Dr Kalyani Gopal, PhD, HSPP
President-Elect, Society for Clinical Psychology, American Psychological Association; Human Rights psychologist; Keynote speaker international reputation
Dr. Kalyani Gopal, PhD, HSPP, Founder & President, SAFE Coalition for Human Rights; Immediate Past President, Illinois Psychological Association; President-Elect, Div. 12, APA.
Dr. Gopal is a keynote and international speaker and trainer on foster care and adoption, human trafficking, child sexual abuse, Autism and neurodevelopmental disorders, and psychopathology. Dr Gopal grew up in India and is the first woman of color to win the Presidency of the Illinois Psychological Association which oversees the State of Illinois’ psychologists and first South Asian American for a division of the APA, Society for Clinical Psychology for 2021. She has trained foster parents, adoptive parents, administrators, judges, FBI, police officers, attorneys, case managers, nonprofits, and clergy on issues related to infants, children, adolescents and adults. She has coined the term "Displacement Trauma" to describe the complex trauma caused by frequent disruptions of attachment bonds in foster care youth. She is the bestselling author of "The Supportive Foster Parent", "Foster Parenting Step-by-Step: How to Nurture the Traumatized Child", the grief and loss workbook "In My Heart", Workbooks on Child Sexual Abuse Series, and co-editor of the upcoming Springer publication, “Handbook of Sex Trafficking: Feminist Transnational Perspectives.” She is on the boards of Indiana’s Lake County Child Protection Team and Lake County Child Fatality Team, serves as the Chair for the Illinois Psychological Association’s Working Committee on Hate and Harassment, served as Chair of the IPA Women’s Section, served as President of Section IV, Division 12, American Psychological Association (2012-2014), and is currently serving on the Board of Directors, Society of Clinical Psychology, American Psychological Association. She is the President of Mid-America Psychological and Counseling Services, PC, oversees management of mental health clinics in Indiana and Illinois. Her nonprofit organization, Safe Coalition for Human Rights (SAFECHR) was formed in 2014 in response to the realization that most victims were once in foster care, and victims’ voices needed to be heard. SAFECHR hosted SAFE 2014 in Chicago, SAFE 2016 in DC/VA, SAFE 2018, SAFE 2019, in Chicago, USA; raising the number of participant countries from 10 nations in 2014 to 73 nations in 2018 bringing together organizations from around the globe working ceaselessly to form collaborative national and international coalitions from rescue to rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking and violations of human rights. SAFE 2021 is slated to be held in Illinois, USA in September 2021.
Dr Gopal has created an evidence-based, international credentialing program to certify advocates, clinicians, attorneys, and law enforcement as trainers in human trafficking (SAFE iACT Program) and has since trained 15 trainers from 9 countries. Recently, she developed and implemented a program, THRIVE for adults from ACEs populations (childhood vulnerabilities) to provide wrap-around therapeutic services in a permanent supportive housing, Families First framework. During COVID-19, Dr Gopal launched an e-learning school-based program for prevention of high-risk behaviors among youth by improving resiliency and teaching socioemotional skills (SAFE Schools) and created a unique residential restorative programmatic model for restoration of human rights and dignity in victims of human trafficking and sexual assault (SAFE Village).
She is currently also working on reducing homelessness among high IQ youth who lack mentorship. In recognition of her work, Dr Gopal was awarded the Indiana Lake County Award for Excellence in 2004 and Indiana Attorney General’s Voices for Victims Award in 2015 and Congressman Danny T Davis MEATF Medal in 2019.