Dr. Robin Gurwitch, a faculty member in the Duke University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Center for Child and Family Health, is a recognized expert in understanding and supporting children in the aftermath of trauma and disasters. She received her doctorate in Clinical/Medical Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, completed her internship in Pediatric Psychology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
Since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Dr. Gurwitch has focused much of her clinical work, training and research on improving the outcomes and increasing resilience in children who have experienced trauma or crisis events, including terrorism, natural disasters and stressors related to military deployment. She has served on state and national committees and task forces including the National Commission on Children and Disasters Subcommittee on Human Services Recovery and served 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). She is a member of the American Psychological Association’s Disaster Response Network and provides expertise on children and disasters/terrorism for the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She was recently appointed to the HHS National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters.
A prolific writer and educator, Dr. Gurwitch has co-authored book chapters, scientific journal articles and public education materials on the topics of trauma, resilience, psychological first aid, terrorism, disasters and preparedness. She authored a trauma treatment manual for use following disasters for children and adolescents. Dr. Gurwitch regularly presents on topics related to her specialty area at regional, national and international conferences. An active volunteer of the American Red Cross, she worked with the American Red Cross to develop materials related to terrorism and disaster for use in disaster mental health training courses and for use in schools.
A caring clinician, Dr. Gurwitch has been involved in direct care following national and international disasters. She has been an active member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network since it began in 2001.
Education and Training
- Ph.D., University of Alabama Birmingham, 1988
In the News
- Reforming College Fraternities, Finding Health Care and Trauma in Children: Duke in the News This WeekSeptember 18, 2020
- Parenting in a Pandemic: Duke Experts on Helping Your Kids -- and YourselvesMarch 24, 2020
- Fifteen years after 9/11, Duke scholars reflectSeptember 12, 2016
- Psychologist offers ways to cope with recent violenceJuly 19, 2016
- What images of terror can do to the brainJuly 18, 2016
- Robin Gurwitch: How do you talk to kids about violence in the news?June 14, 2016
- News Tip: How to Discuss Orlando Tragedy With ChildrenJune 13, 2016
- Robin Gurwitch: Are there connections between smartphones and mental health?May 6, 2015
- Robin Gurwitch: The new rules for teen datingMarch 21, 2014
- Duke psychologist explains how to talk to children about traumatic eventsDecember 16, 2013
- News Tip: Experts Available to Comment on Anniversary of Sandy Hook ShootingNovember 20, 2013