Planning Team

Benjamin E. Saunders, Ph.D.
Project BEST Co-Director, Broker Track Coordinator

Dr. Ben Saunders is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. There he serves as Director of the Family and Child Program of the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. Dr. Saunders received his Ph.D. in clinical social work from Florida State University and holds a masters degree in marriage and family therapy from Virginia Tech. He is a Licensed Independent Social Worker-Clinical Practice. 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 disseminating evidence-based practices. His work has been funded by several federal agencies, including 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, and the U.S. Department of the Navy. In 2001, Dr. Saunders received the Research Career Achievement Award from the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. He was the Co-Director for the first learning collaborative on TF-CBT conducted by the NCTSN, is the Co-Director of Project BEST, and the director of the Trauma Learning Collaborative for Washington, DC (TLC for DC), a citywide dissemination project on TF-CBT. He is Co-Course Director for two web-based learning courses on TF-CBT, TF-CBTWeb2.0 and CTGWeb. In addition to his research and teaching activities, Dr. Saunders maintains a consulting practice, and often is called as an expert witness in legal cases.


Rochelle F. Hanson, Ph.D.
Clinical Track Coordinator

Dr. Rochelle Hanson is a Professor and Director of Clinical Operations at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in the treatment of abused and traumatized children and youth. Her research focuses on the prevalence and effects of trauma exposure as well as dissemination of evidence-based practices for trauma-exposed youth. Dr. Hanson received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University and completed an NIMH post-doctoral research fellowship in Sexual Assault Research at the NCVC. She has served as a co-investigator on several federally-funded projects investigating violence exposure among children and adolescents. She is currently the principal investigator on an NIMH-funded grant examining the best ways to transport empirically-supported trauma-focused treatments into community-based settings. Dr. Hanson is a former board member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. She is the Co-Director of Project BEST, a state-wide initiative to ensure that all South Carolina children and their families, who are identified as having experienced abuse and resulting trauma, receive appropriate, empirically supported mental health assessment and psychosocial treatment services. Dr. Hanson maintains a clinical practice, providing treatment to children and adults.