Loretta Sonnier, MD

Dr. Sonnier is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana. She completed medical education at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and residency and fellowship training at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Sonnier obtained board certification in four medical specialties: pediatrics, psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Sonnier completed additional fellowship training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the New Orleans-Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center.

From 2016 to 2023, Dr. Sonnier served as an assistant professor at Tulane University School of Medicine in the Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Division of Forensic Psychiatry and from 2020 to 2023 as Associate Program Director for Tulane’s Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. Throughout her career, Dr. Sonnier has provided clinical treatment, training, consultation services, and medical leadership in many different settings. These include state forensic hospitals, children’s hospitals, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, Veterans Affairs medical centers, jails, juvenile detention centers, prisons, schools, intensive outpatient programs, community mental health centers, integrated care clinics, civil and criminal courts, and a private practice.

Dr. Sonnier is a member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC). She is an educator associate for the American Psychoananalytic Association (APSaA). In 2010, she was named a Rappeport Fellow by AAPL and a awarded the Resnick Scholar Award by the Midwest Chapter of AAPL. She currently serves on AACAP’s inpatient committee, APSAC’s Munchausen by Proxy committee, and two of AAPL’s committees—child and adolescent and judicial action. The State of Louisiana has appointed Dr. Sonnier to legislative committees and she has testified to Louisiana’s House of Representatives and Senate on diverse topics.

Dr. Sonnier enjoys public speaking and has provided educational lectures in professional settings both regionally and nationally on a broad range of topics. Dr. Sonnier’s areas of expertise and interests include hospital-based acute psychiatric care for children and adolescents, managed care of behavioral health benefits, co-occurring medical and mental illness in children, medical malpractice, severe mental illness, violence risk assessment, school threat assessment, adolescent development and culpability, civil commitment/involuntary treatment, boundary violations in psychiatric/psychological clinical practice, clinical education of physicians, psychiatric care of juveniles and adults in forensic and correctional contexts, court-ordered evaluations and evaluations used in legal proceedings, psychodynamic psychiatry, deprescribing psychotropic medications, medical child abuse (aka Munchausen by Proxy, aka caregiver fabricated illness), legislative advocacy by psychiatrists, and mitigation in criminal sentencing. Since August 2023, Dr. Sonnier has served as Behavioral Health Medical Director for Amerihealth Caritas Louisiana where she provides clinical insights for the management of more than 190K Medicaid members.

Lorretta Sonnier, Md

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