Frank Ochberg

Frank Ochberg, M.D. is a founding board member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and recipient of their highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. He edited the first text on treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and served on the committee that defined PTSD. Ochberg founded and secured the funding for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, served as its first chairman and now is chairman emeritus of the Center. He helps journalists understand traumatic stress and he helps traumatic stress experts understand journalists.

He was associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health and director of the Michigan Mental Health Department. At Michigan State University, he is clinical professor of psychiatry, formerly adjunct professor of criminal justice, and adjunct professor of journalism.

Ochberg developed, with colleagues, the National Center for Critical Incident Analysis, Global Youth Connect (a young persons' human-rights organization), Gift From Within (a charity for persons with PTSD), and the Committee for Community Awareness and Protection (responding to serial-killer threats). For the latter activity, he is the first physician to receive the Law Enforcement Medal of the Sons of the American Revolution. As a Red Cross volunteer, Ochberg has helped families at sites of earthquakes, floods, fires and aircraft disasters. He represents the Dart Foundation and directs their support of victimization programs around the world.

Recent Posts by Frank Ochberg

  • Castro's Victims: Grace Amid Terror

    Frank Ochberg, MD, chairman emeritus of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, served as expert witness for the prosecution in the trial of Ariel Castro for holding captive Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight for nearly a decade. In advance of the sentencing, Ochberg wrote prosecutors his assessment of the impact of Castro's acts on the three women, explaining the dynamics of victimization, trauma and endurance.

  • Covering Mass Killings

    Psychiatrist Frank Ochberg, M.D. and Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center, share insights on the characteristics of mass killers and the ethical responsibilities of news organizations as they help the public make sense of the shooting rampage in Arizona that left six dead and a U.S. Congresswoman grievously injured.

  • PTSD 101

    Young journalists will often encounter violence among their first reporting experiences. The effects of catastrophe and cruelty are newsworthy, particularly when victims are numerous, are famous or are symbolic of something that we all relate to and hold dear: a child killed in a schoolroom; a nurse held hostage in a hospital.

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