Linda T. (Lynn) Sanford

Lynn SanfordVisiting Professor of Trauma-Informed Social Work

Educational Degrees

Masters in Social Work, University of Washington. 1976
Bachelors in Urban Planning, University of Washington. 1972

Linda T. (Lynn) Sanford, LICSW, an acclaimed social worker who specializes in helping victims of sexual assault and children whose parents were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, will be in residency at Wheelock for one year, beginning in August, 2014.

While at the College, she will teach in the Master of Social Work (MSW)  program in the Boston and Worcester locations, bringing to bear her extensive trauma-informed practice experience. Additionally, she will be actively engaged in our Council on Social Work Education Site Visit in early October, as well as Social Work Department initiatives, and the development of community partnerships through her local contacts and collaborations.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for the entire Wheelock College community and particularly the Social Work program, as Lynn's years of practice and teaching have primarily been focused on working with traumatized adolescents, children, and families, as well as extending this reach into local communities," said Hope Haslam Straughan, Associate Dean for Social Work, Leadership and Policy. "Her student-centered approach to learning, effusive passion for justice-based social work, and particular expertise in trauma-informed care and military social work are perfectly suited for our students, faculty, and community."

Sanford began her career working with victims of sexual assault. She has worked for 20 years with youth who have been convicted of crimes against people (homicide, attempted homicide, and multiple sexual assaults). She has also taught at various graduate schools of social work in Massachusetts, achieving the rank of Professor of Practice in 2009.

"Since moving to the Boston area 30 years ago, teaching at Wheelock has been a goal of mine" said Sanford. "Wheelock College's dedication to the well-being of children and its huge contribution to equity and fairness in our society make Wheelock the place I want to be. Over the past 18 months, I've told countless soldiers, airmen and Marines: "Go to Wheelock College" if you want to make a difference and be treated with respect. I look forward to growing with this venerable institution."

She is the author of two books: "Strong at the Broken Places: Building Resiliency in the Lives of Survivors" (1990, 2004) and "The Silent Children" (1980). Sanford is also co-author of "Women and Self-Esteem" (1984) and "In Defense of Ourselves" (1978).

Sanford most recently worked as a Military Family Life Consultant on Marine Corps Air Station at Iwakuni, Japan. She has also recently worked with children whose parents were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
She is a sought-after speaker who has presented at dozens of regional and national conferences. In 2010, she was an invited speaker to the American Society of Child Abuse Professionals National Conference speaking to civilians and officers in the Air Force Medical Wing on resiliency as they developed the Air Force Comprehensive Airmen Fitness Program.

Post-Master Training

  • "Living in the New Normal" Military Child Education Coalition. 2013
  • Certified Civilian Mental Health Provider, Center for Deployment Psychology at the Uniformed Health Services University. Bethesda, Md. 2012
  • Military Family Life Consultant Credential (online). 2011
  • Neuro-­sequentialing Model of Therapeutics; Bruce Perry, MD. Washington D.C. 2008
  • Advanced Risk Assessment Skills with Violent Youth; Randy Borum, Psy.D., J. Reid Meloy Ph.D., Steven Jobes, Ph.D. and Kris Mahondie, Ph.D. San Diego, California. 2007
  • "Opening Pandora's Box: Addressing Classism" Felice Yeskel, Ed.D., Class Action, Northampton, Mass. 2006


  • Sanford, L.T., Strong at the Broken Places: Building Resiliency in Survivors of Trauma, Random House, l990; Avon Books 1992; NEARI Press 2005.
  • Sanford, L.T. and M.E. Donovan, Women and Self-­Esteem: Understanding and Improving How We Think and Feel About Ourselves, Doubleday & Co. 1984; Viking/Penguin l986.
  • Sanford, L.T., The Silent Children: A Parent's Guide to the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Doubleday & Co. 1980; McGraw‐Hill, 1982.
  • Sanford, L.T. and A. Fetter, In Defense of Ourselves: A Rape Prevention Handbook, Doubleday & Co. 1978.

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