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Photo of Raja, Sheela

Sheela Raja, PhD

Director, College of Dentistry Resilience Center and Associate Professor; Interim Executive Director of the UIC Counseling Center

Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences



College of Dentistry 801 S. Paulina, IL 60612


Dr. Raja is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Associate Professor and the Director of Clinical Behavioral Sciences.  She is a highly sought after speaker and has given invited talked at the federal and national level on post traumatic stress and trauma informed medical and dental practice.  Her research interests include understanding the role of traumatic and toxic stress on health behavior and examining the outcomes of trauma informed training in healthcare settings.


Scholarly interests

She is a highly sought after speaker and has given invited talked at the federal and national level on post traumatic stress and trauma informed medical and dental practice.  As the Director of Clinical Behavioral Sciences, she is also interested in interactive teaching methods, including the use of standardized patients and online, case-based learning for practicing healthcare providers.


Clinical activities & specialties

She is experienced in evidenced-based treatments for post-traumatic stress, trauma, and anxiety disorders in adolescents and adults.

Selected Publications


Raja, S. & Ashrafi, J. (2018). PTSD Survival Guide for Teens. New Harbinger: Oakland, CA.

Lohmann, R. & Raja, S.  (2016) The Sexual Trauma Workbook for Teen Girls.  New  Harbinger: Oakland: CA.

Raja, S.  (2012).  Overcoming Trauma and PTSD: A Workbook Integrating Skills from ACT, DBT, and CBT.  New Harbinger:  Oakland, CA.

Book Chapters:

Raja, S. (2016).  Affect Regulation. Treating Military Sexual Trauma. Springer: New York.

Orsillo, S., & Raja, S.  (2002).  Comorbidity in PTSD.  In R. Kimerling, P. C. Ouimette, & J. Wolfe:  Gender and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Clinical, Research, and Program Level Applications.  New York:  Guilford.

Peer Reviewed Articles:

Raja, S., Rajagopalan, C., Hasnain, M., Vadakumchery, T., Kupershmidt, A., Hamad, J., & Hoersch, M. (2015). Trauma Informed Care in Medical Settings: A Pilot Study of Female Patient Perspectives on Coping, Screening and Fostering Resilience. Journal of Women’s Health Issues & Care.

Raja, S., Hasnain, M., Vadakumchery, T., Hamad, J., Shah, R., & Hoersch, M. (2015). Identifying elements of patient-centered care in underserved populations: a qualitative study of patient perspectives. PloS one, 10(5), e0126708-e0126708.

Raja, S., Hasnain, M., Hoersch, M., Gove-Yin, S.,& Rajagopalan, C.  (2015). Trauma Informed Care in Medicine:  Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions.  Family and Community Health 38(3), 217-227.

Raja, S., Hannan, S., Boykin, D., Orcutt, H., Hamad, J., Hoersch, M., & Hasnain, M. (2015). Self-Reported Physical Health Associations of Traumatic Events in Medical and Dental Outpatients: A Cross-Sectional Study. Medicine,94(17),e734.

Raja, S., Shah, R., Hamad, J., VanKanegan, M., Kupershmidt, A., & Kruthoff, M. (2015). Patients’ Perspectives of Dehumanization in Dental Settings.  Journal of Dental  Education, 79 (10).

Raja, S., Holland, C., DuBois, S., McKirnan, D., Allgood, K., & Glick, N.  (2015). History of Traumatic Events in HIV+ Individuals:  Risk Behavior Implications in an Urban Clinic Setting. Journal of HIV, AIDS and Social Service, 14(1), 110-128.

Raja, S., Rajagopalan, C., Kupershmidt, S., & Chang, P.  (2015).  Outcomes of a Trauma-Informed Care Module in Dental Education. Journal of Dental Education, 79(1): 47-55.

Houston, E., Osborn, A., Lyons, T., Masvawure, T., & Raja, S. (2015). Exploring Perceived Social Support from Peer Facilitators In a HIV Treatment Adherence Intervention for African American Patients: A Content Analysis Of Participant Perspectives. Journal of Community & Applied Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/casp.2228

Raja, S., Hoersch, M., Rajagopalan, C. F., & Chang, P. (2014). Treating Patients With Traumatic Life Experiences: Providing Trauma-Informed Care. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 145(3), 238-245.

Raja, S., Rajagopalan, C. F., Patel, J., & Van Kanegan, K. (2014). Teaching Dental Students About Patient Communication Following an Adverse Event: A Pilot Educational Module. Journal of Dental Education, 78(5), 757-762.

Yudkowsky, R., Valdes, W., Raja, S., & Kiser, B. (2011). Standardized patients assess      residents’ telehealth communication skills. Medical Education 45(11), 1155.

Estes, L.J., Lloyd, L.E., Teti, M., Raja, S., Bowleg, L., Allgood, K.L., et al. (2010). Perceptions of audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) among women in an HIV-positive prevention program.  PLoS ONE 5(2): e9149, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009149

Raja, S., Teti, M., Knauz, R., Enchenique, M., Capistrant, B., Rubinstein, M., et al., (2008). Implementing peer-based interventions in clinic-based settings: Lessons from a multi-site hiv prevention with positives initiative.  Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Service. 7(1), 7-26

Raja, S., McKirnan, D., & Glick, N. (2007). The treatment advocacy program-sinai: A peer-based HIV prevention intervention for working with HIV-infected persons. AIDS and Behavior, 11(5):  s84-s94.

Campbell, R., Megson, G., Bybee, D., & Raja, S.  (2008).  The co-occurrence of childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment:  A meditational model of post-traumatic stress disorder and physical health outcomes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(2), 194-207.

Campbell, R., Litchty, L., Struza M., & Raja, S. (2006). Gynecological impact of sexual assault. Research in Health and Nursing, 29, 399-413.

Campbell, R., & Raja, S.  (2005). The sexual assault and secondary victimization of female veterans:  Help-seeking experiences with military and civilian social systems. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29(1), 97-106.

Bolton, E., Lambert, J.F., Wolf, E. J., Raja, S., Varra, A. A., & Fisher, L. (2004). Evaluating a cognitive-behavioral group treatment program for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychological Services, 1 (2), 140-146.

Riger, S., Raja, S., & Camacho, J. (2002). The radiating impact of intimate partner violence in women’s lives.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17(2), 184-205.

Campbell, R., & Raja, S. (1999). The secondary victimization of rape victims: Insights from mental health professionals who treat survivors of violence.  Violence and Victims, 14(3),  261-275.

Campbell, R., Raja, S., and Grining, P.L. (1999). Training mental health professionals on violence against women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14(10), 1003-1013.

Raja, S. (1998). Culturally-sensitive therapy for women of color. Women and Therapy, 21(4), 67-84.

Raja, S., & Stokes, J. (1998). Assessing attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: The modern homophobia scale. Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity, 3(2), 113-134.

Riger, S., Stokes, J., Raja, S., & Sullivan, M.  (1997). Measuring perceptions of the quality of the work environment for female faculty. Review of Higher Education, 21(1), 63-78.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BS
University of Illinois at Chicago, MA
University of Illinois at Chicago, PhD
Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology (Boston VA Medical Center, BU School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School), Clinical Internship
National Center for PTSD, Boston, Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Research Currently in Progress

Dr. Raja’s research interests include understanding the role of traumatic and toxic stress on patients’ health behavior and engagement in preventive care.  She is also involved in examining the outcomes of trauma informed training in healthcare settings.