Where behavioral science and humanism get out of the ivory tower, and into the world.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm a sucker for a good podcast

I just got around to listening to this weeks episode from “The Moth,” an event where people tell true stories on stage live without notes. Over the year or so I’ve been listening I’ve heard stories about people who think they were being haunted, doctors trying to save lives, famous actresses saying how they went psycho on ex-boyfriends. This weeks was particularly striking to me as it focused on a man talking about a Cambodian woman’s experiences during and after the Khmer Rouge. After surviving the atrocities she played a major role in helping a large number of women with PTSD who had seemingly entered a vegetative depression once they reached the relative safety of refugee camps. She spoke about a three-part method for this. Helping people speak about their experiences and letting them learn to “forget” so they could move on, having them do life skills so that they could feel some accomplishment, purpose and maintain themselves more. Lastly, she taught them to do manicures and pedicures. She did this she says so they could have physical contact with others again, and learn to trust and build a community. It’s very interesting to me how universal particular types of responses are to particular types of events, and how often the “treatments” are really focused on community building, rapport building, and allowing people the space to derive meaning from their lives. It seems like I’d be put of the job pretty quickly with some social reforms :-)

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