Brief Biography

Dr. Rom-Rymer received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University in 1973, as a member of the first class of women at Princeton.  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, with an emphasis on community organization and gerontology.  Her dissertation was entitled, "Aging in a Community's Nursing Homes: A Clinical Intervention."  Dr. Rom-Rymer did her internship training at The Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, where she did rotations in the transsexual diagnostic surgical center as well as with the Metropolitan Police Department, working with adult and child survivors of sexual assault.  Dr. Rom-Rymer's first professional position was as Director, Victim-Witness Assistance Unit, State Attorney's Office, Tallahassee, Florida, 1977-1979. 

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During this period, she co-founded Refuge House, a shelter for battered women and their children (which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2008); organized a statewide network of Victim-Witness Assistance Directors; trained police officers throughout the state of Florida on the process of conducting victim sensitive inverviews of child and adult victims of violent crimes; was very much involved in raising awareness of victim issues in the local and state media; and was integrally involved with the prosecution of the Ted Bundy serial murder case.

Dr. Rom-Rymer currently has a national consulting practice in forensics, working as a forensic expert witness in civil litigation in which there are allegations of sexual abuse and physical abuse, sexual and physical harassment, and other forms of violence:  in nursing homes, in the context of child custody litigation, in the workplace, and on pleasure cruises.  She has helped to create the field of forensic geriatrics and has published articles in this area, including: "Evaluating the Psychological Sequelae of Elder Abuse," in Alan Goldstein's 2007 Forensic Psychology:  Emerging Tops and Expanding Roles, published by Wiley, and "Demonstrating Trauma:  Effects of Sexual Abuse on the Elderly" in Nursing Home Litigation:  Pretrial Practice and Trials edited by Ruben Krisztal, Esq., 2001.  Dr. Rom-Rymer is on the editorial board of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma.  She has recently been appointed co-chair of the Division 56 (Trauma) Interdivisional Task Force on Ethical Practice with Traumatized Populations in Forensic Cases.

Dr. Rom-Rymer is President-elect of the Illinois Psychological Association.  Dr. Rom-Rymer's presidential initiatives include:  broadeing diversity training for psychologists and increasingly diversifying Association membership; greater involvement with community LGBT issues; greater involvement with community anti-violence initiatives; working to achieve prescriptive authority privileges for Illinois psychologists.  Dr. Rom-Rymer is also a past president of the Americal Psychological Associations' (APA) Division 55 (American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy), Council Representative  from Division 55 on the APA governing council, Treasurer of APA Division 56 (Division of Trauma), a Member-at-Large for Division 12, Section IV (Clinical Psychology, Women's Section), a member of APA's Finance Committee and Secretary of APA's Women's Caucus.  Dr. Rom-Rymer is a candidate for President of APA's Division 56 and a candidate for Treasurer of APA's Division 42 (Independent Practice).  Dr. Rom-Rymer had been Chief Psychologist (1990 - 1992) at the private psychiatric hospital, Charter Barclay Hospital (in Chicago), and co-Director of the Child Unit (1990 - 1991) at Chicago Lakeshore Hospital (a private psychiatric hospital).  Dr. Rom-Rymer had been adjunct faculty at The University of Chicago Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry (1988 - 2001) and the Chicago Medical School (1999) and a faculty lecturer at The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (2002 - 2007).  Dr. Rom-Rymer currently guest lectures at the Northwestern University Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry.

One of Dr. Rom-Rymer's passions is expanding the scope of practice for psychologists.  She is currently, working, nationally, to create training and practice opportunities for prescribing psychologists in public service venues:  state hospital systems, federal and state prisons, military bases, and Indian reservations.  Dr. Rom-Rymer was co-chair of a mini-conference at APA San Diego 2010 on August 14th in which the partnership between Prescribing Medical Psychologists and the Indian Health Service was celebrated with symposia and a cultural hour of tribal performance.  Dr. Rom-Rymer continues to work with Indian tribal representatives and the Federal Indian Health Service (IHS) to expand mental health services for Native Americans and to provide broader opportunities for practice for psychologists.