Karen A. Sitterle, Ph.D.

Dr. Karen Sitterle

Karen A. Sitterle


Dr. Sitterle has responded to many disasters and incidents involving violence, mass-casualties, and terrorism. These include workplace suicides and murders, industrial accidents such as the pipeline explosion in Brenham, Texas, the chemical release in Bogalusa, Louisiana, the Delta flight #1141 crash in Dallas, the United flight #232 crash in Sioux City, Iowa, Hurricanes Andrew and Hugo, and the worst school bus accident in Texas. She also responded to the cafeteria mass shootings in Killeen, Texas, the 9/11 bombing of the World Trade Center, and coordinated mental health services at the Compassion Center following the Oklahoma City bombing. Dr. Sitterle has authored many publications on trauma, disaster mental health, and the impact of terrorism and traumatic loss on children. She has consulted on three ABC specials titled, I Survived a Disaster, co-authored and directed the educational video, Hope and Recovery: Ritual and Remembrance, for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and authored a chapter on Helping Children Cope with the Aftermath of Terrorism.

Dr. Sitterle is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and served on the APA National Disaster Response Advisory Task Force for eight years. She founded the Disaster/Crisis Response Network of the Texas State Psychological Association; one of the first statewide volunteer networks in the country, which she coordinated for nearly a decade. She is a volunteer with the American Red Cross and was a contributing author of the APA's report on The Mental Health Response to the Oklahoma City Bombing. Dr. Sitterle is a member of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) and was a participant of an international delegation to China on posttraumatic stress disorders. She served on the Clinical Advisory Board of the Center for Survivors of Torture for many years, where she conducted forensic evaluations for individuals seeking political asylum. Her work with community-wide traumatic incidents has resulted in commendations and awards from the American Red Cross, the American Psychological Association, the Texas Psychological Association, the Dallas Psychological Association, five governors, former Presidents Clinton and Bush, and many police departments.

Dr. Sitterle earned her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Texas in Austin. She completed her doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital.


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