Raymond Monsour Scurfield
Raymond Monsour Scurfield (b 1943) is an American professor emeritus of social work at The University of Southern Mississippi,Gulf Coast. He is in private practice with Advanced Psychotherapy. He has been recognized for his expertise in war-related and naturala disaster Psychological trauma. He has published books and articles exploring the effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in both combat veterans and disaster survivors, including a trilogy of books about war’s impact. The trilogy’s third instalment, War Trauma: Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam to Iraq, was published in October 2006. His two newest books are Scurfield, R.M. & Platoni, K.T. (Eds.). War Trauma & Its Wake. Expanding the Circle of Healing. New York & London: Routledge (2012, in press); and Scurfield, R.M. & Platoni, K.T. (Eds).Healing War Trauma. A Handbook of Creative Approaches. New York & London (2012, in press).
Scurfield has also written substantially about the impact of Hurricane Katrina, and helpful interventions to address post-Katrina mental health recovery. Scurfield has been recognized as a "Hero of Katrina" by the University of Southern Mississippi (2006), the 2006 Mississippi Social Worker of the Year by the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the 2006 and 2007 College of Health Distinguished Teaching Awards and 11 additional awards and recognitions since his tenure at Southern Miss. He most recently has received the 2012 Mississippi Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi chapter, National Association of Social Work.
Scurfield holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology/Anthropology in 1965 Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA), and both a master's degree in social work (1967) and doctorate in psychiatric clinical social work (1979)from the University of Southern California.
Scurfield is the son Helen Monsour and his adoptive father Thomas Edward Scurfield. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, on August 3, 1943, but raised in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, about 16 miles outside of Pittsburgh. In 1961 Scurfield enrolled at Dickinson College in Carlise, Pennsylvania. While at Dickinson, he enrolled in Army ROTC. While at Dickinson College he decided that he wanted to become a social worker and he applied to Schools of Social Work. Upon graduation from Dickinson College in 1965 as a Dinguished Military Graduate, Scurfield was simultaneously commissioned in the Army Medical Service Corps. In the summer of 1965 Scurfield arrived in Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. This placed Scurfield right next to where the Watts riots happened. Scurfield has stated that this exposure to urban poverty and racism was a very important learning experience.
Scurfield spent four years in the Army, starting off as outpatient clinic social worker at William Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso, Texas. Complaining about his duty assignment in El Paso, Scurfield was soon given orders for Vietnam. The Vietnam War was a turning point in his life; as a fresh 2nd LT and M.S.W., he was the only M.S.W. on a psychiatric team treating psychiatric casualties from I and II Corps of South Vietnam. This was the beginning of Scurfield’s real-life education about trauma and its powerful impact, and getting first-hand knowledge about the terrible consequences of policies and decisions made by our government and military when war is waged.
During 1971-72 and 1974-82, Dr. Scurfield held several positions at the Brentwood (West Los Angeles) VA Medical Center, including Director of the Vietnam Veterans Resocialization Unit. He was a community social worker with the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center in Hilo and lower Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii (1972-73). Scurfield was appointed to the national level position of National Associate Director for Clinical Services from 1982-85 with the VA's Readjustment Counseling Service (the Vet Center Program) at VA HQ in Washington, D.C. Scurfield spent seven years (1985 to 1992) in the Gig Harbor/Tacoma/Seattle area, founding and directing the Post Traumatic Stress Treatment Program at the American Lake VAMC; and then five years (1992 to 1997) in Hawaii, founding and directing the Pacific Islands Division, VA National Center for PTSD. In March 1997 he served in a one-year position with the VA's National Center for PTSD at the Gulfport Division of the Biloxi VA. In 1998, he retired from the VA and accepted a tenure track position at the University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work, based at Long Beach. He has made over 350 professional presentations nationwide and numerous media appearances,to include 60 Minutes, Nightline, National Public Radio, NY Times, Boston Globe and many other newspaper and media interviews.
Scurfield also originated in 2007-08 and maintains an extensive on-line War Trauma Resources listing of some 500 public and private resources on his University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work homepage (http://www.usm.edu/social-work/dr-raymond-scurfield-home-page).