Free PDF for New Trauma Healers


Dr. Eli (Eliezer) Somer 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). Dr. 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.

Dr. Somer was born in Israel, a son of Holocaust survivors. He graduated high school at the Hebrew Gymnasium in Jerusalem in 1969. He served at the IDF in the War of Attrition as a tank crewman, and in the Yom Kippur War as a tank Commander. Somer served for many years as a reservist combat Mental Health Officer at the Medical Corpsof the Israel Defence Forces specialising in combat stress reactions.

Dr. Somer is currently a peace activist and an advocacy activist for victims of sexual andchild abuse.

The Quote

Compassion is the basis of all morality
Arthur Schopenhauer

What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?

Eli talks first and foremost about being impacted by several family members who were victims of the Holocaust, and then himself growing up in a time and place surrounded by traumatic events. In addition, he shares his experience during graduate school of beginning to work with traumatized clients, and while in the United States, being influenced by the encounter of his first patient with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

A Crucial Early Mistake

Eli shares the early experience of encountering and working with his first client with dissociative identity disorder and then both the challenges and rewards that came along with his experience.

Eli’s Why

Eli is on a mission to help individuals who have been “wronged,” especially the younger individuals who have been traumatized. I feel I was given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those I am treating.

Eli’s Advice

  • Join a professional organization (eg ISSTS, ISSTD)
  • Join a peer group of others with whom you can share experiences.
  • Do not be alone in this field!

Eli’s Go-To Books

Interview Links

Charles Figley, Ph.D.
Mary Jo Barrett, MSW

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