image by me)
Holding myself a certificate in psychology I am rather sceptical to many methods and ideas of psychological treatments. May be because I have found a more efficient way to deal with problems…may be. And even though my close and distant friends often want my psychological help, I never use any “techniques” because I believe that the heart knows better what to say.
Anyway, one of the things I find somewhat wrong is the popular treatment in trauma psychology as well as in conventional wisdom –to make the victim talk about the happening. News reports after school shootings and other such tragedies tell how specially trained trauma psychologists flood into the affected area to encourage people to talk through their feeling and fears of what has happened. But does it actually help?
I came across a very interesting study concerning responses to the terror attacks of 9/11, with results that may surprise you. Researchers at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, invited 2,138 people, most of whom were not directly exposed to the event, to express their thoughts and feelings on the day of the attack and for several days afterward. Over the next two years the research team did follow-up online inquiries to investigate the correspondents’ mental and physical health. They found that on average, those who chose to say little or nothing about their thoughts and feelings concerning the attack were actually better off than the people who talked about it. The measures of their well-being included physician-diagnosed ailments and levels of distress, including feeling helpless and symptoms of nervousness.
The results have important implications for expectations about how people should react to collective trauma that affects a whole community or nation, said the researchers.The leader of the study, Dr. Mark Seery from the psychology department at the University of Buffalo specifies that his findings apply to those who have experienced a collective trauma, not necessarily an individual one, and he certainly doesn’t want to prevent people from communicating their feelings if they wish.
I wonder how my readers would comment on that interesting study results?