PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPERT WITNESS.
Dr. James S. Angelos is a Clinical Psychologist with a private practice based in Santa Barbara, California. A graduate of the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, California, Dr. Angelos completed his internship training at the County of San Bernardino, Department of Mental Health with rotations in the In-patient Psychiatry and the Outpatient Child-Adolescent Division.
Dr. Angelos has been in full time clinical practice for 36 years the last 28 of which have been devoted primarily to the evaluation and treatment of individuals who have been traumatically or catastrophically injured, psychologically or physically, and those persons suffering from neurological disease, chronic illness or chronic, nonfatal pain.
While his primary clinical focus is in the psychodiagnostic and psychotherapeutic realms, Dr. Angelos has been retained as an expert psychological witness and has provided expert witness testimony and reports in civil and criminal cases involving both adults and children. Dr. Angelos' primary goals, regardless of whether he is providing evaluation and treatment to patients or providing expert witness services in the medico-legal realm, are to maintain the highest standards of ethics, to be thoughtful, thorough, credible and useful.
In 2008 Dr. Angelos was the first Clinical Psychologist to be recruited by the United States Department of State, Office of Medical Services to live and work in a combat zone. During his deployment to Iraq, the country was under recurring threat of rocket and mortar attack, motor vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, suicide bombers and kidnapping. For twenty two months Dr. Angelos was assigned to the Medical Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad during which time he was required to be available for duty twenty four hours each day, seven days a week. His professional responsibilities included providing direct patient care services to Embassy personnel, and to Chief of Mission and Department of Defense personnel living at various military Forward Operating Bases in the northern sector of Iraq. Dr. Angelos traveled to the Forward Operating Bases by rotary or fixed wing aircraft or motor vehicle convoy to provide evaluation, treatment or consultation services to civilian contractors or military personnel suffering from acute stress, posttraumatic stress, concussive blast injury or other severe psychological disorders. These interventions sometimes necessitated him spear-heading emergency psychiatric med-evacuations to the continental United States. The Embassy Medical Unit Director called Dr. Angelos, "a calming force here at US Embassy Baghdad. He is reassuring and thoughtful and is sought by many for his counsel." Those seeking his counsel included several Deputy Chiefs of Mission with whom Dr. Angelos met on a monthly basis to discuss the psychological "pulse" of Chief of Mission personnel and to promote the best possible mental health environment in a heavily militarized environment. One Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq in a letter of recommendation described Dr. Angelos as "highly professional" and as being "absolutely invaluable" to the diplomatic mission.
On 29 October 2009, insurgents orchestrated a massive bombing of the Iraqi Provincial Counsel Building in Baghdad. A large number of U.S. security contractors were injured in the wake of the concussive blast and exploding debris. The injured were emergently transported, en masse, to the only secure American medical facility in the Green Zone, the Medical Unit within the Embassy. The large number of rapidly arriving injured threatened overwhelming the limited number of medical providers available. Dr. Angelos took it upon himself to meet the injured as they arrived, manage the uncertainty of the moment and provide triage thereby assisting medical staff to attend to those most urgently in need of medical care. For his efforts during the crisis the State Department awarded him the Benjamin Franklin Award for Exemplary Service. Once his tour of duty was ended Dr. Angelos returned to family and home to resume his civilian life.