Nancy Bothne



Nancy Bothne

Department Faculty

  • Campus:
  • Chicago, IL
Clinical Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Address Map of 325 N Wells St Chicago IL 60654
Office 347
325 N Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60654

I began working for the American Civil Liberties Union in Tennessee shortly after college, using restrictions tied to receipt of federal monies to challenge racial discrimination in rural communities throughout the state. I subsequently worked for the ACLU in Illinois as their lobbyist, for a national farmworker organization, and eventually worked for Amnesty International USA as the Midwest Regional Director. Throughout my career, I equivocated between 2 kinds of responses to human need. Most of my work uses policy and advocacy strategies to change the systems that perpetuate human rights abuses and marginalize people. At the same time that I engaged in these systems-based strategies, however, I was ever mindful of the immediate needs of people who suffered from poverty, hunger, lack of education and opportunity. It is important to me to try to address real-time needs while also challenging the conditions that create those needs.

Teaching provides the opportunity to engage in both. I work with students to enable to think about interventions at systemic and individual levels. The discipline of psychology enables us to think about individual and collective thoughts, emotions and behaviors. I encourage students to think about interventions at multiple levels that can meet immediate needs, and to also think about how to develop systemic interventions that can challenge the conditions that result in poor mental, physical and emotional health.

My research has also evolved from the experiences I've had as an advocate. Working for Amnesty International, I met many people who were removed from their families and countries and were recovering from torture. I wondered how communities, and not only individuals, could recover from the trauma that results from government policies that use torture against their own people. This led to my examination of the ways in which men and women torture survivors relate to communities here in the United States, and how that compares to experiences in their countries or origin.

Education History
Degree Institution Year
Ph.D. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois 2012
Certificate in International Human Rights International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France 1994
Master of Science in Communications Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1993
Bachelor of Arts University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, TN 1979
Professional Memberships
Role Organization
Member Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Member Society for Community Research and Action, APA Division 27
Member Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Community Psychology is not licensed.
Areas of Expertise
Area Expertise
PTSD/Trauma Historical Trauma
Research Design/Methodology Qualitative Inquiry
Violence Refugees

Manuscripts in preparation

Bothne, N. J. & Keys, C. (2014). An ecological examination of community life of immigrant survivors of torture. Bothne, N. J. & Keys, C. (2014). A sense of community among immigrant survivors of torture. Bothne, N. J. & Keys, C. (2014). Community empowerment using a human rights framework: A case study of Cabrini Green.

Published Articles

Rosing, H., Reed, S., Ferrari, J. R., & Bothne, N. J. (2010). "Tell me what to do at the site!" Understanding student complaints in the service learning pedagogy. American Journal of Community Psychology, 46(3/4), 472-481 Porter, N.S., Jason, L.A., Boulton, A., Bothne, N., & Coleman, B. (2010). Alternative medical interventions used in the treatment and management of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 16 (3). 235 - 249. Bothne, N. (2006). Ethics of sharing stories of survivors of torture. The Community Psychologist. Summer edition. Bothne, N. (2006) Human rights need no introduction. The Community Psychologist. Fall edition.


Bothne, N. J. & Keys, C. (2016). Creating community life among immigrant survivors of torture and their allies.. Torture Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, 26 (2), 3-18.