Dr. Katherine T. Platoni '74, Col. (Ret.)

Clinical psychologist and retired Army colonel

A national expert in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a Colonel who has served for more than 36 years in active and Army Reserve status, Ret. Col. Katherine T. Platoni ’74 developed combat stress control, debriefings and crisis management programs now used throughout the U.S. Army. A clinical psychologist, she has served in three active combat zones during four tours of duty and is a passionate advocate for more extensive treatment options for soldiers suffering from PTSD. She has served in State Defense Forces for the State of Ohio and as both the Dayton SWAT psychologist and Clinical Advisor to the Dayton Hostage Negotiation Team. In November 2019, she was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

As an author and scholar who is regularly cited in publications like The Washington Post, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report, among others, she is the country’s leading voice on issues of Soldier reintegration and the psychological aftermath of war. As a survivor of the November 2009 Fort Hood Massacre, she is also the most vocal and ardent advocate for the wounded, the families of the fallen, and the survivors.

Platoni holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from William Smith. After earning her master's degree in education from the University of Miami-Coral Gables, she worked as a behavioral specialist with developmentally disabled and severely mentally ill populations until 1979, when she received a commission to the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps. As a recipient of an Army Health Professionals Scholarship, she completed her doctoral studies in clinical psychology from Nova (now Nova Southeastern) University School of Professional Psychology, where she researched hypnosis in the management of symptomatology in terminal cancer patients. 

Within weeks of her redeployment from Joint Task Force-Guantanamo Bay (Operation Enduring Freedom), Platoni volunteered to return to active duty, deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, holding the position of Deputy Commander of Clinical Services for the 55th Medical Company in Baghdad and Officer in Charge of Team Ar Ramadi. Upon conclusion of her tour of duty in Iraq, she was invited to Fort Benning in Georgia to serve an additional six month mission to provide reintegration services for combat arms Soldiers. From 2009 to 2010, she was deployed to Afghanistan, where she served as clinical adviser for the 467th Medical Detachment (Combat Stress Control) in both the Kandahar Province and Kabul, Afghanistan. Platoni also served as the Chief Psychologist for the Army Reserve Clinical Psychology Consultant to the Chief of the Medical Service Corp for her final years of active and reserve military service. 

Platoni currently holds an appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor with the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University. She maintains a private practice in Centerville, Ohio, specializing in the treatment of PTSD in both Veterans and first responders. Platoni is also a skilled hypnotherapist, utilizing hypnosis for the treatment of patients suffering from chronic and debilitating pain.

Platoni has co-authored and co-edited two landmark 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 deployed Army psychologist.

Platoni was awarded Diplomate status by the American Academy of Pain Management and holds professional memberships in the Division of Military Psychology, Ohio Psychological Association, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, the Dayton Area Psychological Association, and International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. She also holds the position of Editor of the Combat Stress E-Magazine.

Platoni returned to the HWS campus in March 2014 as a President's Forum speaker to give a talk titled, “When Trauma Doesn't Bleed: The Psychological Toll of War.” For her professional contributions to the field of psychology and many years of humanitarian service, she was awarded the Alumnae Achievement Award by William Smith College in 2008.

Platoni was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service by the United States Army and the Legacy Award for community service and volunteerism in the Southwest Ohio area. In addition, she is the recipient of the 2016 IVAT Returning Veterans Resiliency in Response to Trauma Award, given by the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) to a Veteran who has experienced specific trauma in war and whose efforts and advocacy have had a notably restorative impact on a traumatized population.