Dr. Villena-Mata has worked
in the field of trauma in various capacities.
Since 1986, she has worked in direct services
in the areas of child abuse and domestic violence.
Later she worked with victims and survivors
of torture and rape due to societal traumas
(U.S. and international). She has been on boards
of directors and committees for various organizations
and agencies, dealing with conflict resolution;
health; refugee work; HIV/AIDS; and trauma’s
impact on coping mechanism, specifically, safety
issues, intimacy, and moving from survivor to
thriver perceptions of reality.
Villena-Mata saw similarities between recipients
of “isms” with adult children of
childhood abuse. As there was no existing research
in this area at that time, Darling went to school
to find out more. The result was her dissertation,
which has since been translated into a layperson’s
version, accessible to clinicians, trainers,
academicians, and clients alike.
Since its publication, Walking Between Winds:
A Passage Through Societal Trauma - Discrimination's
Impact on Love, Safety, Health, and Conflict,
the book has been used in a variety of ways.
Examples of book use: First Nations and nongovernmental
organizations, such as Global Peace Hut in their
training of their providers and clientele of
displaced people and refugees from Uganda, Rwanda,
and Sudan. Book provided models and approaches
to healing and recovering from current societal
In terms of degrees, Darling holds a Ph.D.
in Social Psychology with concentration in Trauma
and Conflict Studies; M.A. in Clinical Psychology.
She is also a certified hypnotherapist and is
certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists
(NGH). As a hypnotist and traumatologist, Villena-Mata
is asked by services providers to assist them,who
have clients dealing with psychological traumas.
This particular part of her practice is by referral
Dr. Villena-Mata is a former editor to Nonviolent
Change Journal. She has also written on such
topics as the ramifications of societal trauma
on recipients; development of safety and trust;
and impact of grief on identity formation.
She was an associate professor of psychology
at Northern Virginia Community College as well
as a member of their Global Affairs Committee.
She was college-wide chairperson of psychology
for all the campuses for three years. She holds
a consultation and training practice in Washington
Dr. Darling Villena-Mata may be reached at