ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katherine Theresa Platoni, PsyD, DAIPM, FAIS
Colonel, Retired, US Army
Colonel, Ohio Military Reserve/State Defense Forces
Director of Support Services, Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Lodge 117
Editor, Combat Stress Magazine
Dr. Kathy Platoni has been a practicing clinical psychologist for 40 years and maintains her private practice in Centerville, Ohio. In service of her country and as an Army Reserve clinical psychologist, she has deployed on four occasions in time of war. Dr. Platoni served as commander of the 1972nd Medical Detachment (Combat Stress Control) at Guantanamo Bay Cuba from 2003-2004, where combat stress control became a critical element of the Joint Task Force mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Global War on Terrorism. Having volunteered to return to active duty within weeks of her redeployment from Joint Task Force-GTMO, Dr. Platoni deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, holding the position of Deputy Commander of Clinical Services for the 55th Medical Company (CSC) in Baghdad and seven subsequent locations, finally as Officer in Charge of Team Ar Ramadi, situated the seat of the insurgency and during times of intensive combat. At the invitation of the 3rd Brigade Commander, 3rd Infantry Division upon the conclusion of her tour of duty in the wartime theater, Dr. Platoni reported to the Home of the Infantry, Fort Benning, Georgia for an additional six-month mission in order to provide for the reintegration services of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment due to elevated numbers of psychological casualties among combat arms soldiers. Dr. Platoni was last deployed to the combat theater of Afghanistan from 2009 through late 2010 with the 467th Medical Detachment (Combat Stress Control) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, serving as Clinical Advisor for the medical detachment and Officer in Charge of Team Wilson, Kandahar Province, and Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was assigned to the 1493rd Medical Detachment (CSC) in Cary, North Carolina until the time of her retirement. As a survivor of the tragic Ft. Hood Massacre in November of 2009, she is an ardent activist for reconsideration of this shooting incident as an act of terrorism to assure that the wounded and the families of the deceased are awarded long overdue benefits and was very instrumental in the awarding of the Purple Heart Medal to the Fort Hood wounded and to the families of those who lost their lives on that tragic day.
Dr. Platoni is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges (BS, 1974), the University of Miami (MEd, 1975), and the School of Professional Psychology of Nova University (now Nova Southeastern University) in Davie, Florida (PsyD, 1985). Subsequent to the conclusion of her doctoral studies under the auspices of the United States Army’s Health Professionals Scholarship Program, she completed her internship on active duty Army status at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas in 1984. From 1984 through 1987, she served as Chief of Psychology at DeWitt Army Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. During her more than three decades of both active and Army Reserve status, including a six-month tour of duty during Operation Desert Storm, Dr. Platoni developed combat stress control, debriefings and crisis management programs utilized throughout the U.S. Army. She held the position of Army Reserve Clinical Psychology Consultant to the Chief, Medical Service Corp (Chief Psychologist for the Army Reserve pro bono) for six years and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. Dr. Platoni retired from the US Army with the rank of Colonel in October of 2013.
Dr. Platoni maintains an appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor with the School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University. She is a skilled hypnotherapist and possesses expertise in the sub-specialty areas of behavioral medicine and the treatment of chronic pain and chronic, debilitating, and terminal illnesses. Due to her father’s exposure to radiation during the bombing of Nagasaki during World War II, she was born with congenital defects that have required extensive maxillofacial (bone) reconstructive and bone grafting procedures. No stranger to chronic pain herself, Dr. Platoni has undergone 60 major and minor surgeries over the course of the last 24 years to correct these defects, 18 of them with hypnosis as the sole anesthetic. Her last major plastic surgery was featured in a segment of ABC News “20/20” in 1999. She is in the process of completing a series of scholarly articles on this subject and has also published in a number of professional and lay journals on topics relating to Gulf War Syndrome, the psychological aftermath of the events of “9/11”, and professional/medical ethics. Two landmark books, written and edited by Dr. Raymond Scurfield and Dr. Platoni on the subject of war trauma, Expanding the Circle of Healing – Trauma in Its Wake and Healing War Trauma – A Handbook of Creative Approaches, were published in 2012. She was awarded Diplomate status by the American Academy of Pain Management and was recently appointed Fellow of the American Institute of Stress and awarded distinguished membership in the Institute of Traumatic Stress 2013 Board of Scientific and Professional Advisors. In addition, Dr. Platoni holds professional memberships in the 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 has served in the position as Editor of the Combat Stress Magazine since 2014.
Since the “9/11” tragedy and attacks on the United States, Dr. Platoni voluntarily deployed to New York City on two occasions in order to provide disaster mental health and critical incident stress debriefing services to members of the New York City Police Department. In 2017, she deployed to hurricane-ravaged Florida to provide disaster mental health services with the American Red Cross and in May and June of 2019, in support of tornado relief in the aftermath of 15 tornadoes that devastated the area of Southwest Ohio in which she resides. She currently serves as the Dayton Police Department SWAT psychologist and Mental Health Advisor to the Dayton Hostage Negotiation Team.
As a nationally renowned expert in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dr. Platoni has been featured in Fox News, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, US News and World Report, AP News, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Washington Post, NPR Radio, Stars and Stripes, San Antonio Express News, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, The Ohio Psychologist, the Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, Military Times, and The National Psychologist.
For her professional contributions to the field of psychology and decades of humanitarian service, Dr. Platoni was awarded a lifetime achievement award by her alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, in 2008 and was selected for the very prestigious Dayton’s Ten Top Women Award for the Class of 2012. She was awarded the Legacy Award for community service and volunteerism in the Southwest Ohio area in April of 2013. She was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service by the United States Army on 19 July 2014. Dr. Platoni was the recipient of the 2016 IVAT Returning Veterans Resiliency in Response to Trauma Award. This award is 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. Dr. Platoni was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in November of 2019 for her numerous contributions to the Veteran and law enforcement communities. In November of 2020, Dr. Platoni was a recipient of the Ford Oval of Honor Award, again, for now more than four decades of military and tireless community service. Honored once again by the Dayton, Ohio community, Dr. Platoni was selected as the recipient of the 2020, 2021, 2022 Best of Dayton Psychologists, this year entering her into the Dayton Business Hall of Fame. Dr. Platoni will be inducted into the Greene County Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in April of 2022.
COL Platoni was retired from the 4th Civil Support and Sustainment Brigade, Ohio Military Reserve, in September of 2021 after six years of dedicated service as the Brigade Psychologist. She has been once again retained as the retiree psychologist for the Ohio Naval Militia/State Defense Forces; this her 41st year of military service.