Dr. Karen Harman has practiced clinical and operational psychology for 16 years. Originally from the Washington DC area, she received her bachelors degree in psychology and criminal justice from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA in 2000 and planned to pursue a career in forensic psychology.
The events of September 11, 2001, changed her trajectory. In 2007, she completed her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology in Washington DC and has since focused her education and training on supporting those tasked to defend our country.
Dr. Harman started her clinical psychology and military career at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD (now known as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center). As a civilian psychologist, she provided consultation and support to service members physically injured in combat. Inspired by these individuals, Dr. Harman was commissioned as an active-duty officer and psychologist in the United States Navy in 2009.
Dr. Harman’s role as an Operational Psychologist in the Navy afforded her the opportunity to provide accessible, relatable and down-to-earth mental health support to high-performing individuals in high-risk occupations. She worked in a variety of environments and countries, including the USNS-Comfort (hospital ship in Haiti) and at the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit (combat/trauma hospital) in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Dr. Harman was also trained as a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Psychologist, gaining specialized knowledge in captivity (POW, hostage, isolated person, etc.) and personnel recovery. As a SERE Psychologist, she provided oversight and risk-management to the Navy’s SERE School; a high-risk training environment that aids and equips services members to cope with the extraordinary demands of captivity. Dr. Harman also participated in recovery and repatriation exercises in support of the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) and the Department of Defense (DoD).
After her Naval career, Dr. Harman settled here in New England. She maintains a private practice in York, ME and provides psychological consultation and training to local, state, and other governmental agencies throughout Maine and in Canada. With her military background and continued respect for the “call to duty,” she aims to provide public safety professionals with realistic strategies for upholding their high level of tactical and operational performance without sacrificing their health and family.