Lisa Butler.

Lisa Butler

Associate Professor

"Being grounded in trauma research has led me to realize the importance of conceptualizing what trauma really means. We must clearly define traumatic events as distinct from other major stressors, even if the latter have profound effects; we must also be able to identify the events are uniquely human rights violations."

Contact Information

592 Baldy Hall
Amherst, NY 14260
229 Parker Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: 716-645-1247
Fax: 716-645-3456

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Contact Information

592 Baldy Hall, Amherst, NY 14260 (view North Campus map)
229 Parker Hall, Buffalo, NY 14214 (view South Campus map)
Phone: 716-645-1247; Fax: 716-645-3456


  • PhD, Psychology, Stanford University (1993)
  • BSc, Philosophy and Psychology, University of Toronto (1986)

Professional/Research Interests

Trauma; resilience; growth; care needs of veterans and their families; stress; self-care in MSW clinical training; the intersection of trauma and human rights; applications of the trauma-informed framework; dissociative processes; and representations of mental illness in film


Lisa D. Butler received her BSc in philosophy and psychology (with honors) from the University of Toronto and her PhD in psychology (personality/psychopathology) from Stanford University. Subsequently, she received an NIMH National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry in the Stanford School of Medicine. Her recent research involves investigations into anticipatory traumatic stress symptoms; trauma, stress, and self-care in clinical training; applications of the trauma-informed framework; examinations of the intersection of traumatic experience and human rights violations; and identifying the care needs of veterans and their families. She is Founder and currently Co-Director of Joining Forces-UB, a multidisciplinary UB collaboration that offers a veteran and military family training specialization (now micro-credentialed) in the SSW. 

Butler teaches Theories of Human Behavior and Development, Trauma and Human Rights, Issues in Veteran and Military Family Care, Personality Disorders, and an advanced seminar in trauma. She has published widely on various aspects of trauma, resilience, growth, and dissociation and has served on the Executive Committee of the Trauma Division (Div. 56) of the American Psychological Association, on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and as an associate editor of the journal Traumatology.