Department of Psychology
Clinical Associate Professor

Terri A. Erbacher, PhD


Email: terrierb@pcom.edu
Office: 610-566-1610
Research Page

Dr. Erbacher is a clinical associate professor in the School Psychology Program at PCOM. A New England native, she moved to New York to pursue her B.A. degree from Hofstra University before relocating to Philadelphia to pursue both her MEd. and PhD degrees in School Psychology from Temple University. As a certified school psychologist and licensed psychologist, Dr. Erbacher has worked for the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) since 1999 and is delighted to have joined the PCOM faculty in 2007. Dr. Erbacher's expertise focuses on counseling high school students, supervision of School Psychology Interns, and most notably, crisis prevention and intervention, grief and trauma, as well as assessment and management of suicide risk. Dr. Erbacher also conducts trauma evaluations for adjudicated youth in the juvenile court system.

Dr. Erbacher is a trainer for NASP's PREPaRE Model of Crisis Prevention, Intervention and Recovery in Schools, is an American Association of Suicidology Certified School Suicide Prevention Specialist, and is a certificated as a Grief and Traumatic Loss specialist. Dr. Erbacher is past president for the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and past Chair of the Delaware County Suicide Prevention Task Force. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Survivor of Suicide as a Clinical Scientific Advisor and serves on the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative.

Dr. Erbacher is an author, distinguished speaker, guest expert in the media, and often consults and responds to local school districts in the aftermath of a critical incident. She created and is the editor of a suicide prevention newsletter that has reached readers throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. She is also the lead author of the important and innovative text "Suicide in Schools: A Practitioner's Guide to Multi-level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Postvention."

As the mind-body relationship is particularly important to her, Dr. Erbacher is also a Certified Pilates instructor or you can often find her hiking in the woods, kayaking, or simply spending time with friends and family.

  • Education

    B.A. degree - Hofstra University
    M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in School Psychology - Temple University

  • Courses

    Crisis Prevention and Intervention at Home and School
    School Psychology EdS Internship Supervision

  • Research

    Dr. Terri's research focuses on various aspects suicide prevention, intervention and postvention response and the traumatic impact this loss has on those left behind.

  • Awards

    Due to her expertise and dedication to suicide prevention efforts, Dr. Terri has been the recipient of multiple honorable awards, including the 2007 Survivors of Suicide Award, the 2010 Delaware County Suicide Prevention Task Force Award, the 2013 Delaware County Intermediate Unit Service to the Community Award, and the 2013 American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Lifesaver of the Year Award. Dr. Erbacher was also named Pennsylvania's School Psychologist of the Year Award for 2011.

  • Publications

    Selected Publications:

    Erbacher, T.A. (2015, Spring). Reporting of suicide in the media: Minimizing contagion from a suicide researcher’s perspective. Insight, 35(3), 6.

    Erbacher, T.A. (2014, December 15). Grieving this holiday? Let yourself feel sadness – and joy. The Philadelphia Inquirer, G2.

    Erbacher, T.A. (2014, August 31). Q&A: Warning signs for thoughts of suicide. The Philadelphia Inquirer.

    Erbacher, T. (2013, Spring). Grief, trauma and recovery for the Sandy Hook survivors. Insight, 33(3), 3-4.

    Erbacher, T (2013). The ethics of youth suicide and risk assessment in practice. Digest (1), 16-17.

    Erbacher, T. (2013, Winter). The Sandy Hook shooting: Helping the helpers. Insight, 33(2), 7-4.

    Erbacher, T. (2011, June) In the ether; Out of view: Cyberbullying and Suicide Risk. The Pennsylvania Psychologist, 71(6), 23-25.

    Erbacher, T. & Curtis, C. (2012, June) The hate that lingers: LGBTQ teens face discrimination, high suicide risk. The Pennsylvania Psychologist, 72(6), 18-19.

    Erbacher, T.A. & Hyman, I.A. (2005, October). Corporal Punishment. In S.W. Lee (Ed.), Encyclopedia of School Psychology (pp. 120-122). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Erbacher, T., Tomes, Y.I., Czarnecki, T., Gilmartin, C., Ryder, D., Thammavongsa, V., Watson, E. & Webb, L. (2009). The other diversity: The cost of being GLBTQ in America's health/mental healthcare. In J.L. Chin (Ed.), Volume Set: Diversity in mind and in action. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

    Erbacher, T.A., Singer, J.B. & Poland, S. (2015). Suicide in Schools: A practitioner's guide to multi-level prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention. New York, Routledge. ISBN-13: 978-0415857031.

    Hyman, I.A., Cavallo, F., Erbacher, T.A., Spangler, J., & Stafford III, J.J. (1997, Fall). Corporal punishment in America: Cultural wars in politics, religion and science. Children's Legal Rights Journal, 17(4), 36-46.

    Selected Presentations:

    Erbacher, T. (2015). The elephant in the room: Assessment and management of suicide risk. A full-day workshop presented at Widener University, Chester, PA.

    Erbacher, T. (2014). Grief and loss among our youth: Strategies for healing. Seminar presented to the Student Assistance Program Team Members and Providers of Delaware County, PA

    Erbacher, T. (2011, April). Ethical Suicide Risk Assessment: Initial Interviews & Monitoring Suicidality. Seminar presented to the Delaware County Association of School Psychologists, PA.

    Erbacher, T. (2011, March). The Elephant in the Room: Practical Strategies for Clinicians Dealing with Suicide Grief in Teens and Adolescents. A full-day workshop presented at Widener University's Post Graduate Center, Chester, PA.

    Erbacher, T.A. (2008, November). Suicidal risk assessment. Psychiatry Grand Rounds continuing education presentation at Princeton House Behavioral Health, Princeton, NJ.

    Erbacher, T.A. (2000, August). Cross cultural perspectives on corporal punishment: Methodological issues. Paper presented at the 2000 Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), Washington D.C.

    Erbacher, T., Harris, C. & Burns, J. (2011, November). Finding the Light Within: Mural Arts Project. Presentation for the Delaware County Suicide Prevention and Awareness Task Force (DCSPATF) 8th Annual Symposium on Suicide, Springfield, PA.

    Erbacher, T., McKeighan, D., & Chung, E. (2014). Suicide prevention and awareness for police and first responders. Police academy workshop, Chester Community Hospital, PA.

    Erbacher, T., McKeighan, D. & Chung, E. (2014). Suicide: Warning signs and screening for risk. CME presentation at Taylor Hospital, PA.

    Erbacher, T.A., Thammavongsa, N.V., Ryder, D.M., & Watson, E. (2008, February). Cultural competence and suicidal youth: Intervening sensitively with this preventable, community health problem. Symposium presentation at Teachers College of Columbia University's 25th Annual Winter Roundtable on Cultural Psychology and Education, New York, NY.

    Fakinos, M., Halkias, D., Serafidou, J., Eisenstein, J., Erbacher, T., & Hyman, I. (2001, May). Corporal punishment as means of discipline: Experiences and attitudes of Greece in 2000. Paper presented at the 8th Panhellenic Psychological Conference, Alexandroupolis Conference, Alexandroupolis, Greece.

    Hyman, I.A., Erbacher, T.A., Eisenstein, J.M., Stafford, J.J., Swoszowski-Tran, K., Grant, T.T., Curran, K, & Strauss, M. (2000, August). Cross cultural perspectives on corporal punishment and abusive discipline. Symposium presented at the 2000 Annual International Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), Washington D.C.

    Lam, W., Erbacher, T.A., Poland, S. (2015). In Their Own Words: Perceived Experiences and Family Functioning of Suicide Survivors in the Aftermath of Suicide Loss. Symposium presented at the 2015 Annual Convention of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), Orlando, FL.

    Selected Radio Interviews:

    Burns, J., Singer, J., Erbacher, T. & Williams, C. (Guests). (2011, November 7). Suicide: Finding the
    Light Within [Radio Show]. In D. Gottlieb (Host), Voices in the Family, WHYY, Philadelphia, PA. (Podcast available at: http://www.whyy.org/91FM/voices.html).

    Erbacher, T., Siciliano, C., & Hopely, M. (Guests). (2012, March). Suicide prevention and awareness. [Radio Show]. In L. Ballard-Morrill (Host), Clear Radio: Q102, Radio 104.5, Mix 106, Philadelphia, PA. (Podcast available at: http://www.q102.com/player/?station=WIOQ-FM&program_name=podcast&program_id=community.xml&mid=21908501).

    Erbacher, T.A. & Singer, J. (Guests). (2015, January 12). Schools must be prepared to respond to suicides, experts say. [Radio Interview] Maiken Scott (Host). WHYY, Philadelphia, PA. (Web article version and audio available at: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/nwtonight/item/77234-schools-must-be-prepared-to-respond-to-suicides-experts-say?linktype=hp_nwt).

    Erbacher, T. & Singer, J. (Guests). (2011, December). Facebook urges users to report suicidal posts [Radio Interview]. Maiken Scott (Host) The Pulse, WHYY, Philadelphia, PA. (Web article version available at: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/31445).

  • Memberships

    Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania - Executive Board Member (Crisis Committee Chairperson)
    National Association of School Psychology
    American Association of Suicidology
    Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative - Board Member
    Survivors of Suicide, Inc. - Board Member
    Delaware County Association of School Psychologists
    Delaware County Suicide Prevention Task Force - Past President
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Past President