|Fields||Clinical psychology, trauma and dissociation|
|Institutions||University of Haifa|
|Doctoral advisor||Carolyn M. Tucker|
Eli (Eliezer) Somer (Hebrew: אלי זומר; born 1951) is an Israeli Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Haifa, School of Social Work. He is the former President of both the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD, 2009-2011) and the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD, 2005-2006). Somer is the founder and a scientific advisor of TDIL – Trauma and Dissociation Israel, and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse.
Somer was born in Israel, a son of Holocaust survivors. He graduated high school at the Hebrew Gymnasium in Jerusalem in 1969. He served in the IDF during the War of Attrition as a tank crewman, as well as in the Yom Kippur War as a tank Commander. Somer served for many years as a reservist combat Mental Health Officer at the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces specialising in combat stress reactions.
Academic and professional life
Somer received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The University of Haifa in Israel (1976, 1980). He received his PhD at the University of Florida in 1984. Somer’s doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Carolyn M. Tucker was on Spouse Marital Adjustment and Patient Life Engagement as Factors in Dietary Compliance of Chronic Hemodialysis Patients. During his post-doctoral training and work in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1984-1987), Somer was personally supervised by Prof. Erika Fromm on behavioral medicine, dissociation and analytical hypnotherapy.
Between 1987 and 2007 he was a Clinical Director of Maytal - Israel Institute for Treatment and Study of Stress. Somer's service at the University of Haifa begun in 1987, when he joined the R.D. Wolfe Centre for the Study of Stress. He has been a faculty member of the University of Haifa School of Social Work since 1990. In 2002 he joined the ISSTD board of directors as International Director and was elected ISSTD's first non-North American president in 2005. Somer was one of ESTD's founding fathers and became its second president in 2005. In 2006, he founded TDIL – Trauma and Dissociation Israel, of which he is scientific advisor. Somer is a Ministry of Health (Israel) certified supervisor in both clinical psychology and hypnosis. He is involved in advocacy for victims of sexual and child abuse, and has had a pivotal role in extending the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes in his country, and also in criminalising therapist-client sex.
Currently, he is a clinical professor of psychology at the University of Haifa School of Social Work. He is also a Clinical Director at Somer Psychotherapy and Psychological Research.
Eli Somer has coined the term "Maladaptive Daydreaming" and is conducting research on this psychological phenomenon.
Honors and awards
- University of Florida Presidential Recognition Award (1984)
- University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame (1984)
- University of Haifa Best Clinical Lecturer Award (1998, 1999, 2010, 2013, 2014)
- Listed in Ma’ariv daily in Israel’s Ten Best Clinical Psychologists (2004, 2008)
- Cornelia Wilbur Award for outstanding research contributions in the field of trauma and dissociation, International Society for the Study of Dissociation (2000)
- Fellow, International Society for the Study of Dissociation (2001)
- President Award, International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (2006)
- President Award, European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (2012)
- Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (2014)
- Somer, E. (1999). Dual Relationships: Seduction and sexual exploitation in counseling and psychotherapy. Tel Aviv: Papyrus - Tel Aviv University Publishing House (in Hebrew), 279 pages.
- Somer, E. & Bleich, A. (Eds.) (2005). Mental Health In Terror's Shadow: The Israeli Experience . Tel Aviv: Ramot - Tel Aviv University (in Hebrew), 588 pages.
Sample of Somer's recent scientific publications:
- Somer, E.; Ataria, Y. (2014). "Adverse Outcome of Continuous Traumatic Stress: A Qualitative Inquiry". International Journal of Stress Management. 22 (3): 287–305. doi:10.1037/a0038300.
- Somer, E.; Ruvio, A. (2013). "Going Gets Tough So Let's Go Shopping: On Materialism, Coping and Consumer Behaviors Under Traumatic Stress". Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspectives on Stress & Coping. 19 (5): 426–441. doi:10.1080/15325024.2013.794670.
- Somer, E.; Ginzburg, K.; Kramer, L. (2012). "The role of impulsivity in the association between child maltreatment and dissociative psychopathology: mediation versus moderation" (PDF). Psychiatry Research. 196: 133–137. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2011.08.010. This paper was recommended as being of special significance in its field (Faculty of 1000 Prime, 2013).
- Granot, M. Somer; Zisman-Ilani, Y.; Beny, A.; Sadger, R.; Mirkin, R.; Mont, R.; Yovell, Y. (2011). "Characteristics of response to experimental pain in sexually abused women" (PDF). Clinical Journal of Pain. 2 (7): 616–622.
- Somer, E.; Klein-Sela, C.; Or-Chen, K. (2011). "Beliefs in Reincarnation and in the Power of Fate and Their Association with Emotional Outcome Among Bereaved Parents of Fallen Soldiers" (PDF). Journal of Loss and Trauma. 16: 459–475. doi:10.1080/15325024.2011.575706.
- Somer, Eli. (1984). Doctoral dissertation: Spouse Marital Adjustment and Patient Life Engagement as Factors in Dietary Compliance of Chronic Hemodialysis Patients