The Matlen-Andersen Fund was established in 2015 with the goal of educating and training UConn Clinical Psychology graduate students in the evaluation and treatment of physical and emotional trauma.

Christine Andersen is a trauma survivor who experienced symptoms she struggled to understand. She was fortunate to find explanations in her work with Leslie Matlen, a clinical psychologist trained at UConn, who recognized the important role of trauma in the development of mental and physical illness.

The Trauma Library in the Psychological Services Clinic.

Though Christine was fortunate to find support in Dr. Matlen, others do not receive such trauma-informed treatment. The lack of these services has very real negative consequences, thus Christine and Leslie began the fund with the goal of training more clinicians to understand and work effectively with trauma survivors.

Students learning various clinical techniques in the Psychological Services Clinic. Photo by David Henry.

Research suggests that more than 75% of clients who suffer with serious mental health concerns, including addiction, have a significant history of traumatic events. Many survivors struggle to understand their symptoms and the role that their history may play.

The Fund supports initiatives devoted to helping UConn Clinical Psychology students better understand and respond to the needs of clients who suffer from traumatic histories. Since its inception, the Fund has enabled us to bring renowned experts to campus for day-long trainings, and also supports students in attending off-campus conferences and workshops.

Students in Clinic2
Students conducting a mock therapy session in one of the Psychological Services Clinic’s therapy rooms. Photo by David Henry.

These efforts have generated considerable interest in clinical trauma work and research on the part of UConn students and faculty. In response to that, we have tailored part of the Clinical Seminar Series to include additional training for students on specific forms of trauma and effective treatment modalities. The Matlen-Andersen Fund has also supported the creation of a library of resources for our graduate clinicians and faculty, which is housed in the Psychological Services Clinic.


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