Counseling for the Healing of Memories of Tragedy

Something in the news lately caught my attention and moved me to focus on tragic memories. It was a special report by a CNN reporter about the rising incidence of suicide in post-tsunami Japan. Given that the Japanese culture is known for its attitude towards suicide as an honorable and dignified option, I still think that it will be such a waste of life if people are not helped in recovering from tragic memories.

Most of the news these days are about the 9-11 event. There are features about how survivors have recovered, and there is one thing in common: the need for someone to talk to.

A painful memory burns in our mind every day. If it is not healed, it continues to affect our mental and physical health. Some people believe that time will heal all wounds, but when healing tragic memories, they’re probably in for a very long wait. Sometimes, just the guilt of being able to survive while loved ones perish is difficult to overcome.

In the recovery process, counselors help survivors:

a. Narrate their story in a manner
b. Experience catharsis
c. Find meaning in the experience
d. Experience forgiving the self
e. Create a recovery path

Wise Words

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Nature gave men two ends – one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most
George R. Kirkpatrick

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Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.

-Tad Williams

“When you were born, you were crying and everyone around “When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.”


I thought growing up was something that happened automatically as you got older. But it turns out it’s something you have to choose to do. – TV show Scrubs

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