Appeared in 4/22/13

Disasters often have a human component, including New York’s World Trade Center on 9/11 [1], the death of a teenager following misuse of alcohol [2], mass shootings [3], and, in the day before the writing of this article, the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon [4]. Elsewhere, you can read about many themes that relate to dealing with a disaster, such as being prepared [5], responding to a crisis [6], dealing with the broader impact of the disaster [7], speaking to children [8], recovering from the damage [9], and living in the world after a disaster [10].

These all provide things for therapists to be on the lookout for or even to actively explore. These explorations are appropriate in different ways, regardless of whether the person was a primary victim or near-victim of the disaster, connected to such a person, or just someone who has learned of the event through media or social circles. Exploring a person’s initial reactions to a disaster can provide insight into some dimensions of his or her spirituality.


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