Dr. Martha Merchant, PsyD, is a skilled presenter, bringing together clinical expertise and research based, trauma-informed practices to groups working with children. Her work in schools allows her to bring this much needed information to life through stories that stay with participants long after the presentation. She is dedicated to the healing and transformation of individuals and organizations.

HEARTS (Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools) was founded by Dr. Joyce Dorado and Dr. Miriam Martinez at University of California San Francisco. Dr. Merchant worked with Dr. Dorado as a consultant embedded in an elementary school for two years, where she earned the title doc Martha from students and school staff. She has worked with more than a dozen different schools, providing training to diverse audiences, including educators, paraprofessionals, security personnel, administrators, nurses, school psychologists, social workers, parents and students.



keynote presentations

doc Martha has provided keynote presentations for the San Francisco Unified School District Family Empowerment Conference, the California School-Based Health Alliance/REL West Ed, the Tulare County Office of Education, the State Performance Plan Technical Assistance Project (SPP-TAP) Leadership Team Workshop, Placer County Office of Education and others events across the San Francisco Bay area. doc Martha has presented at other events across the country, including the National Conference on Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools, California Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) Coalition Conference, as well as for Sonoma County Juvenile Justice.


trauma informed schools training and consultations

doc Martha works with a variety of schools providing Trauma Informed Schools trainings and follow up consultations based on the HEARTS model. This is a three to five year whole-school change model, which includes whole staff training and follow-up for administrators, educators and other school staff. The initial presentation describes the effects of complex trauma and includes strategies to increase resilience. Further presentations provide information on vicarious trauma and self-care and promote understanding of how complex trauma affects learning and functioning for children and the adults who work with them, their local systems, as well as strategies to address these effects. Consultations include classroom observation and feedback to classroom teachers, administrators and other school staff.

Hear from past participants

“I loved your presentation and your stories - I could listen to you all day!”

“Great training, full of great, relevant examples!”

“Very engaging, inclusive, affirmative presentation!”

“The information we learned today was priceless! Hands down the best workshop I have attended!”

“This was the least painful 6 hour training I’ve ever attended! Jk I appreciate your use of stories and jokes!”

“Martha is a wonderful speaker! She made all of the information relatable for different ages and areas. I truly feel that every one of our schools would benefit greatly from her coming in to present!”