Frank Ochberg, MD, pioneering psychiatrist in trauma science and editor of the first text on the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is a cofounder of modern psychotraumatology and served on the committee that first defined PTSD. He has been a leading authority on the treatment of PTSD since the 1960s and helped define PTSD for its inclusion in the Diagnostic Statistic Manual, which is used by mental health professionals nationwide to diagnose and classify mental illnesses. Ochberg has received many awards for his work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Ochberg is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University, where he has also taught in the College of Human Medicine and the Schools of Journalism and Criminal Justice. He has also devoted a significant amount of time to educating journalists about trauma. In recognition of this, The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism offers an annual Ochberg Fellowship. Ochberg is founder of Gift From Within and Critical Incident Analysis Group, and is chairman emeritus of The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.
“In the beginning we said a traumatic event is something that is beyond the realm of usual human experience,” says Frank Ochberg. “But then we discovered it isn’t—not in terms of living our whole lifetime. You live long enough and something happens that is terrible, unless you are very, very fortunate.”