© 2017

Psychiatrists in Combat

Mental Health Clinicians' Experiences in the War Zone

  • Elspeth Cameron Ritchie
  • Christopher H. Warner
  • Robert N. McLay
  • Written by experts in trauma on the battlefield

  • The only book to include case studies on personal and professional battlefield experiences

  • Offers a unique perspective on treating military veterans that is not presented elsewhere


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Kris Peterson
    Pages 1-10
  3. Robert D. Forsten
    Pages 21-30
  4. William Heath Sharp, Matthew G. St. Laurent, Michelle J. Nordstrom, Brian T. Gregg, Krustin Yu
    Pages 47-60
  5. Heidi S. Kraft
    Pages 61-67
  6. Mary El Pearce
    Pages 69-76
  7. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie
    Pages 77-81
  8. Christopher H. Warner
    Pages 91-98
  9. Carl Andrew Castro
    Pages 99-107
  10. Robert Koffman
    Pages 123-132
  11. Kaustubh G. Joshi
    Pages 133-143
  12. Vincent F. Capaldi II
    Pages 157-162
  13. Shannon Merkle
    Pages 175-185
  14. David Michael Hanrahan
    Pages 187-192

About this book


This book tells the professional and personal experiences of American military psychiatrists and their fellow mental health providers  in the longest conflict in American history. These men and women treat service members for the psychological consequences from their experiences in battle, including killing enemy combatants; seeing wounded and killed civilian casualties; losing their friends in combat; factoring in personal mental health needs,; and potentially dealing with their own physical injuries from being shot or blown up.   

The volume consists of 20 short first-person case studies from mental health providers who have been risking their lives while treating patients in the battlefield since 9/11. Written by experts who have experienced these challenges directly, this text offers both clinical and personal accounts that are not found elsewhere. Topics include tips on providing psychotherapy in battle, evaluating and treating detainees in war prisons such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and the unique challenges of prescribing medication to patients who are also comrades in war.

Psychiatrists in Combat; Mental Health Clinicians in the War Zone  is uniquely positioned to be a valuable resource for psychiatrists interested in trauma and veterans, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, military health personnel, and mental health professionals interested in military psychiatry. 


Coping with and caring for trauma Evaluating and treating detainees Providing mental health care during combat Treating military personnel during service Work-life balance in war

Editors and affiliations

  • Elspeth Cameron Ritchie
    • 1
  • Christopher H. Warner
    • 2
  • Robert N. McLay
    • 3
  1. 1.Georgetown University School of Medicine, Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University School of Medicine, Professor of Psychiatry, Howard University School of Medicine, Professor of PsychiatryUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniformed Services UniversityBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.San Diego County Mental HealthSan DiegoUSA

About the editors

Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPHProfessor of PsychiatryUniformed Services of the Health Scientists301-801-4723
LTC Christopher H WarnerLTC(P), MC,Ft Hood, Texas931-257-0522

Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH COL (Ret) US Army Chief Medical Officer District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health Washington DC USA Acting Medical Director Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program Department of Behavioral Health Washington DC USA Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington DC USA Professor of Psychiatry Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) Bethesda, MD USA Previous work experience includes: Psychiatry Consultant to the Army Surgeon General Chief, Forensic Psychiatry, Walter Reed Health Care System Chief, Inpatient Psychaitry, Walter Reed Health Care System Chief, Community Psychiatry, Walter Reed Health Care System Medals: Legion of Merit Expert Field Medical Badge Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal w/One Oak Leaf Clusters Army Commendation Medal w/Three Oak Leaf Clusters Global War of Terrorism Medal Army Achievement Medal Overseas Ribbon (Two) National Defense Service Medal (Two) Korean Service Ribbon Expeditionary Medal Dr. Ritchie was the chair for 9 workships during 2014 APA.

Bibliographic information

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