Allison Deitz

Allison Deitz, MS, MSW, LCSW-C 

Allison Deitz, LCSW-C, is a PhD candidate interested in understanding the chronic, complex trauma of domestic sex trafficking, specifically how feminist theories intervene to illuminate the structural injustices perpetuating it (e.g., heteropatriarchy, neoliberalism, racism). She has depth and breadth of experience in anti-sex trafficking efforts, research with trauma survivors, and behavioral health. Allison hopes to defend her dissertation, focusing on applying a theoretical model of power and control dynamics in domestic sex trafficking to research data, by April 2025. 



MSW, University of Maryland, Baltimore (2018) 

MS in Evidence-Based Social Intervention, University of Oxford (2013) 

Thesis: The Effectiveness of Trauma-Focused CBT for Female Victims of Sex Trafficking 

BA in Psychology, Winthrop University (2012) 

Honors Thesis: Predictors of Beliefs about Altruism and Willingness to Behave Altruistically 


Significant Accomplishments: Allison’s manuscript on self-compassion, childhood emotional neglect, and pandemic-related posttraumatic growth in a sample of U.S. parents (her Research Practicum cohort’s project) was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2024. She was also published as an undergraduate in the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research as the first author on a manuscript addressing predictors of altruistic beliefs and behavior. Since beginning the PhD program in the fall of 2020, Allison has presented co-authored and sole-author posters at the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting and Society for Social Work and Research’s Annual Conference, and UMB’s Graduate Research Conference.  


Academic Interests and Experience: Allison’s research interests are primarily in the areas of domestic sex trafficking, including power and control dynamics as well as the neuropsychology of chronic, complex trauma. The role of theory in research, particularly in how theories and researchers’ implicit ideological orientations influence study design, analysis, and reporting (e.g., the relationship between individualistic ideological assumptions and proposing individualistic clinical implications), is something Allison will explore in her dissertation. In the future, Allison aims to teach at the MSW and, eventually, PhD levels, with the goal of cultivating the trans-contextual critical thinking and application skills required for social work research, practice, and teaching in the next generation of social workers.  


Practice Interests and Experience: Allison previously worked for five years in several roles (senior case manager, residential supervisor, and research and evaluation specialist) for a long-term residential program serving survivors of domestic sex trafficking. While working for this program, Allison designed a six-month group therapy curriculum focused on self-discovery and personal identity development. After earning her MSW, she joined the UMB School of Medicine’s Division of Psychiatric Services Research as the social worker for participants of a five-year project located at the University of Maryland Treatment Center. In January 2024, Allison began her new role as the Senior Health Program Specialist, combining research and social work functions, for the Women’s Health Clinical Training Program at the UMB School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences. She continues to practice as a therapist for individuals dually diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders and mood, anxiety, and/or trauma-related disorders.