Karen Alter-Reid, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist based in Stamford, Connecticut. She is a clinician, teacher, specialty presenter, and consultant. Dr. Alter-Reid maintains a private practice providing treatment for individuals with acute traumatic stress conditions, anxiety, and life-cycle transitions. Her most recent work focuses on locating and healing trans-generational trauma, bringing a wider lens to her work with patients. Other specialties include working with therapists and first responders as well as retreat-based experiences integrating psychedelic medicines with EMDR Therapy. Dr. Alter-Reid employs an integrative approach which may incorporate relational psychotherapy, EMDR, hypnotherapy, stress management, sensorimotor psychotherapy and/or biofeedback. These adjunctive techniques are based on cutting-edge research in neuroscience.
Dr. Alter-Reid is the EMDR Senior Consultant to the Integrative Trauma Program at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies in New York City (www.nipinst.org). The Integrative Trauma Program oversees the post-graduate 9-month Trauma Certificate Program as well as the EMDR Clinical Affiliate Program. In addition, Dr. Alter-Reid is on faculty in both the Integrative Trauma Program and in the 4 year analytic program. Dr. Alter-Reid is an EMDRIA-Approved EMDR Institute Regional Trainer, Consultant and Specialty Presenter, training clinicians nationally, teaching therapists and University faculty about trauma and training them in EMDR treatment.
In response to the Sandy Hook shootings, Dr. Alter-Reid coordinated the Fairfield County Trauma Recovery Network’s response. This team of seasoned trauma therapists provided treatment and training to families and first responders impacted by the shootings. She co-led a team of trauma therapists for 12 years as part of a non-profit, Fairfield County Trauma Response Team.
Dr. Alter-Reid also co-created a program, “Therapy for Therapists” which provides trauma treatment to clinicians working with traumatized populations. This intensive treatment approach was pioneered in New Orleans after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and used in other settings, including clinicians in Sandy Hook.
Dr. Alter-Reid’s work with first responders includes treatment of firefighters, state law enforcement, and special agents in the wake of disasters. She was involved in active mental health responses to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Gulf Coast, and to the Christmas Day Fire in Stamford, CT.
She lectures to local organizations about how trauma affects brain function and how to seek appropriate and helpful treatment. Dr. Alter-Reid has presented on trauma and EMDR to organizations such as the CT State Police Academy, the Stamford Fire Department and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Big Oak Institute was developed by Dr. Karen Alter-Reid to bring EMDRIA-approved and general trauma training to clinicians in the Northeast and the Tri-State area. As well, Big Oak presents to local first responders and community mental health organizations.
Dr. Alter-Reid received her B.A. in Psychology at Barnard College, her M.A. in Psychology at Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She completed a postdoctoral certification program in Relational Psychoanalysis at the Mitchell Center in New York City. Dr. Alter-Reid has been in private practice for over 30 years.