August 22nd, 2011 19:17 EST
Love in the Age of Terrorism
10th Anniversary Event on September 8th connects children of disaster in New York, Haiti and Japan for healing
As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 looms, noted New York clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Kuriansky is available to talk about the impact of this marker event on couples and children worldwide, and about an upcoming event connecting children in trauma zones. Dr. Judy, as she is fondly known from TV and radio, provided mental health support at Ground Zero and the Family Assistance Center after the World Trade Center attacks and was featured in a Red Cross PSA and in Germany`s Max magazine and Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. In her Global Kids Connect Project, kids from trauma zones exchange dolls to show caring, e.g. kids in Japan made dolls brought to Haiti, and kids in Haiti made dolls brought to Japan. On September 8th, kids in New York City will make dolls for kids in Haiti and Japan (see below).
Dr. Judy can address the following points:
- What are "Anniversary Reactions?" Reactions around the date of a past traumatic event or emotionally charged episode when individuals re-experience strong symptoms.
- How have relationships changed because of 9/11? In a survey, 2/3 of women and men want more connection with their partner, but others feel life is meaningless so they withdraw from love and sex and don`t want children. Dr. Judy says to expect opposite reactions: "Come closer" versus "Go away."
- What are the dangers of the 10th anniversary for couples? Dr. Judy says expect "CoupleTrouble" from different coping styles: "Avoiders" who want to escape being reminded about the event versus "Talkers" who want to review every detail and feeling.
- What are ways to make your relationship better on the 9/11 anniversary? Dr. Judy gives 10 tips, including: accept differences; help each other feel safe; hug and hold.
- What is the danger for singles? Some singles may engage in "Terror Sex"- casual sex, since "There may not be a future, so why not have a great time now?"
- What are the dangers for children? Exposed to intense media and public coverage, kids can have nightmares and stomach aches, and refuse to go to school.
- How will the 10th anniversary impact people around the world? Helping after many disasters (Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami, bombings in the Middle East, earthquakes in Haiti and China), Dr. Judy notes similar reactions.
- What is "guerrilla counseling" after 9/11? People at the site asked Dr. Judy questions, e.g. a man wanted to calm his girlfriend`s fears, a teen needed help for her depressed buddy, a woman wanted to convince her husband they should have another baby.
- Can so much media attention about 9/11 be harmful to people? Yes, past traumatic memories and fears of all kinds can be triggered; if so, seek professional counsel.
Dr. Judy can also talk about:
- Her professional projects and personal experiences related to 9/11 and how helping changed her life. Dr. Judy was a first responder, providing mental health support, after 9/11 at Ground Zero and at the Family Assistance Center. As a result of this experience, her career and life took a new perspective. Also, from being at Ground Zero, she has some lung problems and is part of The World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program for first responders.
Children are helped by knowing that other kids experiencing trauma care about them. In the Global Kids Connect Project that Dr. Judy founded, dolls are exchanged among children in Haiti, Japan and New York.
A workshop will be given, open to press coverage:
WHAT: The 4th annual Child and Family Institute Back-to-School Event
WHEN: September 8th from 3-6 p.m.
WHERE: St. Luke`s Hospital, Babcock Cafeteria, 419 West 114 Street, NYC.
- Music heals. An anthem written after 9/11 by Dr. Judy and composer Russell Daisey, called "Towers of Light," honors the heroes and offers hope and healing. Named for the two beams that shine annually over Ground Zero where the Twin Towers fell, the song has been performed at the World Trade Center Responder Day, United Nations conferences and the Hiroshima International Peace Summit (where the Dalai Lama called it "very powerful") and will be performed on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at the Interfaith Memorial at Pier 40 on the Hudson River. Kuriansky is available for interviews as of August 24. Also available: Video of performances of the "Towers of Light" song at memorials; an MP3 version; and live performances.
A Red Cross PSA (video) produced after 9/11 of selected individuals` experience of 9/11, including Dr. Judy.
Video footage and photos of the Global Kids Connect Project in Haiti and Japan.
For more information, see www.DrJudy.com
Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and relationship expert, teacher at Columbia University Teachers College and United Nations Main NGO representative who has done disaster relief post-9`11 and around the world after disasters in Haiti, Sri Lanka, China and the Middle East. A former reporter for WCBS-TV, WABC-TV and host of CNBC-TV "Money and Emotions" and veteran radio advice talk show host of the popular "LovePhones" show, she now appears often as a TV commentator. A former columnist for the Daily News website and the South China Morning Post, and author of many books including "The Complete Idiots Guide to a Healthy Relationship," she was recently awarded for Lifetime Achievement in Global Peace and Tolerance by the Friends of the United Nations.
The Global Kids Connect Project is a cross-cultural humanitarian initiative promoting healing and comfort for children after disasters that includes a workshop of stress reduction techniques, cultural experiences and exchange of dolls. Partners include HappyDoll Inc., a Japanese-founded organization that has exchanged dolls for orphans and other children; the UN-accredited International Association of Applied Psychology; Haiti Action Youth for the United Nations; and New York`s St. Luke`s Hospital.
"Towers of Light" is a song from The Stand Up For Peace Project, an initiative that promotes peace, understanding and healing worldwide, co-founded by renowned psychologist Dr. Judy Kuriansky and acclaimed pianist/singer/songwriter Russell Daisey, who has performed for American presidents and world dignitaries, including Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and the Chiniya Lama of Nepal.