Fran Clukey also passed this information on
MPBN presented information on 9/11/05 about stress debriefing in light of
work done after the tragedy of 9/11/01 in NYC and the Oklahoma City bombing
and in anticipation of counseling and debriefing for survivors of Hurricane
Katrina. Research psychologists such as James Herbert have found no
evidence that behavioral-cognitive or verbal talk therapy has been
particularly useful and may have been hurtful in debriefing people.
Interestingly, researchers such as psychiatrist van der Kolk have shown
that stress and trauma produce high levels of cortisol and other hormones
to prepare our bodies to fight or fly. Talk therapy does not significantly
reduce them. The body knows sooner than the brain what helps. Physical
activity - running, moving, drawing, singing, playing, is more effective.
Body work, alternate therapies such as art therapy, music therapy, dance
therapy, psychodrama can provide the organized physical movement, rhythm
and safe environment to calm the body and provide the mind with ways to
digest, integrate and transform traumatic experiences so a person?s life
can go on successfully. A good quality sports program may be equally
useful. Most of us will experience normal reactions to abnormal
experiences, such as living through a natural disaster, being severely
abused or fighting in a war, and resume function. A few develop abnormal
reactions and those people may find alternate therapies most useful.
Chu, J. A. (1998). Rebuilding shattered lives; The responsible treatment of
complex post-traumatic and dissociative disorders. New York: John Wiley &
Jones, J. G. (1997). Art therapy with a community of survivors. Art
Therapy; Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. 14(2), 89-94.
Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: The psychophysiology of trauma
and trauma treatment. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
van der Kolk, B., McFarlane, A. & Weisaeth, L. (Eds.) (1996). Traumatic
stress: the effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society.
New York: Guilford Press.
Frans favorite saying is " Cool Beans" I have known Fran since I was a tad
pole ( No really! over twenty years...)