Dr. Thomas Ritter is a doctorate level, licensed professional counselor & advanced certified drug and alcohol counselor. In his full time profession, he is the Supervisor of Contracts and Clinical Support Staff at Keenan House, a Division of Treatment Trends Inc. which is a 95 bed residential drug and alcohol treatment facility. Dr. Ritter also has a private practice in Bethlehem treating persons with mental health disorders, and specializes in treating Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS and Healthcare Professionals. Dr. Ritter has a Ph.D. in Human Services with a specialty in Addictions Counseling and Trauma. He is a member of the Eastern PA EMS Council Critical Incident Stress Management Team which provides debriefings, defusing and peer support for first responders following involvement in any event perceived to be a critical incident. Tom is also on the City of Bethlehem Health Bureau’s Medical Reserve Corps for disaster response which is in partnership with the county & state emergency management agencies and FEMA.
Prior to starting his second career in counseling Dr. Ritter was employed as a police officer for 25 years retiring as a Detective Sergeant where he was one of his departments Hostage & Crisis Negotiators. Tom also worked part-time with the Lehigh and Northampton County Coroner’s Office as a deputy coroner during his police career.
Dr. Ritter conducted his doctoral research study on determining if there was a prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in medico-legal death investigators employed in Medical Examiner and Coroner Offices within the Mid-Atlantic States. Based on his own life experiences along with the increase in significant traumatic events throughout the nation Dr. Ritter is constantly looking for new research and treatments to assist in helping persons heal for trauma related experiences.
Dissertation Topic: The Aftermath: Vicarious Trauma, Providing care for our Colleagues