As part of my work in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, I treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for persons who have experienced all sorts of traumatic events at different stages of life, in the family, the community, or abroad. What I have discovered is that treatment of the aftereffects of trauma requires not only relief of suffering, but also restoring capacities for happiness and pleasure, and learning how to use the dark places in one’s life to find greater meaning and strength.
I also work with war veterans and their attorneys in civil and criminal legal situations, providing psychiatric evaluation where PTSD is an issue, and testify in court as needed.
I was one of a handful of clinicians who early on (1973) directed attention to PTSD in persons who served in the Viet Nam War. I then helped set up and served (for 12 years) as the national director of our country’s counseling centers for war veterans (Vet Centers) from the headquarters of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs in Washington. During that time 200 Centers, with a total staff of over 900, from Maine to Guam, saw approximately half a million war veterans with PTSD.
I went on to serve on two committees of the American Psychiatric Association which set the standards for diagnosis of PTSD (DSM IIR and DSMIV), helped organize the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, consulted at the State Department and the Holocaust Memorial Museum on trauma, and have given numerous presentations in the U.S. and Europe.