Fall 2001
Co-President's Report
Suart Altschuler, MFT
"I woke up that Tuesday morning feeling good about where I was in my life and happy about where I was going. Now, that sense of security is gone, and since the 11th, for some moment every day, I have been scared."
                    --- Chelsea Clinton, LA Times, 11/9/01

Sound familiar? Perhaps you could have spoken these words. Surely, we all have clients that have been exhibiting signs of posttraumatic stress related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On one of the news radio stations recently, I heard a therapist in New York, state that she has seen an increase in the number of people hitting the ice cream containers in the freezer. A report about a month ago stated that they expect a baby boom next spring. Newspapers reported that people had a strong need to seek out physical intimacy (safety?) after the attacks and surveys showed an increase in sexual activity with mates, as well as single people with "one night stands."

I believe that this country has been in shock since the election of 2000. I have felt a sense of anger and depression from people that our dependable system did not work. Now, before we have been able to fully grieve and heal from this injury to our sense of fairness and justice, we get hit with another incident that threatens our physical lives and even more strongly undermines our sense of daily well-being.

Through the media, we are reminded daily that we are at war, to expect more violence in our own back yards, and that no one is safe. How many of us have long been news junkies? How does this impact our inner peace and mental health when we are constantly bombarded with this type of information?

These are issues that cannot be ignored. In my opinion, they must be dealt with consciously, within ourselves and with our clients. We cannot underestimate the impact that this is having on the clients we see daily. While we explore the impact that childhood, family, a past or current relationship has on the emotions and behaviors exhibited by clients, I encourage all of us to also bring up the topic of September 11, 2001 and to ask our clients to honestly look at the connection that this more current event is still having on their emotional, mental, and spiritual state.

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