Members in the Media
From: NPR

Experts Call The Pandemic A Collective Trauma. Why Don’t We Talk About It That Way?

When we talk about the pandemic, we talk about stress. Burnout. Uncertainty. Isolation. We don’t talk as much about trauma. But a growing number of mental health professionals say that’s what people are experiencing as the pandemic drags on — and we may need a new way to talk about what they’re going through. NPR’s Kat Lonsdorf reports.

Psychiatrist, neurologist and author Bessel van der Kolk explains how the brain processes and recovers from trauma. His 2004 book The Body Keeps the Score surged to the top of bestseller lists during the pandemic.

Read the whole story (subscription may be required): NPR

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Actually, plenty of experts don’t call it a trauma. APS continues to highlight articles from NPR that are scientifically ill-informed. van der Kolk is a pop psychologist whose primary idea is sharply at variance with research on PTSD. APS has members, including Richard McNally, who have made this abundantly clear. APS really has an obligation to present articles that are at least marginally informed or that present both sides of an issue fairly. This is increasingly not the case.

Hi Anthony:

Although Bessel and I have often disagreed about “traumatic dissociative amnesia” (“repressed memories of trauma”), I thought his comments during the NPR interview were very sensible and far more nuanced than those who regard *everyone* as a Covid-19 “trauma” survivor. He does not deny that the pandemic has been stressful for most people, some far more than others, but he is very reluctant say that we’re all victims of collective *trauma.” I agree with Bessel on this occasion. 🙂
All the best,
Rich McNally

Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training
Department of Psychology
Harvard University
33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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