S. Megan Berthold, PhD, LCSW

S. Megan Berthold, PhD, LCSW, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) School of Social Work where she is also active with the UConn Human Rights Institute. She co-chairs the U.S.-based National Consortium of Torture Treatment Program’s (NCTTP’s) Research and Data Committee. Dr. Berthold has worked as a clinician and researcher with diverse refugee and asylum-seeking survivors of torture, war traumas, human trafficking, and other traumas for various non-profits since 1987.  She was a clinician and educator working with local NGOs in refugee camps in Nepal, the Philippines, and on the Thai-Cambodian border. She also provided community mental health services to Southeast Asian and other refugee and immigrant groups in the United States. She served as a therapist for 13 years and the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Program for Torture Victims in Los Angeles before joining the faculty of the University of Connecticut in 2011. She has testified extensively as an expert witness in U.S. Immigration Court.  

Dr. Berthold has conducted National Institute of Mental Health-funded research examining the prevalence of mental and physical health consequences among Cambodian refugee genocide survivors. Her community-based participatory research in Cambodian refugee communities across the United States has contributed to building community capacity to conduct research to address their health disparities. In 2004 she joined the inaugural board of a community-based IRB formed in Los Angeles to serve grass roots community-based organizations that wanted to do research but did not have formal affiliations with universities or hospitals.

Dr. Berthold is the Vice-Chair of this IRB that, in addition to providing human subjects protection oversite, provides extensive ethics and scientific research consultation and training to community-based organizations.  Dr. Berthold has published widely. In addition to peer-reviewed articles in interdisciplinary journals, she has written three books. The National Association of Social Workers selected Dr. Berthold as the 2009 National Social Worker of the Year for her work with torture survivors.

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