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A Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for Advocates: How to Effectively Address PTSD in Matters Involving Veterans and Others Affected by Trauma 2020


Speaker(s): Amy Rose, David M. Joseph, Holly L. Christian, John R. McQuaid, Maureen Siedor, Olivia B. Cole
Recorded on: Jul. 9, 2020
PLI Program #: 298130

Dr. David M. Joseph is a Clinical Psychologist and the Director of the Oakland Vet Center, which provides treatment to veterans with readjustment stress, PTSD, and combat or military sexual trauma. The Vet Centers are unique in their ability to provide confidential counseling and social engagement activities to veterans in a warm, non-clinical setting, free of charge.

Dr. Joseph is the creator of "Welcome Home: Creating a Campus Climate of Wellness for Returning Veterans," a four-hour instructional program to increase awareness about the unique cultural and mental health needs of student veterans. Since 2011, under the auspices of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and in private consultation, Dr. Joseph has provided over 50 trainings to community college campuses, universities, conferences and other venues across the state. Dr. Joseph was also one of the creators of Combat to Community, developed in conjunction with Swords to Plowshares. This is a POST certified training for police officers, first responders and providers on effective interventions for veterans with PTSD.

Outside of his work with veterans, Dr. Joseph provides forensic psychological evaluations and expert testimony in a wide range of civil and criminal contexts, with a specific focus on evaluations of PTSD and psychological trauma.

Dr. Joseph received his BA from the University of Michigan and his doctoral degree from Alliant University in San Francisco. He completed his clinical internship at Napa State Hospital, and his post-doctoral hours at the National Center for PTSD at the VA in Menlo Park, CA. Dr. Joseph served in the Israeli Army as an infantryman.


Amy Rose is the Managing Attorney at Swords to Plowshares, a community-based non-profit that provides legal aid, housing, and social services to homeless and low-income veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to her work at Swords, Ms. Rose was the Legal Director at the ACLU of Nevada where she fought for the civil rights and liberties of Nevadans though impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community education Ms. Rose also spent several years practicing plaintiff-side employment law, advocating on behalf of employees facing discrimination and harassment in the workplace. She holds a J.D from the College of William & Mary and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Davis. She is a member of the State Bar of Nevada.


Holly L. Christian is the Pro Bono Manager and Staff Attorney at Swords to Plowshares. She previously worked for the American Bar Association where she served as the Veterans Pro Bono Coordinator and Chief Counsel to the Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law and Coordinating Committee on Veterans Benefits and Services. Holly is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law and the University of Dayton. Holly also holds multiple leadership roles in Phi Alpha Delta, a professional law fraternity. She is barred in Illinois.


John R. McQuaid, PhD is the Chief of the Mental Health Service at the San Francisco VA Health Care System and Vice Chair for the Department of Psychiatry, UCSF.

Dr. McQuaid completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of California, San Diego, his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Oregon, and his internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF. From 1995 to 2009 he served on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego and as a staff member at the San Diego VA Health Care System, moving into the role of Associate Chief of Psychology in 2004.

Dr. McQuaid’s research has focused on designing and evaluating psychosocial interventions for psychological and behavioral problems, including dual diagnosis conditions (depression and substance dependence), psychosis, anxiety disorders, high risk sex behaviors, and phantom limb pain. He was most recently a Site Investigator for a VA multi-site study comparing forms of therapy (cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure) for the treatment of PTSD. Dr. McQuaid’s clinical and teaching expertise is in cognitive-behavioral interventions for mood and anxiety disorders. He has directed psychotherapy clinics at the San Diego VA and the San Francisco VA since 1995. Throughout his career he has provided both didactic training and clinical supervision to nursing, psychiatry, psychology and social work trainees and staff in cognitive-behavioral and related interventions. He has also served as a member of VA task forces to establish guidelines for the treatment of depression, and chaired the American Psychological Association Depression Guideline Panel. Dr. McQuaid is a Past President of the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders.

Dr. McQuaid is the author of A Peaceful Mind: Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology to Overcome Depression (2004) and Cognitive-Behavioral Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia (2016).


Maureen “Mo” Siedor directs Swords to Plowshares’ Legal Services Unit which provides assistance and legal representation to homeless and low-income veterans on their veterans’ benefits and military discharge upgrade cases. She originally joined Swords’ legal team in 2014.

Prior to serving as Legal Director, Mo worked at the Center for Veterans’ Advancement at Public Counsel and the Homeless Veterans Project of Inner City Law Center. She began her legal careers as a staff attorney at DNA-People’s Legal Services providing legal assistance to victims of domestic violence on the Navajo Nation.

She is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Barnard College of Columbia University, and is a member of the State Bars of California and Colorado.


Olivia B. Cole is the Deputy Legal Director at Swords to Plowshares. Prior to her current role she began her career with Swords to Plowshares as a Skadden Fellow, where she established the Women Veterans Legal Advocacy Project, which conducts outreach and provides legal services tailored to the unique needs of women veterans. She holds a J.D. from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. from Indiana University. She is a member of the State Bar of California.