About Kent Ravenscroft, M.D.

Kent Ravenscroft, M.D.

As an undergraduate at Yale, Kent Ravenscroft, a native of St. Louis, began his research into altered states of consciousness.   Through his friend, Maya Deren, creator of the definitive documentary on Haitian Voodoo, The Divine Horseman: The living gods of Haiti, he gained access to Haiti’s voodoo inner sanctum.  Living for a year with a voodoo priest, he attended ceremonies and interviewed peasants possessed by Voodoo gods.  His Yale Scholar of the House thesis on Voodoo Possession in Haiti contributed to our modern theory of multiple personality.   Going on to Harvard Medical School in 1962  (when his favorite author, Michael Crichton, was there), while becoming a physician, he did sleep and dream research with Ernest Hartmann.  During his Harvard residency in psychiatry he collaborated with research hypnotist Martin Orne (later, Sylvia Plath’s therapist), continuing research and publishing on voodoo and hypnosis, as well as sleep and dreams.

After graduating in ‘66, Dr. Ravenscroft did his Internship at Bronx Municipal Hospital and his psychiatric residency at Harvard’s Mass. Mental Health Center.  He worked with troubled adolescentsas a Clinial Associate with Lyman Wynne at NIMH before specializing in child psychiatry with Reginal Lourie.  Now Associate Clinical Professor at George Washington and Georgetown Medical Schools, he was Training Director in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at both institutions, as well as Director of medical and surgical Consultation Liaison at Children’s Hospital for five years.  A specialist in trauma and eating disorders, he collaborated with Sally Bedell Smith on Princess Diana’s eating difficulties for her book, Diana: Princess in Search of Herself.  He is known for his clinical and courtroom work in physical and sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress, and multiple personality disorder.  He was live with Tom Brokaw during the Challenger Disaster, appeared on the Charlie Rose Show, and was live with Diane Rheme the morning of the Oklahoma Disaster.  Stella Chess selected his article on the Psychiatric Aspects of Physical Trauma for her yearly compendium on the year’s best articles.

Dr. Ravenscroft made his home in Washington D.C for 29 years before moving to Paris half-time in September, 2007, with his wife, Patti Ravenscroft, who created and runs gourmet tours to France, Morocco, and Vietnam through her company, Les Liaisons Delicieuses.  Dr. Ravenscroft has recently completed a novel, Body Sharing:  The Drug War, the CIA, and Haitian Voodoo. See his new Website, with information on Haitian culture, history, and voodoo:  BodySharingTheNovel.com  He now divides his time between Paris and Martha’s Vineyard, and has recently completed a second, non-fiction book, Les Liaisons Delicieuses:  Breaking the French Culinary Code.

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