Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Counseling in Terror's Wake

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Counseling in Terror's Wake

Article excerpt

The deliberate crashing of passenger jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the apparent thwarting by passengers of another such attack are events so startling, so dramatic, so unknown to anyone's previous experience that they have affected us all in profound ways.

These attacks involved thousands of people doing familiar things-flying on passenger planes, going to the office, being in a day care center where mom and dad work.

The attacks hit close to home for every child, whose fears were exacerbated by intense media coverage.

We must be prepared to see a greater proportion of children suffering long-term emotional consequences from this disaster than we have in previous disasters.

To be sure, we have learned from past crises that most children cope successfully, bolstered by attentive and understanding parents and familiar support networks.

Most reactions will produce normal symptoms for children working through their fears that gradually lead to coping and moving on. Some parents may seek help because their children can no longer sleep in their own beds. Their children may imagine terrible events when they see a plane or hear a siren, or when someone in the family has to travel. …

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