Joan Benz, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Joan Benz, PhD, MSW, LCSW, is a survivor of 22 years of domestic violence, and the mother of three sons who witnessed the violence. After escaping from her abusive husband, she spent several years in intensive therapy to recover from PTSD. Dr. Benz then went on to obtain an undergraduate degree in Social Work, Psychology and Sociology, an MSW from The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Louis University. Dr. Benz’s dissertation is on the “Life Experiences of Adults Who Witnessed Domestic Violence as Children.” She worked for over 10 years at a non-profit agency where she was a supervisor/ therapist working mainly with children and families that were victims of violence and/ or abuse. She has shared her personal story numerous times and used her experiences to advocate for other victims of domestic violence as a therapist, expert witness and consultant. Dr. Benz now works in private practice as a psychotherapist. Her specialties include domestic violence, couples therapy, OCD, PTSD, trauma and anxiety. Dr. Benz is also an adjunct professor in the MSW program at Washington University in St. Louis teaching Differential Diagnosis, Parent Child Interaction Therapy and Applied Behavior Therapy, and she provides several workshops each year on several topics including domestic violence, working with adolescents, clinical interventions and therapy techniques. She is president of the St. Louis Family Violence Council.