Vanessa Hughes MA, MFT, MAICS, MAT, SEP and PhD candidate is a survivor of Cross Creek Manor, a WWASP program in Utah. After serving as a firefighter in the United States Marine Corps, she went on to obtain Graduate degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Psychology, Theology, and Intercultural Studies and will obtain her doctorate in clinical psychology in July.
Vanessa is a trauma expert with extensive experience working with individuals with severe PTSD. She is certified or certificated in Somatic Experiencing (SE), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Havening, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and is a trained bodyworker. She has provided mental health treatment to veterans in community-based and in VA hospital settings including one of the few transgender clinics in the country. She has worked with seriously mentally ill populations in community and forensic settings. She provides training for fellow therapists who work with trauma and teaches in two graduate therapy programs as an adjunct professor. Her areas of academic research include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Moral injury in military Veterans and the impact of peer and social support on emotional functioning in traumatized populations.
Vanessa developed a body-based treatment approach for Military Sexual Trauma which has been researched and implemented in several treatment programs and is published in a textbook for treating Military Sexual Trauma. She has been invited to help create various wellness and treatment programs, research studies, and wellness retreats for traumatized individuals. She has guided organizations and programs requiring trauma-informed models and currently serves as the Executive Director. In March she became the Interim President for Breaking Code Silence. In 2015, she was recognized as Woman of the Year by Senator Carol Liu for her trauma-informed work in the community.