Dr. Raymond Scurfield | Home Page

Professor Emeritus of Social Work
The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast
730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS 39560
ray.scurfield@gmail.com; raymond.scurfield@usm.edu

Ray Scurfield, Professor Emeritus of social work (since 2011), The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast and former director of the Katrina Research Center (2006-09), was awarded the National NASW (and state of Mississippi) 2012 NASW Lifetime Achievement Awards (see details and link to NASW video about Dr. Scurfield) under his Faculty Profile page). He has been in private practice at Advanced Psychotherapy in Gulfport, MS, since 2012 and provides clinical services to adult clients with a wide range of presenting problems and issues. Also, he has a new book in press (summer, 2017) with NASW Press, "Faith & Non-Faith Based Meditation: Practical, Creative and Post-Traumatic Approaches." This is a very practical and innovative book, oriented to health and mental health providers, their patients and clients. It includes Dr. Scurfield's updated approach to treating trauma and PTSD that creatively integrates several alternative forms of meditation with systematic desensitization and does not require trauma survivors to repeatedly tell their trauma experiences.

His most recent publication (in press, 2017)) is with NASW Press: Faith & Non-Faith Based Meditation: Practical, Creative & Post-Traumatic Applications. For providers, their patients and clients. He uses many proverbs, poetical sayings and scripture (African, Native Hawaiian, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian…) to illustrate key learning points.  He discusses mantra, breath and mindfulness-based meditation, in both “strategic” and “tactical” forms, and both faith-based and non-faith based (“secular”) forms. He describes in detail how such are taught to clients facing a variety of life-challenges (anxiety, depression, anger…) with many case examples. Also, he elaborates his development of a meditation-based approach integrated with systematic desensitization to attend to civilian- and war-related trauma/ PTSD to promote healing – and without the necessity of having to repeat numerous retellings of clients’ traumas in detail. He has written a 18-page handout that outlines/summarizes key elements of his book. Click  here to access his meditation book handout about faith-based and non-faith-based meditation and personal and clinical applications

The American Institute of Stress dedicated two issues of their journal, Combat Stress, to Dr. Scurfield's work.  Click here to read the February, 2015 issue.  Click here for June, 2015 issue. His five most recently published books and articles explore the effects of post traumatic stress disorder in both combat veterans and disaster survivors.  For example, the third installment in his Vietnam Trilogy, "War Trauma: Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam to Iraq," was published in October 2006. His book trilogy received the 2009 non-fiction 2nd runner-up award from the Military Writers Society of America. For more information about the Vietnam Trilogy, click here.

Dr. Scurfield has also written about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast campus and helpful interventions to address post-Katrina mental health recovery. Partly for his post-Katrina work, he was recognized as the 2006 Mississippi Social Worker of the Year by the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and received the College of Health 2008 Outstanding Faculty Service Award; he also received the COH 2006 and 2007 Distinguished Teaching Awards.


See Dr. Scurfield featured in the Professor Spotlight in the 2009 Southerner yearbook. Dr. Scurfield has been interviewed many times by various media outlets. For example, one of Dr. Scurfield’s media interviews on the effects of war and the impact of Hurricane Katrina was conducted 8.11.08 on Stanford Raising Sand Radio. His opinion-editorial commentary, “Surviving the Shards of Wars and Hurricanes,” was posted on “A.M. in the Mornings!” Previous editorial-opinion pieces written by Dr. Scurfield include "Dramatic Differences in Deaths at Virginia Tech and Iraq" and "Beyond Walter Reed."

Dr. Ray Scurfield considers the condition of his post-Katrina "office" at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus on August 30, 2005. (Dr. Scurfield went with his wife, Margaret, and daughter, Helani, to the Gulf Park campus the day after Katrina to check out the damage to the campus. This was the scene just outside of where his office and the School of Social Work used to be located.

As he mentioned in a journal article: “I looked around at the devastation, in a state of disbelief, shock and sadness. On the spur of the moment, I asked my wife to take a picture of me as I pulled up a table and book and sat down on the loveseat that belonged to my colleague (Dr. Pat Davis). It had been in her office next to mine. I did that, engaging in a little irreverent humor in the midst of the destruction (like so many of us veterans learned as a coping tactic during war) – probably as a defense against breaking down and sobbing at the profound loss to so many…”)

Dr. Scurfield has several publications, presentations and handouts related to war, and natural disasters, a number of which are accessible here:

R. M. Scurfield (2009, June). "The Nexus Between the Iraq War and Katrina Recovery," Trauma, Violence, and Abuse.

R. M. Scurfield (2009, April). "Post-Katrina Storm Disorder and Recovery in South Mississippi Over Two Years Later," Traumatology, The International Journal.

R. M. Scurfield, (2007, April). "Six Stages of Disaster Recovery."

R. M. Scurfield, (2007). "Post-Katrina survivor and provider: Social work interventions and coping on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Published Proceedings, Alabama/Mississippi Council on social work Education (AL/MS Social Work Education Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL, October 19, 2006).

R. M. Scurfield, (2007, 12 October) "The Nexus Between The Iraq War and Katrina Recovery: Policy and Clinical Issues." Keynote Address, Fall Colloquium, Hattiesburg, MS.

R. M. Scurfield, (2007, October 25) "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome: Vietnam to Iraq to Katrina." Presented at Issues + Answers Lecture Series, sponsored by The University of Southern Mississippi and the Sun Herald, Gulfport, MS.

R. M. Scurfield (2006, Summer). "Post-Katrina Aftermath and Interventions at a Mississippi University on the Gulf Coast. " Traumatology. The International Journal of Innovations, 12 (2), 104-120.

R. M. Scurfield (2006, January). Social Work Interventions at a Mississippi University Devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Social Work Today online January 2006 newsletter. Social work Today Magazine. (Note: this was the first article published nationally by a mental health provider about Katrina.)

Hebel, Sara (2006, September 1): “Trauma Expert Helps a Campus Cope,” Chronicle of Higher Education (interview with Dr. Scurfield about his work on-campus post-Katrina. (Full article only available to subscribers of the The Chronicle of Higher Education).

Handouts for the public (in PDF format):