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A Military Program Offers a Message for Couples

On Oct 15, 2009, the front page story in the New York Times by Rod Nordland described Operation Proper Exit, a program which invited American servicemen wounded in the Iraq War back to Iraq to visit those very places where they suffered severe injury and loss as a way to help achieve psychological closure.

When we consider healing and recovery from trauma, revisiting ( literally,in this case) fosters the remembering and mourning necessary for integration of traumatic memories and unspeakable loss. Welcomed back by...


What Is Couple Psychological First Aid?

Nationally and internationally, the most endorsed response in the first hours and weeks after a traumatic event is Psychological First Aid.
Just as Medical First Aid is given immediately to a person to minimize injury and reduce future medical complications and disability, Psychological First Aid involves providing connection, safety, basic needs, information, and recognizing if professional care is needed as a way to reduce the possibility of longterm emotional impact.

Couples Psychological First Aid unfolds from an understanding of the power of attachment by researchers...


General

Do Men and Women React Differently to Trauma?

A New York Times article on Jan. 7, 2005 reported on grieving parents in Sri Lanka who lost children in the Southeast Tsunami. It describes a couple. The mother, pictured with a group of women, is crying and talking about her daughters. The father,  who feels there is no value in dwelling on loss, asserts that "this is no time to give up" and focuses his energy on rebuilding the family home.

Their reactions speak to a gender stereotype that is perhaps crosscultural -  in the face of traumatic loss, women need to speak about...


How Do Trauma Symptoms Make Sense?

You wake at 5 , unable to fall back to sleep. You notice that your partner has no patience for anything, including you. You  find yourself dreading phone calls even from your closest friends. And you wonder:  How can these reactions be normal?

Combat stress, a cancer diagnosis, a car accident or a...


Anger

Can Couples Survive Trauma?

We are all aware in the media as well as  through personal contacts of relationships that seem to have failed in the aftermath of tragic loss, combat stress, natural disaster or trauma of some kind.  It makes us wonder -Can a couple survive trauma? Can they hold on...