Dr. Kathy Platoni '74, a Colonel in the U.S. Army, is an expert in hypnotherapy and the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
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 in Iraq, and once during the aftermath of 9/11 to support the New York Police Department at Ground Zero.
Working along the front line, Platoni saves lives by tending to those whose wounds are not inflicted by bullets or bombs, but are just as severe. This is where the line between psychologist and soldier has blurred. "For all of us, the primary goal is to save lives and save souls," said Platoni.
As an expert in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), she attempts to thwart flashbacks, nightmares, sleep disorders, panic attacks and other symptoms of PTSD. "Even the heartiest soul can fall victim to PTSD," said Platoni. "Nobody comes back unscathed."
Platoni's expertise in treating PTSD cases and other topics in clinical psychology has given her voice national attention, and she has been quoted in The Washington Post, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report on MSNBC and in other local and national publications.
A psychology major, it was at William Smith that Platoni says she learned to commit herself to a higher purpose. "I learned that life is about finding something you can give of yourself," she says. "Education is not just a degree but finding something to do for humanity."
It is because she is one of those incredible humanitarians, with an altruistic character and steadfast devotion to her fellow soldiers that she was presented with the William Smith Alumnae Association's Achievement Award following her lecture in October 2007.
Contribution: Colonel in the U.S. Army and expert in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)