Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss: Stones in My Heart Forever

1st Edition

Bruce Carruth, Kathryn Bedard

Routledge
Published March 15, 2006
Textbook - 282 Pages
ISBN 9780789027412 - CAT# HW15395

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Summary

Get a first person glimpse of the work mental health clinicians did after the terrorist attack!

Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss: Stones in My Heart Forever presents a moving glimpse into the mind and heart of a mental health clinician who volunteered after the World Trade Center attacks. Written as the events unfolded, this memoir gives a behind-the-scenes view of disaster response, including the mechanics of developing a plan, setting up systems to address the needs of survivors and victims' families, and the responses of those who suddenly found themselves in the midst of one of the most traumatic events in recent history. The author illustrates through this very personal journal the reactions of families, the stages of grief, the stages of compassion fatigue, coping with trauma exposure, the effects of the disaster on survivors and disaster workers, and ultimately, the touching lessons learned of compassion, strength, hope, and courage.

Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss: Stones in My Heart Forever is more than a retelling of an event. This book enfolds the reader with intense multi-sense descriptions of what truly happened after the soul-searing disaster and the ways people tried to cope. The author presents a moving, clear picture of post-disaster operations from someone in the know, along with the ways in which support was provided to survivors and families. Important lessons are revealed along the way, most of all about how simple, ordinary people can rise to extraordinary heights of courage, compassion, and resiliency.

An excerpt:

“I begin to make my phone calls and lists, and check them twice. I stop for a second when I realize that every muscle in my body is tight. I'm not looking forward to this: I have enough trouble holding myself together without seeing it in person—all of that evil suspended in all of its glory. I take a deep breath and pray for strength, realizing that I have suddenly, in this place, found a need to pray a lot. I shut down the need to be afraid, and concentrate on relaxation breathing and faxing. It's getting dark out there . . .”

Compassion and Courage in the Aftermath of Traumatic Loss provides a stirring look at disaster response and the overwhelming emotions that result, and is vital reading for human services professionals, medical professionals, clinicians, early responders, disaster workers, educators, students, families of victims and survivors, and anyone interested in the day-to-day trials and tribulations of this horrific historic event.

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