Terri Messman Moore

Free PDF for New Trauma Healers


Terri Messman-Moore earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University in 1999. From 1998-1999, she interned at the National Center for PTSD in Boston Massachusetts. From 1999-2000, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, where she was trained in several empirically-supported cognitive-behavioral treatments for PTSD, including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

Dr. Messman-Moore is currently the O’Toole Family Professor of Psychology at Miami University, in Oxford Ohio. She is also the Director of Clinical Training for the department’s Clinical Psychology PhD program and teaches undergraduate courses focused on interpersonal trauma, as well as graduate courses on Trauma-Focused Therapy for adults.

Dr. Messman-Moore is a licensed psychologist in Ohio and provides clinical intervention to trauma survivors on a limited basis.

The Quote

It takes two to speak the truth. One to speak and one to hear.
Henry David Thoreau

What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?

Terri talks about how the field of trauma became a perfect fit for her. Terri grew up on a farm where she learned her work ethic and went to college not truly knowing what she wanted to do and focus on. When she took an aptitude test and psychology came up as something she’d be good at, she began her pursuit into the field of trauma research and therapy.

A Crucial Early Mistake

Terri talks about the time when she was a graduate student and working with a young man who presented with depression and dissociation. This young client was also a caregiver for his sick mother. At one point in therapy the young man said to Terri that he thought he might have PTSD in relation to his care-giving duties. Terri talks about how, based upon her conceptualization of PTSD at that time, she dismissed this young man’s notion and didn’t really listen to him or honor what he had to say as much as she should have.

Terri’s Why

I find this work so fascinating. There’s something about every person’s story and it’s really a privilege to work with them and to walk alongside them. I consider myself a guide on an unknown journey.

Terri’s advice

  • Trauma therapy is not an exorcism. The trauma is not going to be removed from one’s life. And this brings up the question of the goal of therapy.
  • This work is very emotionally evocative and can be triggering. We need to be aware of our own histories, and why we might be having difficulties.
  • Be ready to know you’re going to have reactions and know how you’re going to handle them.
  • Remember that trauma comes in disguise.
  • Realize that PTSD has different manifestations, for example, an acute presentation is going to look much differently than a chronic one.

Terri’s go-to books

Interview Links

Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, MSW
Toni Heineman, PhD

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