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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Robin H. Gurwitch, Ph.D.

National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters Board Member

Dr. Robin Gurwitch, a Clinical Psychologist, is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center and the Center for Child and Family Health. Dr. Gurwitch specializes in work with children, particularly those considered at-risk. Since the bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995, she has devoted much time to understanding the impact of trauma and disaster on children and ways to increase resilience, including stressors related to military deployment.  Dr. Gurwitch has served on state and national committees and task forces focusing on trauma, disaster, terrorism, and resilience. Dr. Gurwitch has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters and developed materials on these issues. She has co-authored an intervention manual for use with young children after disasters/trauma and programs for the American Red Cross, including Coping with Deployment: Psychological First Aid for Military Families and Coping in Today‚Äôs World: Psychological First Aid and Resilience for Families, Friends, and Neighbors. She is a co-author of book for professionals Photograph of Robin H. Gurwitch, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist Duke University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
working with children after disaster and crisis, When their worlds fall apart. Dr. Gurwitch and colleagues have developed a Psychological First Aid series for helping children after disaster, Listen, Protect, and Connect, including Listen, Protect, Connect, Model and Teach for use in the schools. Recently, she and colleagues worked with the Department of Education in developing new materials for addressing compassion fatigue in the schools after crisis events. She provides training and consultation services to agencies, schools, and organizations, including federal organizations, across the country and internationally. Dr. Gurwitch is a member of the APA Disaster Response Network. Dr. Gurwitch served as a member of the National Commission on Children and Disasters, Subcommittee on Human Services Recovery. She was asked to serve as a Subject Matter Expert in the area of at-risk populations for the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee of the National Bio-Defense Science Board, for the Pediatric Preparedness and Response in Public Health Emergencies and Disasters for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (DHHS/ASPR), and for Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition to training, consultation, and research in the area of children and disasters, Dr. Gurwitch has also been involved in direct services in the field following both national and international disasters. Dr. Gurwitch has been actively involved in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network since it began in 2001.


Dr. Gurwitch is also a leader in the evidence-based treatment, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). As one only 18 certified PCIT-International Master Trainers world-wide, Dr. Gurwitch provides training, service, and consultation as well as conducts research in PCIT. She is currently studying the adaptation of PCIT for military families coping with the stressors related to deployment.

National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters (NACCD)

  • This page last reviewed: September 23, 2014