Saturday, July 09, 2005

Post-trauma Counseling Harmful

According to Simon Wessely, a Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, immediate counselling after a traumatic experience often left people with long-term psychiatric distress. Regarding the victims of the terrorist attacks in London he offered the following advice:
"At the moment what they need is practical support from us and friends and families. The time for the kind of psychology and psychiatry and the counselling, our time may come later, but it isn't now."
It sounds so obvious, doesn't it? The assumption is that we are normally functioning human beings and have the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with this sort of thing. Wouldn't it be great if our local public schools could understand that you don't need dozens of professional counselors to deal with school shootings or tragic auto accidents. All you need is a little old fashioned compassion . . . but that doesn't come with a government subsidy.