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 Reacting to tragedies of others (NYT article) 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Reacting to tragedies of others (NYT article)
The author of this article wonders why some close friends disappeared entirely when the author and her family were going through tough times. Here are a few excerpts:

"...[We’ve] come to understand the various ways in which people cope with crisis when it happens to them. But psychologists are just beginning to explore the ways we respond to other people’s traumas." "...[In] the presence of another’s crisis, there’s always the sense of helplessness.”

"True empathy inspires what sociologists call instrumental aid. “There are any number of tasks to be done, and they’re as personal as your thumbprint,” Dr. Rainer said. If you really want to help a family in crisis, offer to do something specific: drive the carpool, weed the garden, bring a meal, do the laundry, go for a walk.

“The human condition is that traumatic events occur,” said David B. Adams, a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta. “The reality is that we are equipped to deal with them. The challenge that lies before us is quite often more important than the disappointment that surrounds us.”

Here's a link to the full article: ... 7essa.html
August 16, 2010
Coping With Crises Close to Someone Else’s Heart
By Harriet Brown
New York Times

Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:14 am

Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:53 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Davis, CA
Post Re: Reacting to tragedies of others (NYT article)
Robin, thank you for posting this. I'm a sociologist and always interested when we get quoted, which is rare. In my grief group last Friday, the facilitator instructed us that there were three types of support that people can offer: doing (shopping, watering lawn, cooking), providing respite (out for lunch, going to movie, anything to get out of house), and listening. I found this an interesting exercise because my support group had so few listeners, mostly respite providers and doers. It helped to open my eyes about what I can and can't expect from people.

Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:23 pm

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3441
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Reacting to tragedies of others (NYT article)
Amanda - thanks for sharing the 3 types of support from your group facilitator. I'm going to share that with the CG group I go to next week. So simple, but so important! Lynn

Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.

Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:49 pm
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