Joanne Tortorici Luna, PhD

Antioch University
Home Faculty Directory Joanne Tortorici Luna, PhD

Dr. Joanne Tortorici Luna (“Dr. T.”) is an Adjunct Faculty member at Antioch. At California State University Long Beach, she is a Professor in the Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling Department and also is an interdisciplinary faculty member for the M.S. program in Emergency Services Administration in the College of Health and Human Services.  She is known nationally and internationally for her work with individuals, families, and communities in situations of armed conflict. She is a clinically practicing licensed psychologist, a first and second responder for disaster mental health, trainer, educator, and researcher. Her teaching and psychotherapeutic approaches are integrative and relationship-focused.

As a psychotherapist, her orientation is integrative, experiential, and guided by the unique body-mind needs and circumstances of the client. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and frequently uses this evidence-supported modality, in her practice psychotherapy. Her clinical specialization areas include trauma recovery and post-traumatic growth, first-responder support, balance after war experiences, and navigation of spiritual emergence/emergency. She also serves as staff psychologist at MACH1 (Move a Child Higher) and MACH2 (Military and Companion Horses). Her work in these horse-partnered therapy programs is informed by current trauma-related brain research, human and horse psychology, and sound psychotherapeutic practices.

Dr. Tortorici Luna has a long time interest in the body-mind-spirit approach to self-healing and wellbeing. She is a student of the martial art Taijiquan.

She enjoys the study of  complementary and alternative health practices, and is a Master Reiki Practitioner / Teacher (Usui Shiki Ryoho). She provides no-cost energy healing in a local spiritual setting.

She frequently serves as a consultant and trainer regarding school crisis.  Soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Archdiocese of New York and the New York Chancellor asked her assistance for impacted school personnel. She provided related services for New York schools then, and for several subsequent years.

In Nicaragua, she has worked as a Counseling Psychologist, University Professor (Universidad Centroamericana, Managua), and Coordinator of Mental Health Services for a large region of the country. She was National Director of a mental health program for Nicaraguan child survivors of the war.

As a United Nations consultant, she has worked as a mental health practitioner,  trainer, evaluator, and program developer in the war/conflict zones of the Central American countries as well as in South Africa. As a UNICEF advisor, she led the development and implementation of Nicaragua’s first Peace Education Program, and the creation of South Africa’s first UNICEF Country Programme for Emergency and Long-term Humanitarian Assistance. She was an international advisor to South Africa’s Goldstone Commission for the Prevention of Political and Public Violence. Her areas of specialty include crisis response, mental health and human rights concerns in situations of armed conflict and widespread disaster.

She has worked for the Long Beach Unified School District as a school counselor, and as Violence Prevention Coordinator. She helped lead the formation, training, and management of LBUSD’s multiagency School Crisis Response Team, as well as the CSULB Volunteer Crisis Resource Team.

Dr. Tortorici Luna is a member of the National Trauma Network and EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs. She is a Trainer/Member of the Culver City Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team. She is a Founding Member/Trainer of the City of Long Beach’s Hate Crime Response Team. Dr. Tortorici Luna is proud to have been one of New York City’s first women cab drivers.

Joanna Tortorici

Adjunct Faculty

Undergraduate Studies

PhD, Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California

MA; R-DMT, Dance/Movement Therapy, University of California, Los Angeles

Psychology; Trauma; Post-traumatic growth; Body-Mind-Spirit Psychotherapy; EMDR Therapy – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Ressler, Tortorici, & Marcelino. (1993) Children in war: A guide for the provision of services. A study for UNICEF. New York: UNICEF

Johnson, K., & Tortorici Luna, J. (2011).  Working toward resilience: A retrospective report of actions taken in support of a New York school crisis team following 9/11. Journal of emergency mental health 9/11 Commemorative Issue, 13, 81-90.

Tortorici Luna, J. (2009; reprinted 2014). The horse, my healer and guide. Reflections.  Narratives of professional helping, 15, 20-23.

Tortorici Luna, J., Rittenhouse, J., & Dupuis, C. (2009) Help for the healer. Strides, 15, 34-35.

Tortorici Luna, J. (2007)  Collaboratively Assessing and Stabilizing Schools After Large-Scale Terrorist Attacks, Focus on terrorism, Hauppaugue, New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Tortorici Luna, J. (2007).  Arlington West:  The things we carry.  In Annis, M., Palecek, M. & Trettien, W. (Eds.). Cost of freedom. The anthology of peace and activism.  Berthoud, CO:  Howling Dog Press, 36-37.

 Tortorici Luna, J. (2007).  At what cost?  Psychological fallout from the “War on Terrorism.”  Book review, American Psychological Association Review of Books, PsycCRITIQUES (52), 33, Article online at

Tortorici Luna, J. (2006) Trauma and Children: The Road Back. Book review, American Psychological Association Review of Books, PsycCRITIQUES (51), 36, Article online at

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2006). CERT training – disaster psychology (DVD). (Technical expert contributor).

Tortorici Luna, J., & Johnson, K. (2004) Adapting critical incident stress management to the schools: A multi-agency approach. Journal of School Violence, (3), 4, 59-76.

Tortorici Luna, J. (2003). (Contributor, Unit 7 – Disaster Psychology). Community Emergency Response Team Instructor Guide. Washington, DC: Department of Homeland Security (Federal Emergency Management Institute, Emergency Management Institute, National Fire Academy).

Tortorici Luna, J. (2003). To seek refuge: The plight of the child. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 4 (1), 101-105.

Tortorici Luna, J. (2002). Helping children learn: The legacy of violence. Leadership, 32 (2), 24-27.

Tortorici Luna, J. (2002). Collaborative assessment and healing in schools after large scale terrorist attacks. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 4 (3), 201-208.

Tortorici, J. ; Morales, H., illustrator (1994). Promoting psychosocial wellbeing in the community. A manual for local personnel. Washington, DC: Pan American Health Organization. (Available in Spanish, English, and Portuguese).

Doctoral dissertation:

Tortorici Picado, J. (1988, January). The war in El Salvador:  The child as witness, participant, casualty, survivor.  University of Southern California. Dissertation Abstracts International, 49 (4-B), October 1988, pp. 1403.

University Faculty Award for Community Service, 2004
California State University, Long Beach

U.S. President Volunteer Award, 2005 – 2018

Recognition for providing Community Emergency Response Team training since 2002
Culver City Fire Department; Culver City City Council

Volunteer of the Year, 2006, Move a Child Higher Region 11 (California, Arizona, Hawaii)
NARHA – North American Riding for the Handicapped

  • Children in War (PSY3900R)
  • Urban Violence Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome (PSY3900AA)
  • Disaster Psychology: Acute Stress Management (PSY490P)
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