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Dr. Pauline Thompson is a US Navy veteran who served aboard the USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37) in the Nuclear Repair division, during the 1988 Persian Gulf conflict. Subsequent to her service, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at DeSales University and a PhD in Psychology from Temple University. 

Pauline has a way of identifying, and cogently articulating, that most crucial element in the work of psychotherapy: the importance of the self-awareness of the therapist. Because it is this which dictates the foundation of the therapeutic relationship, and thus the course of healing.


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Pauline is a critical community health psychologist and is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Penn State Brandywine campus. For more than 20 years, she’s been involved in community-based research and development with an emphasis on alternative understandings of mental health and social, emotional, and physical wellbeing and health. Her work spans the globe, working with refugee, migrant, and Indigenous Peoples, with 10 years living in New Zealand and six years in Australia to the USA. 

She’s spent the last 12 years using the cultural safety model to educate health and human service professionals to work with clients who are different to themselves. Current projects include: working with reconciliation strategist Ulysses Slaughter on a reconciliation process between the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia MOVE organization; and the New Integration Accommodations project, a community-focused cultural transformation and sustainability initiative in collaboration with Ulysses Slaughter at the Chester Housing Authority. The 3rd Edition of her award-winning, co-authored book, Healthcare and Indigenous Australians: Cultural Safety in Practice, was recently released (April, 2019). Dr. Thompson is currently writing a cultural safety book for the US context. 

 Pauline’s quote

Every academic discipline has its technical nomenclature, and modern psychology has a word that is used, probably, more than any other. It is the word maladjusted. This word is the ringing cry of modern child psychology. Certainly all of us want to live a well-adjusted life in order to avoid the neurotic personality. But I say to you, there are certain things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon all men of good will to be maladjusted.

–Excerpt from Martin Luther King on June 6, 1961 at Lincoln University. Read full text here.

In This Episode

Health Care and Indigenous Australians: Cultural safety in practice, Kerry Taylor and Pauline Thompson Guerin

The Kavanagh Sisters. Standing Up And Speaking Out
Pat Ogden, PhD. Working With Trauma From The Bottom Up


Trauma Therapist | 2.0. a community for new trauma therapists

If you're a new trauma therapist and you're looking to learn from seasoned professionals and be inspired by other therapists from around the globe, this online community might be for you.

Check it out here: Trauma Therapist | 2.0