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Benjamin E Saunders Ph.D.

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  • Professor
  • College of Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Academic Focus
  • child abuse
  • psychological trauma
  • dissemination of evidence based practices


Office Location


Dr. Ben Saunders is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. There he serves as the Associate Director of the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. Dr. Saunders received his Ph.D. in clinical social work from Florida State University in 1982; a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Virginia Tech in 1979; and a B.A., in religious studies from the University of South Florida in 1977. He is a Licensed Independent Social Worker-Clinical Practice, a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, and a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work. His research, training, and clinical interests include the initial and long term impact of violence and abuse on children and adolescents; the epidemiology of trauma, violence, and abuse; treatment approaches for abused children and their families; and effective methods for implementing evidence supported interventions in community service agencies. His work has been funded by government and private agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Justice, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Office for Victims of Crime, the U.S. Department of the Navy, The Duke Endowment and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In 2001 Dr. Saunders received the Research Career Achievement Award from the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and in 2008 was invited to deliver the APSAC William Friedrich Memorial Lecture. In addition to his research and teaching activities, Dr. Saunders provides clinical supervision, consultation, training, and program consultation concerning mental health treatment of abused children and their families, and is a frequent lecturer and trainer at national and international conferences.