Alumni Group Round Table Discussion Series

September 11, 2020 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Video Session

Shared Trauma: 9/11, Hurricanes, and COVID-19


Jean Goodwin, MD

This discussion will focus on how the clinical process is affected when clinicians and their clients are experiencing the same trauma. It seems fitting that our discussion will take place on the 19th anniversary of 9/11 in that one of our readings (Saakvitne, 2002) focuses on a therapist’s practice in the aftermath of the terroristic attacks on New York. In cases of shared trauma, according to Saakvitne, the clinicians are subject to the combined effects of direct trauma, secondary trauma affecting significant others, and vicarious trauma from our clients. Boulanger (2013) and our own Jean Goodwin (2019) described how Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey affected clinical practice on the Gulf Coast. Goodwin reminds us that trauma does not occur in isolation, but dredges up memories and rekindles emotions about prior crises as well. Boulanger found that the clinicians’ efforts to contain client anxieties may challenge boundaries between self and other, inner and outer, signifier and signified, public and private, and fantasy and reality. Finally, we will explore how the coronavirus pandemic recently left us feeling raw, vulnerable and/or sad and grief-stricken, while wreaking havoc on our lives and practices. The pandemic is changing the most basic ways in which we meet with clients, and yet somehow forcing adaptations.

CFPS Alumni Group invites you to join us from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm to discuss a selected paper.

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