Trauma as it pertains to the September 11th Attacks and Middle East Conflicts

Prior to the WTC attack, the goal of the Institute was to bring trauma “out of the closet”, make it a part of the national and international lexicon and introduce available solutions. Trauma is now out of the closet. More than three hundred million Americans and many more millions around the world have in the course of just one day experienced an unprecedented traumatic event. The September 11th attacks in New York and Washington have left the United States stunned and dazed, reeling from the effects of an event characteristic of traumatic shock: an unprecedented threat to quick and too overwhelming for the collective consciousness to digest, leading to the possibility of an ongoing and lethal threat to all of us.

The United States may be the focus of our work presently, because of the window of opportunity for acute awareness that the September 11th tragedy has opened up. But trauma is a global problem. Trauma is costing billions of dollars in lost human potential, abuse, dysfunctional behavior, worker turnover and most importantly violence, at the family, community, national and inter-group levels. The costs will be even more staggering if we do not learn to cope very quickly with trauma on a large scale.

The attacks have also left the international community deeply concerned about a possibly wide-spread conflict between civilizations. The Middle East, as one of the centers of this conflict, must be another fulcrum for understanding and healing trauma at mass levels. The trauma of both Israelis and Palestinians is, among other issues, fueling the fires of mistrust and violence, threatening to engulf the region and maybe even the whole world in a conflict of global proportions.

People these days talk often and freely about trauma and may understand some of its impact. However, trauma encompasses a wide range of symptoms about which most people know little or have many misconceptions. But most importantly, the knowledge about trauma healing is not widely available.

ITI is at the forefront of efforts to confront the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by applying the deactivation model of the collective nervous system with a special emphasis on the media.