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Dr. Trappler graduated WITS Medical School in Johannesburg 1974.

He spent three years as a House-Officer, then Senior House Officer and Medical Registrar at the Johannesburg General Hospital, Groote Schuur, and Red Cross Pediatric Hospital doing Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Intensive Coronary Care.

He did Locums at the Royal Post Graduate School of Medicine in London, after registering with the General Medical Council of London, and passing his written examination of the Royal College of Physicians of London.

He then attended a 3-year Residency in Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and in 1981 graduated as a Psychiatrist at the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, obtaining the highest score in the Board Examination in the country.

He moved to Brooklyn in 1981, where he completed a two-year Fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine until July 1983.

He simultaneously attended Kollel at Tomchei Temimim and passed his examinations in Yoreh Deah, Teruvis and Melicha under the tutorship of Rabbis Elia Gross and Mosher Weiner.

From 1984 to 1988 he joined Dr. Arthur Lapovsky and Dr. Linda Brady in developing a Geri-Psych “Scatter-Bed Unit” in Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.

Dr. Trappler was appointed Assistant Professor in Biological Research at Columbia University from 1988 to 1994.

He became Associate Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the State University of New York at Brooklyn from 1994-2010.

During this time he was Associate Medical Director of the Anxiety Clinic at SUNY Downstate, Director of Training in Psycho-Pathology at SUNY Medical School, Lecturer in Pharmacology, and Deputy Director of Geriatric Fellowship Program

As Co-Director in Neuroscience Education, he was delegated by Dean Gene Feigenson and Chairman Martin Kesselman to represent the Department of Psychiatry in developing the New Integrated Neuroscience Curriculum at the SUNY Medical School at Downstate.

This involved transforming a didactic curriculum into a small-group P.B.L. Model for the entire Neuroscience Curriculum at SUNY Downstate in conjunction with Faculty Heads from Neuropathology, Microbiology, Basic Neuroscience, Clinical Neurology, and Pharmacology.

He published the SUNY Model for Neuroscience education using the P.B.L. format in the Journal of Medical Education.

As Director of Psychiatric Inpatient Education he supervised residents, psychiatric fellows, and psychology doctoral interns using an integrated model of group and individual psychotherapy as well as teaching pharmacotherapy.

His clinical practice and clinical research on traumatized communities include:


  • A 50-year and 60-year community-based follow up of Holocaust Survivors
  • The Yeshiva victims of the Brooklyn Bridge shooting in 1994
  • The 9/11/01, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center where he worked as a First Responders from the N.Y. Fire Department
  • Education of Trauma Therapists in Recovery Groups for Adult Victims of Childhood Abuse using the S.T.A.I.R. approach
  • His work has been published as Original Clinical Research, Case-Reports, and Letters to the Editor in various peer-reviewed journals, in the American Journal of Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry, as well as General Hospital Psychiatry, Psychiatric Quarterly, and Psychology Today, and presented at several annual meetings of the American Psychiatric and Geriatric Associations.

The effects of terrorism on psychological function comparing the 9/11 attacks to the Mass-Transit Attacks in London and Madrid were also published in his book “Modern Terrorism and Psychological Trauma”.

He has published three books: Psychological Trauma, Identifying and Recovering from Psychological Trauma and Modern Terrorism and Political Trauma, drawing from his experience treating various traumatized populations. The books draw extensively from known experts in the field of trauma psychology, developmental psychology, attachment and object-relations theory.

Dr. Trappler has also served on the referee-panel for several prestigious psychiatric journals including the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Traumatic Stress, Annals of Psychopharmacology, and Acta Scandinavia.

Some of his original concepts include:

  • the role of the “toxic triad” in describing the underlying skew in the dynamics involving the relative role of the victim, predator, and caretaker-enabler
  • the distinction between the spectrum of Acute (type-1) Trauma-Reactions (including PTSD), and Complex Trauma (type-11) Reactions to prolonged interpersonal abuse
  • the importance of the use of multi-modal treatment interventions which rely heavily on Cognitive-Behavior Theory
  • combined with Self-Psychology (for providing a containing function for the “Shattered Self”
  • the application of Victor Frankl`s role of “meaning” in creating a template for healing when confronting the “Trauma Narrative


One Comment
  1. Boothy permalink

    Are you a therapist? This article describes my situation to a tee, and years of trying to find a therapist who understands complex trauma have been futile. Is there any way I could contact you, or could you tell me where to find a competent therapist?

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