Vivian Barnett Brown Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Vivian Barnett Brown

Brown Consulting

Dr. Brown’s career has focused on designing, implementing, and evaluating community-based, integrated services for individuals with co-occurring conditions, e.g., mental health, substance abuse, and trauma. She is the founder and former CEO of PROTOTYPES, a non-profit agency. Dr. Brown’s numerous research studies include the Women, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Violence Study. She now provides consultation on integrated, trauma-informed services to agencies and family treatment court systems.


Dr. Brown’s career has focused upon individuals with co-occurring conditions and the design, implementation, and evaluation of integrated services for them. She is the founder and former CEO of PROTOTYPES, Centers for Innovation in Health, Mental Health and Social Services, a multi-facility, multi-service non-profit agency with services located throughout Southern California. Dr. Brown has more than 40 years of experience developing innovative, community-based services, including: community mental health centers; community health programs; substance abuse treatment services; mental health and specialized co-occurring disorders treatment; trauma-informed and trauma-specific services; domestic violence prevention and intervention services; HIV/AIDS outreach, prevention, and treatment services; and services for incarcerated women and recently released men, women, and youth.  

In addition, Dr. Brown has conducted numerous treatment outcome research and evaluation studies on: rape prevention; crisis intervention; level of burden; HIV/AIDS outreach and prevention; co-occurring disorders; specialized treatment for women and their children; and integration of treatment for substance abuse, mental health, trauma, and health issues. She was one of nine Principal Investigators on the Women, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Violence Study, one of the first studies to look at integrating trauma-specific interventions and trauma-informed care into substance abuse and mental health treatment.  She has published extensively in peer reviewed journals on all of the above topics and co-edited Crisis Intervention and Prevention. Her most recent publication is Through a Trauma Lens: Transforming Health and Behavioral Health Systems, a 2017 book from Routledge.

Dr. Brown has been a member of numerous Federal, State, and local advisory committees, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Advisory Council (Co-Chair) (Member of Co-Occurring Disorders Subcommittee), SAMHSA Women’s Advisory Committee, California’s Co-Occurring Disorders Joint Action Committee (Chair of Screening Committee), and the Los Angeles County Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission. She is now providing consultation on integrated and trauma-informed services to organizations around the country, including state and local agencies and family drug treatment court systems.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Substance abuse, mental health, trauma and trauma-informed care, HIV/AIDS outreach and prevention, co-occurring disorders, crisis intervention, drug courts and family treatment courts.

Personal Interests

    Travel, theater, film, museums, and my five grandchildren.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Through a Trauma Lens - 1st Edition book cover


Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

Moving Toward Trauma-Informed Practice in Addiction Treatment: A Collaborative Model of Agency Assessment

Published: Nov 18, 2013 by Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Authors: Vivian Brown, Maxine Harris, and Roger Fallot
Subjects: Psychological Science

This article describes an agency self-assessment process that combines a trauma-informed assessment, a NIATx process of “walking-through” and use of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement's Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, and a user-friendly format. The trauma-informed assessment is designed to address issues of safety of clients and staff members, reduction of re-traumatization, consistency in practice, and client empowerment.

Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions

Advancing Trauma-Informed Systems Change in a Family Drug Treatment Court Context

Published: Feb 19, 2013 by Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions
Authors: Laurie A. Drabble, Shelby Jones, and Vivian Brown
Subjects: Psychological Science

This qualitative study explored barriers, benefits, and facilitating factors associated with a trauma-informed systems assessment and improvement initiative conducted in the context of a family drug treatment court. Interviews with 12 key informants and historical analyses of project documents over a 4-year time span were conducted. Results underscore the relevance of trauma-informed systems change in collaborative contexts designed to address the complex needs of children and families.