confront and deal with painful thoughts and feelings. Your therapist will guide you through this process.

What is ACT ?

Our clinic is supervised to use a uniquely targeted type of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT therapy) called Trauma-Focused ACT. With ACT, therapists help clients accept their difficult thoughts and feelings as a necessary part of a worthy life. Through ACT, clients clarify their personal values and life goals, learn to make life-enhancing behavioral changes that are in accordance with their goals/values, and develop new and more flexible ways of thinking about and responding to challenges.

What is CPT?

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) begins with psychoeducation regarding PTSD, thoughts, and emotions so that the client can understand and conceptualize how their unhelpful/inaccurate thoughts are connected to their traumatic experience(s). After processing the traumatic experience, the therapist guides the client to pick out their unhelpful/inaccurate thoughts. These thoughts are then evaluated and modified so that the thoughts are more helpful and accurate for the client. Then, the therapist helps the client develop the ability to use these adaptive strategies outside of treatment to improve overall functioning and quality of life. Therapists will focus on safety, trust, power, control, esteem and intimacy as these are all areas that can be affected by traumatic experiences.

What is TF-CBT?

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an acute therapeutic approach that incorporates individual sessions with both children and their parents, alongside joint parent-child sessions. TF-CBT comprises key elements such as educating about trauma, teaching parenting techniques, fostering relaxation, regulating emotions, managing thoughts, constructing a trauma narrative, confronting trauma triggers, conducting joint child-parent sessions, and promoting future well-being and security.

The goal of treatment is to help you free yourself from the fears and worries that have resulted from your traumatic experience. After successful treatment, you will see an improvement in your relationships, career, school, and many other significant areas of your life.


All services are provided in a professional and ethical manner and conform to the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association. Any materials related to the assessment or treatment will not be released without the written consent of the client, except where mandated by the law.

Contact the Clinic


Merry E. McVey-Noble, PhD
Director, TIPS Clinic
Joan And Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center
Tel (516) 463-6535