Dr. Kathy Platoni '74 presented "When Trauma Doesn't Bleed: The Psychological Toll of War" as part of the President's Forum Series on March 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Seneca Room. Platoni has dedicated her life to serving others, venturing "beyond the wire and into the crucible of war" to care for the Soldiers who need it most. Currently a clinical psychologist in private practice, she recently retired as a colonel with the Medical Service Corps and U.S. Army Reserve and as Army Reserve Psychology Consultant (to the Chief of the Medical Service Corps.)
Platoni is an expert in hypnotherapy and the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She has helped fellow Soldiers manage the flashbacks, nightmares, sleep disorders, panic attacks and other symptoms of PTSD that often result from their combat experiences.
During nearly 34 years of service in the U.S. Army, she has been deployed four times - one stateside tour of duty during the Gulf War, a command of a Combat Stress Control Detachment at Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, one tour of duty to Afghanistan, one tour of duty in Iraq, and once during the aftermath of 9/11 to support the New York Police Department at Ground Zero. She was also voluntarily deployed to New York City twice to provide disaster mental health and critical incident stress debriefing services to the New York City Police Department. Platoni was on the scene during the fatal shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 and served in Afghanistan following.
Platoni has also been a vocal critic of the Army's treatment of PTSD cases and other topics in clinical psychology. Her expertise has given her voice national attention, and she has been quoted in The Washington Post, Newsweek, MSNBC, U.S. News and World Report, Huffington Post, AP News and other local and national publications. She co-wrote and co-edited two books with Dr. Ray Scurfield: "War Trauma and Its Wake: Expanding the Circle of Healing" and "Healing War Trauma: A Handbook of Creative Approaches." Platoni has also published three chapters in a book titled, "We Thought We Were Invincible: The True Story of Invincible Warriors" by Dr. Art F. Schmitt. Platoni's chapters give voice to many of the experiences she has dealt with as a colonel and psychologist in the U.S. Army.
A psychology major at the Colleges, it was at William Smith that Platoni says she learned to commit herself to a higher purpose. She went on to earn a master's in education in 1975 from the University of Miami-Coral Gables and a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1985 from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.
In addition to her own private practice, she holds appointments as Adjunct Clinical Professor with the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University and served as Chief of Psychology at DeWitt Army Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Va. Platoni serves as a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress Combat Stress Board and is editor of the Combat Stress E-Magazine. She is also the first psychologist to serve as an integral member of both the Dayton (Ohio) SWAT and the Dayton Hostage Negotiation Team.
In recognition of her work as a humanitarian, on March 28, 2008, she was presented with the William Smith Alumnae Association's Achievement Award, William Smith College Alumnae Association's highest honor. It is awarded to an alumna who, by reason of outstanding accomplishments in her particular business, profession or community service, has brought honor and distinction to her alma mater.
Recommended articles and resources from Dr. Platoni:
- The War Room
- Gift from Within - PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers
- Books: War Trauma and Its Wake/Healing War Trauma
- Press Release: War Trauma and Its Wake - Expanding the Circle of Healing
- War Trauma Resources for Military, Veterans & Families [Updated 8.21.2013]
- Veterans Resources
- BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH, Katherine Theresa Platoni, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Colonel, Retired, US Army
- Combat Stress: Bringing you all the way home
- From Injury to Home: Integrating Networks of Medical and Psychosocial Support on the Road from Battlefield Injury to Recovery
- Guidelines for Vets’ Families
- Fort Hood Unit Deploys Despite Losses
- Nidal Hasan sentenced to death for Fort Hood shooting rampage
- Fort Hood survivors to face gunman at trial
- Photo gallery: Hood shooting survivors to face gunman at trial
- Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act
- Fear and Loathing at Fort Hood
- Ft. Hood's Greater War
- Fort Hood killer: martyr in death
- Fort Hood survivor reacts to plea
- Fort Hood jury finds Hasan guilty of killing 13
- Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan sentenced to death for killing 13 soldiers
- Fort Hood Shooting Survivors Will Come Face To Face With Nidal Malik Hasan At Trial
- Letter to US Senator John Cornyn
- FT HOOD TERRORISM AND THE GREATER WAR
- SPECIAL COVERAGE: AMERICA'S LONGEST WAR: Long war took toll on local families
- The Last Word: "Homecoming"
- Shattered Lives
- Testimony ends in Fort Hood sentencing hearing
- TheBlaze Investigation: How Obama and the Army Betrayed the Victims of Fort Hood
- Warning Signs, Triggers, Survival Strategies & Coping From Vietnam to Iraq & Afghanistan