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Allegations of employee mistreatment roil renowned Brookline trauma center ( & Note


Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a best-selling author on trauma whose research has attracted a worldwide following, has been fired from his job over allegations that he bullied and denigrated employees at his renowned Trauma Center.

Van der Kolk was removed as medical director of the Brookline center in January, according to several accounts, although his photo and job description remained prominently on its website until early this week, when the Globe requested information. His firing capped a tumultuous three months at the center that van der Kolk founded 35 years ago.

Executive director Joseph Spinazzola, like van der Kolk a longtime advocate for abuse victims, was removed in November over his alleged mistreatment of female employees, executives said. Staff then received a flurry of conflicting e-mails from executives about the reasons for the upheaval, according to copies of the e-mails provided to the Globe.

Full article.

  • A letter to the editor written by Peter Levine was published yesterday.
  • A  response to the above news story, written by Bessel van der Kolk himself is prominent on his website and has been shared widely on social media can be found here

Cissy's Note: There's a pretty active and healthy conversation and discussion happening on social media and some sharing of personal experiences and opinions, both positive and negative, people have had with The Trauma Center and Bessel van der Kolk as community activists, colleagues, survivors and professionals.  

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Anna Runkle posted:

This is really shocking to me, though hard to judge.  I recommend taking time to read not only the primary article, but the response from van Der Kolk. 

Anna: Yes, it's shocking to some and not so shocking to others. There's lots of debate in the wider community,  in the comments, on social media and closer to home for many here in MA. Cissy

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