Tsunami Psychologist

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This article appeared in the Spring 2005 issue of Inquiring Mind, www.inquiringmind.com

“Dr. Ronna! Chuay noi! Chuay noi!” (help!) A Thai nurse grabbed my arm and led me past bulletin boards plastered with pictures and descriptions of missing persons. She took me to a European man screaming and kicking in anguish. His sister and thirty employees from his destroyed seaside hotel were missing and presumed dead. “What am I going to do?” he cried. I instinctively pulled his chest to mine while he wailed and then wept. My tear-drenched blouse never dried. Over the next eight days, lasting twenty waking hours each, countless mourners--parents, spouses, siblings, children and friends--needed similar gestures of comfort as they released their suffering into the fabric of my clothes and into my being.

This was post-tsunami Thailand.

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