Charles Figley

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Charles Figley

Charles Figley is a university professor in the fields of psychology, family studies, social work, traumatology, and mental health. He is the Paul Henry Kurzweg, MD Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health and Graduate School of Social Work Professor at Tulane University (formerly a distinguished professor at Florida State University where he was the Traumatology Institute Director).[1] He was a full professor at the Florida State University (FSU) College of Social Work.[2] Before FSU, starting as an assistant professor in the Dept of Child Development and Family Studies in 1974. He departed Purdue as a Full Professor in 1989 and started at FSU. Figley is an American Psychological Association fellow, a Fulbright fellow, and holds seven other fellowships.[3]

Dr. Figley is a psychologist, family therapist, psychoneuroimmunologist, Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Research, in the School of Social Work at Tulane University (since 2009). Professor Figley received both of his graduate degrees from the Pennsylvania State University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Hawaii, all in the area of human development.

Figley has two daughters, Jessica and Laura, who are married and have two children each. He is married to Dr. Kathleen ("Kathy") Regan Figley, who is a well-known teacher, trainer, and consultant in the area of spirituality and trauma, disaster management, and disaster mental health. They have lived in and enjoy the culture of New Orleans since 2008.

Trauma Research and Scholarship[edit]

Figley is the Director of the Tulane University (formerly of Florida State University) Traumatology Institute. The Institute has been instrumental in establishing standards of practice and standards of self care that are adopted by the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology (see Green Cross here). The Institute has been the home to several publishing efforts coordinated by Dr. Figley. Among others this includes the Psychosocial Stress Book Series, established with the 1978 book, Stress Disorders among Vietnam Veterans. The Institute enabled the development of the award-winning 2014 Encyclopedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide. The project has brought together more than 350 experts from around the world who contributed entries to the nearly 1000-page reference book. The Institute has been instrumental in supporting or conducting dozens of studies focusing on human stress response, traumatic stress injuries, elements of resilience and how best to prepare for adversity, and focusing on secondary trauma measurement and management.

Traumatology; The International Journal[edit]

Figley was the editor in chief of Traumatology, an international peer-reviewed journal of Traumatology from 1994-2012.[4] In 2006, ownership of the journal was transferred to Sage Publications. Sage sold the Journal to the American Psychological Association and published with their other journals online, although it continues to serve as the journal of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology.[5] Currently the Editor of Traumatology is Brian Bride, PhD, University of Georgia.

Under Figley's direction, the journal highlights in its articles the Green Cross as a deployment entity, as well as the certifications sanctioned by the Academy. Recent articles have included certification reviews in Field Traumatology, Certified Traumatologist training, Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator training, and Certified Compassion Fatigue Therapist training. Recent topics covered by the journal include clinical traumatology services; trauma-informed, culturally competent assessment and treatment of individuals, families, groups and communities exposed to traumatic events; assessment and treatment of service providers and volunteers traumatized by their work with the traumatized; and psychological first aid and other emergency mental health services.[4]

Green Cross[edit]

Figley is the founder and immediate past president of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. The current President is Mary Schoenfeldt. Kathleen Regan Figley served as the CEO 2001-2006. Green Cross provided traumatology services in New York City after the September 11 World Trade Center attack, and in Sri Lanka after the December 2004 tsunami. In April 2007, Figley coordinated with the Green Cross the organization's emergency mental health service and counselling response to the Virginia Tech massacre.[6]

Veterans service work[edit]

Figley is a founding member of both the national and Florida State University chapters of the Collegiate Veterans Association.[7][8] Figley currently serves as the faculty advisor for the FSU Alpha chapter of the CVA.[8]

In 2007, Figley hosted the 2nd Annual Combat Stress Symposium, a peer-reviewed educational symposium studying the effects of combat stress on the U.S. military.[9] Editorial board and keynote speakers included Figley, William Nash, M.D., MC, USN (United States Marine Corps), Zahava Solomon, PhD, MSW (Tel-Aviv University), Albert "Skip" Rizzo, Ph.D. (University of Southern California), and Ken Graap (Virtually Better of Decatur, Georgia). Panelists included Martell Teasley, Ph.D. (Florida State University); Warren R. "Rocky" McPherson (Former Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs); Shad Meshad, LCSW (National Veterans Foundation); Nancy Clayton, M.D. (former Navy psychiatrist treating combat Marines); Raymond Scurfield, DSW (University of Southern Mississippi); CAPT Bob Koffman, MC, USN (Navy Bureau of Medicine); Tom Gaskin, Ph.D., (US Marine Corps).[10]

Curriculum Vitae[edit]

Unabridged Vita as of 18 March 2007.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies awarded him their Pioneer Award, which recognizes traumatologists whose lifetime achievement substantially advanced the field. In 1996, he was named Professor of the Year by the FSU School of Social Work student body. In 1997, the American Psychological Association named Professor Figley "Family Psychologist of the Year".[11]
  • In 2000 Figley was presented with Florida State University President's 2000 Continuing Education Award, Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy's 2000 Community Service Award and National Organization for Victim's Assistance (NOVA's) highest honor to a researcher, the Shaffer Research Award.[11]
  • In 2001 Figley and Kathleen Regan Figley were co-recipients of the Distinguished Service to Families Award from the National Council on Family Relations for their work after September 11.
  • He is the recipient of numerous lectureships throughout the world including Northern Ireland, South Africa, England, Australia, Canada, and universities through the US. He was awarded a senior Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research in Kuwait in 2004, when he was also named lifetime Alumni Fellow by the Penn State University, the highest honor to its graduates.


Figley is a highly published author, with an extensive library of published work.

Forewords and Editorials[edit]

Since 2000, Figley has published over 35 forewords and editorials. The list is on Figley's publications page.[12]


Figley has published 24 books in the field of traumatology, combat stress, and trauma prevention and treatment. He has four books in progress.[13]

  • Figley, C. R, Huggard, P. & Charlotte Rees (Eds.) (2013). First Do No Self-Harm: Understanding and Promoting Physician Stress Resilience. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Russell, M. C. & Figley, C. R. (2013). Practitioner’s Guide to Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel: An EMDR Practitioner’s Guide. NY: Routledge.
  • Figley, C. R. & Kiser, L. (2013). Helping Traumatized Families, second edition. NY: Routledge.
  • Figley, C. R. (Ed.). (2012). Encyclopedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference Publications.
  • Everson, R. B & Figley, C. R. (Eds.) (2010). Families under Fire: A Handbook for Systemic Therapy with Military Families. NY: Routledge.
  • Figley, C. R. & Nash, W. P. (Eds.) (2007). Combat Stress Injury Theory, Research, and Management. New York: Routledge.
  • Figley, C. R. & Roop, R. (2006) Compassion Fatigue in the Animal Care Community. Washington, DC: Humane Society Press.
  • Figley, C. R. (Ed.) (2006). Mapping the Wake of Trauma: Autobiographical Essays by the Pioneers of Trauma Research. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. NY: Routledge.
  • Figley, C. R. (Ed.) (2002). Brief Treatments for the Traumatized: Special Project of the Green Cross Foundation. West Port, Connecticut.
  • Figley, C. R. (2002). Treating Compassion Fatigue. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. New York: Brunner-Rutledge. Review in Journal of Trauma Practice.
  • Figley, C. R. (1998). The Traumatology of Grieving. Philadelphia: Brunner/Mazel.
  • Figley, C. R., Bride, B., and Mazza, N. (Eds.) (1997). Death and Trauma. London: Taylor & Francis.
  • Figley, C. R. (1997). Burnout in Families: The Systemic Costs of Caring. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
  • Figley, C.R. (Ed.) (1995). Compassion Fatigue: Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorders from Treating the Traumatized. New York: Brunner/Mazel. (Review).
  • Kleber, R., Figley, C. R., & Gersons, B. (Eds.) (1995). Beyond Trauma: Cultural and Societal Dynamics. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. New York: Plenum Press.
  • Figley, C. R. (Ed.) (1989). Treating Stress in Families. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  • Figley, C. R. (1989). Helping Traumatized Families. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Figley, C. R. (Ed.) (1986). Trauma and its Wake, Volume II: Traumatic Stress Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  • Figley, C. R. (Ed.) (1985). Trauma and its Wake: The Study and Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  • Figley, C. R. (Ed.) (1985). Computers and Family Therapy. New York: Haworth Press.
  • McCubbin, H. I. & Figley, C. R. (Eds.) (1983). Stress and the Family, Volume I: Coping with Normative Transitions. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  • Figley, C. R. Figley, C. R. & McCubbin, H. I. (Eds.) (1983). Stress and the Family, Volume II: Coping with Catastrophe. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  • Figley, C. R. & Leventman, S. (Eds.) (1980). Strangers at Home: Vietnam Veterans since the War. New York: Praeger. (Co-winner, 1980 Waterman Award by the Society for the Study of Social Issues). Review by Washington Post.
  • Figley, C. R. (Ed.) (1978). Stress Disorders among Vietnam Veterans: Theory, Research, and Treatment. In the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

He has edited the book series:[14]

  • The Routledge (formerly Brunner/Mazel) Psychosocial Stress Book Series (1978–present)
  • The Taylor & Francis Series in Trauma and Loss (1996–2002) Co-Edited with Therese Rando, Ph.D.
  • The CRC Press Innovations in Psychology Book Series (1998–2002)
  • The American Psychological Association Books Series in Stress and Trauma (2001–2002)


  • Figley, C. R. & Nash, W. P. (2007). Introduction: For those who bear the battle. In C. R. Figley & W. P. Nash (Eds.) Combat Stress Injury Theory, Research, and Management, pp 1–10. New York: Routledge Psychosocial stress Book Series.
  • Figley, C. R. (2006). From Veterans of War to Veterans of Terrorism: My Maps of Trauma. In C. R. Figley (Ed.). In Mapping Trauma and its Wake: Autobiographic Essays by Pioneer Trauma Scholars, pp 47–60. NY: Routledge.
  • Figley, C. R. and Barnes, M. (2005). External Trauma and Families. In P. C. McKenry, P. C. and S. J. Price (Eds.). Families and Change, 3rd Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publishers.
  • Barnes, M. and Figley, C. R. (2005) Family Therapy: Working with Traumatized Families. In J. Lebow (ed.). Handbook of Clinical Family Therapy. NY: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Figley, C. R. (2002). Theory-Informed Brief Treatments. In C. R. Figley (Ed.), Brief Treatments for the Traumatized: A Project of the Green Cross Foundation. Westport, Connecticut.
  • Figley, C. R., Figley, K. R., & Norman, J. (2002). Tuesday Morning September 11, 2001: The Green Cross Projects’ Role as a Case Study in Community-Based Traumatology Services. In S. N. Gold & J. Faust (Eds), Trauma Practice in the Wake of September 11, 2001, pp13–36, NY: Haworth Maltreatment & Trauma Press.
  • Figley, C. R. (2002). Introduction. In C. R. Figley (Ed.), Treating Compassion Fatigue. New York: Brunner/Rutledge.
  • Figley, C. R. (1999). Police Compassion Fatigue (PCF): Theory, Research, Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention. In J. Violenti (Ed.), Police Trauma: Psychological Aftermath of Civilian Combat. Charles C. Thomas Publishing, Springfield, Illinois.
  • Figley, C. R. (1996). For those who bore the battle: The requirements of quality veteran family services. In D. Rhoades, M. Weinstein, and M. Levec (Eds.) The National Class Assistance Program: The Legacy of Vietnam for Veteran Families. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.


Peer-reviewed editorial positions[edit]
Reviews in refereed journals since 1998[edit]
  • Figley, C. R. (2012). The Philosophical Analysis of a Psychological Stance: A review of In Defense of Shame: The Faces of an Emotion by Julian A. Deonna, Raffaele Rodogno, and Fabrice Teroni. NY: Oxford University Press. 2011, 168 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-979353-2. PsycCRITIQUE (Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books), Vol 57, Release 29, Article 6.
  • Figley, C. R. (2009). Now We Know Much about the Neurobiology of PTSD: So What? A Review of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Basic Science and Clinical Practice, Edited by Priyattam J. Shiromani, Terence M. Keane, and Joseph E. LeDoux. New York, NY: Humana Press (Springer Science + Business Media, LLC), 2009. 407 pp. (ISBN 978-1-60327-328-2; e-ISBN 978-1-60327-329-9). PsycCRITIQUES.
  • Figley, C. R. (2009). Why Torture Doesn’t Work and Other Trauma Psychology Lessons: A review of The Trauma of Psychological Torture, Edited by Almerindo E. Ojeda. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008. PsycCRITIQUES, 54:22.
  • Figley, C. R. (2005). Review of Webb, N. B. (Ed.) Mass Trauma and Violence: Helping Families and Children Cope. (New York: Guilford), Journal of Trauma Psychology.
  • Figley, C. R. (2004). Review of J. P. Wilson, M. J. Friedman, and J. D. Lindy (Eds.) Treating Psychological Trauma and PTSD ( New York : Guilford, 2001), Journal of Trauma Practice, 3:3, 87-91.
  • Figley, C. R. (2003). Review of Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, and Jeffrey M. Lohr (Eds.) Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology (New York: Guilford, 2002), Journal of Trauma Practice, 2:4, 234-237.
  • Figley, C. R. (2002). Review of Effective Treatments of PTSD, E. Foa, T. Keane, & M. Friedman (Eds.), New York: Guilford, 2000. Journal of Trauma Practice, 1:2, 95-97.
  • Figley, C. R. (2001). Review of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders: Concepts and Therapy by William Yule. Traumatology, 8:1, 32-34.
  • Figley, C. R. (2000). Review of Trauma: A Genealogy by Ruth Leys, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Traumatology, 6:2, 139-143.
  • Figley, C. R. (2000) Review of Two Minds: The Revolutionary Science of Dual-Brain Psychology by Frederic Schiffer, New York: Free Press, 1998. Traumatology, 6:1, 61-63.
  • Figley, C. R. (1998). Review of John P. Wilson and Terrence M. Keane (Eds.), Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD. New York: Guilford Press, 1997. Contemporary Psychology (April), 27:2, 128-130.
Non-refereed publications since 1993[edit]

Figley has published over 18 non-refereed publications since 1993. The list is at publications page.[12]


External links[edit]