Kim Westfall, Founder
Meet Our New Chief Clinical Officer
Updated: May 31, 2022
It is with great excitement that we announce Dr. Vanessa Snyder has joined Uncaged full-time as our Chief Clinical Officer. Dr. Snyder already has a long history with Uncaged, beginning in a volunteer capacity and traveling to Romania several times before coming on as our International Program Director in September 2020. She has been a key part of Uncaged, creating our holistic trauma-informed therapy program.
Dr. Snyder has specialized in treating complex trauma and sexual abuse for over a decade. She earned her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Christian Sex Therapy from Richmont Graduate University and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Sex Therapist, Master Traumatologist, an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Approved Clinical Supervisor, and a Green Cross Certified Trainer.
She comes to Uncaged with extensive knowledge from owning a private practice in Atlanta and serving as the Founder and Director of the Richmont Trauma Center. She served there as Associate Professor as well as Dean of Clinical Affairs. Dr. Snyder brings experience from her work with Abolition International (Nashville, TN) on research and program evaluations of trauma treatment models in sex trafficking shelters. She also served as the Chief Clinical Officer at No Longer Bound (Cumming, GA), a long-term faith-based, clinical treatment program for men in addiction.
It is this knowledge of trauma that guides the unique way Dr. Snyder will guide the approach to healing at Uncaged. “One of the distinctions of trauma in sex trafficking is its complexity,” says Snyder. “Many trafficking survivors already have a history of some kind of trauma, or many traumas, during their developmental years. Those traumas may include abuse, neglect, poverty, war, or a host of other things. But trafficking becomes an additional horror they experience.”
Dr. Snyder’s research on trauma and secondary traumatic stress in aftercare providers of trauma equipped her to lead Green Cross and Richmont Trauma Response Teams. She traveled globally working with refugees, widows of martyrs, and trafficking victims.
Dr. Snyder brings this vast experience to the therapeutic elements survivors will experience at The Sanctuary. “Healing is absolutely possible,” she says, “but it looks different for each individual. We have to make space for what survivors think health looks like for them. Sex trafficking takes away survivors’ ability to have choices, have a voice, and have power. We want to give those things back to survivors.”
She recently spent time training local people and pastors in West Africa with an affiliate organization. We are excited to see how our team is globally resourcing others with trauma-informed therapies that lead to transformation. As Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Snyder will oversee the training of therapists that will work with trafficking survivors at The Sanctuary.
We know healing is possible with the right people and the right strategy. With Dr. Snyder on board and your support, we’re on our way to unlocking transformation for survivors and ending human trafficking once and for all!