Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Trauma Tourism"? Hmm.

I'm currently studying for certification as a PTSD counselor and this topic has been claiming more and more attention in the field, namely that the "hit and run" school in the grief counseling industry is of limited use as a therapeutic model. In fact, it may do more harm than good. What is now being emphasized is encouraging people to have long-term and committed membership in clubs, organizations and similar groups that can, in times of need, remind one of other aspects in life rather than those at the source of the trauma. In other words, well, in my words, this means be a part of a church congregation.

I was wondering when a proper study of PTSD counseling in the aftermath of this century's most traumatic event would take place.  I'm sure it's hardly definitive, but it's a start.

Therapy can exacerbate trauma and make things worse according to a study looking at the counselling given to New Yorkers in the aftermath of 9/11.

The report, to be published in the journal American Psychologist next month to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, found that reliving the events was harmful for many survivors.

Mental health professionals flooded the city in a wave of 'trauma tourism' after two planes struck the World Trade Center in 2001 according to the report.

And this is hardly surprising: "But the main psychological benefits were felt by the psychologists rather than the patients...."