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Bita Ghafoori


Director of Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center

Coordinator of MFT Program


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Dr. Bita Ghafoori is a Professor of Counseling and a licensed clinical psychologist. Currently, she serves as Coordinator of the MFT program as well as the Director of the Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center.  She served as the Assistant Chair for the Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling from 2006-2012 and Coordinator of all of the Counseling Programs from 2005-2014.  After completing her doctoral degree, she completed clinical post-doctoral training at California State University, Fresno Health and Psychological Services and research post-doctoral training with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Fresno Medical Education Program.

Dr. Ghafoori has been selected by the Fulbright Specialist Review Committee and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) to serve as a candidate on the Fulbright Specialist Roster for a period of 5 years beginning in July, 2013. She completed her first Fulbright Specialist grant at the University of Crete Department of Health Psychology in 2014. 

Dr. Ghafoori’s research focuses on understanding and treating violence and traumatic stress, including disaster related stress.  She received a grant from the State of California Victim Compensation and Government Claim Board (Cal VCGCP) to establish the Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center (LBTRC).  The primary goal of the Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center project is to create a comprehensive model of trauma and mental health care for victims of crime and their families while removing barriers to care for underserved victims of crime. She recently completed an NIH funded study focusing on mental health disparities in traumatized populations, cultural conceptualizations of violence and trauma, treatment seeking, and barriers to care. 

Dr. Ghafoori completed a post doctoral fellowship, Research Education in Disaster Mental Health (REDMH) sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health/Dartmouth University, which enhanced her expertise in disaster mental health.  She currently serves in her local Red Cross Chapter as a disaster mental health specialist. 

She serves as a peer reviewer for the Psychological Trauma: Research, Theory, Practice, and Policy, the Journal of Traumatic Stress, and the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, and Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research Journal as well as several other journals.  She is also actively involved with the American Psychological Association Division of Trauma Psychology (Division 56) and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).

She has extensive experience as a mental health clinician and clinical supervisor. She teaches courses in treatment planning (COUN 608), ethics and law (COUN 510), child abuse and domestic violence (COUN 512), psychotherapy techniques (COUN 522), practica in Marriage and Family Therapy (COUN 609), fieldwork in Marriage and Family Therapy (COUN 643d and COUN 644d), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (COUN 692). She provides clinical supervision to students learning adult psychotherapy skills in the CSULB Community Clinic for Counseling and Education.

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BS Biological Sciences , University of California, Irvine , 1991
MA Counseling Psychology, MFT emphasis , Pepperdine University , 1999
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology , California School of Professional Psychology , 2000
Post Doctoral Fellowship, National Institute of Mental Health/Dartmouth University

Professional Licenses and Credentials

Licensed Clinical Psychologist (State of California)

Research Interests

Psychological reactions to trauma; mental health disparities in traumatized groups; treatment of trauma; disaster mental health with specific emphasis on reactions to trauma, epidemiology and impact of traumatic stress; attachment bonds and traumatic stress; resiliency after trauma;  effectiveness of evidence-based therapies for mental health difficulties. 

Representative Publications




Ghafoori, B., Taylor, R. (in press).  Age related differences in trauma experiences, mental health needs and mental health service use in victims of human trafficking: a pilot investigation of transition aged youth compared to older adults.  Journal of Human Trafficking.


Hanson, M.C., Ghafoori, B. (2016). Correlates of Psychological Distress among Urban Trauma-Exposed Adults:  Influence of age and coping preferences.  Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0000173


Ghafoori, B., Fisher, D., Koresteleva, O., & Hong, M. (2016).  A randomized, controlled, pilot study of a single session psychoeducation treatment for urban, culturally diverse, trauma-exposed adults.  Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 204 (6), 421-430.


Ghafoori, B., Fisher, D., Koresteleva, O., & Hong, M. (2014).  Factors associated with mental health service use in urban, impoverished, trauma-exposed adults.  Psychological Services, 11(4), 451-459.


Smith, S.F., Ghafoori, B., Caspi, Y., Felix, E., & Contractor, A. (2014).  Importance of Considering Culture- Final Installment: Intervention and Treatment. Traumatic Stresspoints, 28(5).  


Ghafoori, B., Caspi, Y., Contractor, A., & Smith, S.F. (2014).  Culture and traumatic symptoms.  Traumatic Stresspoints, 28(2).  


Ghafoori, B., Barragan, B., & Palinkas, L. (2014).  Mental health service use after trauma exposure: A mixed-methods study.  Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 202(3), 239-246.


Ghafoori, B., Barragan, B., & Palinkas, L. (2013).  Gender disparities in the mental health of urban survivors of trauma and violence.   Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 22, 950-963.


Caspi, Y., Ghafoori, B., Smith, S.F., Contractor, A. (2013).  On the importance of culture when defining trauma.  Traumatic Stresspoints, 27(5).  


Contractor, A, Smith, S.F., Johnson, L., Ghafoori, B., Caspi, Y., & Triffleman, E. (2013).  Importance of attending to cultural considerations in trauma scholarship.  Traumatic Stresspoints, 27(2), 10-11.


Ghafoori, B. (2012).  Mental health care for urban, low-income, diverse communities.  Traumatic Stresspoints, 26(4).


Ghafoori, B., Barragan, B., Tohidian, N., & Palinkas, L. (2012). Racial and ethnic differences in mental health outcomes among urban survivors of trauma and violence.  Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25, 106-110.


                Ghafoori, B. & Davaie, S. (2012).  Training student therapists in prolonged exposure therapy: A case study demonstrating teaching, supervising, and learning a trauma focused treatment.  Traumatology, 18(4), 72-78. 


Ghafoori, B., Ratanasiripong, P., & Holladay, C. (2010). Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy for Mood Management in Individuals with Intellectual Disability: A Pilot Study. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 3, 1-15.


                Ghafoori, B., & Hierholzer, R.W. (2010).  Personality patterns among Black, White, and Hispanic combat veterans.  Psychological Trauma:  Theory, Research, Practice, and

Policy, 2(1), 12-18.


                Ghafoori, B., Neria, Y., Gameroff, M.J, Olfson, M., Lantigua, R., Shea, S., Weissman, M.M..  (2009).  Screening for Generalized Anxiety Disorder symptoms in the wake of terrorist attacks:  A study in primary care.  Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22(3), 218-226.


Ratanasirpong, P., & Ghafoori, B. (2009).  Setting up the on-site Marriage and Family Therapy clinical training course. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 36(4), 347-351.

                Ghafoori, B., Hierholzer, R.W., Howsepian, B., Boardman, A. (2008).  The role of adult attachment, parental bonding, and spiritual love in the adjustment to military trauma.  Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 9(1), 85-106.


Khouzam, H.R., Ghafoori, B, & Nichols, E.E. (2005) The use of religious hymn in the remission of symptoms of social phobia.  Psychological Reports, 96, 411-421.


Ghafoori, B., & Tracz, S.  (2004). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a

clinical intervention for childhood disruptive behaviors: a meta-analysis, Psychiatry On-line.




Ghafoori, B. (2016) Mental Health Care for Culturally Diverse Victims of Trauma and Volence: A Focus on a Community Based Model.  In Ghafoori, Caspi, & Smith (Eds.), International Perspectives on Traumatic Stress: Theory, Access, and Mental Health Services. (pp. ).  New Jersey: Nova Science


Caspi, Y., Ghafoori, B., Smith, S. (2016) Trauma and Culture: Concluding Notes.  In Ghafoori, Caspi, & Smith (Eds.), International Perspectives on Traumatic Stress: Theory, Access, and Mental Health Services. (pp. ).  New Jersey: Nova Science


Ghafoori, B.  (2012). Ethnicity, Culture, and Disaster Response.  In C.R. Figley (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Trauma.  Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.


                Ghafoori, B. & Hierholzer, R.W. (2007) The Role of Altruism, Love, and Attachment in the Development and Maintenance of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  In S.G. Post (Ed), The Science of Altruism and Health: Is it Good to do Good?  (pp. 230-245).  New York: Oxford University Press.


                Khouzam, H.R., Ghafoori, B., & Hierholzer, R.W.  (2005) Progress in Identification, Treatment, and Diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  In T.A. Corales (Ed.), Trends in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Research (pp. 1-25).  New Jersey: Nova Science. 




               Ghafoori, B., Caspi, Y., and Smith, S.  (2016) International Perspectives on Traumatic Stress: Theory, Access, and Mental Health Services.  Nova Science Publishers. 

Current Projects

2009-2012          National Institute of Health (NIH), Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI)

Bita Ghafoori, PI of subproject (PI: Alexander)

Title of Project:  Mental health reactions to trauma, treatment seeking, and barriers to care      in an ethnically  and economically diverse community based sample subproject total: $90,000.00; grant total: $4,786,395.00  

2011-2012          California State University Long Beach Multidisciplinary Research Award

Bita Ghafoori, PI; Dennis Fisher, Co-PI, Olga Korosteleva, Co-PI/Statistician

Title of Project:  Treatment Barriers for Low-Income, Urban, and Culturally Diverse Trauma Survivors:  Does a Single Session of Psychotherapy Improve Symptoms and Increase Treatment Seeking?  $15,000.00

2012-2013           California State University Long Beach College of Education Mini Grant Award

Bita Ghafoori, PI           

Title of Project: Efficacy of a one session psychoeducation intervention in increasing treatment seeking in trauma exposed adults, $4,000.00

2014-2015           California Endowment Grant

Bita Ghafoori, PI of subaward (award to St. Mary Medical Center Foundation), $40,000.00

2015-2017           CalGrip

Bita Ghafoori, PI of subaward (award to The City of Long Beach), $50,000.00

2014-2017           State of California Victim Compensation and Government Claim Board (VCGCB)

Bita Ghafoori, PI           

Title of Project: Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center, $ 1, 864, 982.36

2016-2017           Dignity Health Grant

Bita Ghafoori, PI           

Title of Project: Enhancing Special Victim Services for Crime Survivors, $ 60,000.00