Irit Felsen recently wrote for the media department of Yeshiva University an article, from the perspective of a clinical psychologist and trauma expert, about Gilad Shalit’s release from captivity and what might be helpful in his re-entry into normal life. The article can be found here. Irit’s article was picked up by a number of media outlets, including the Jerusalem Post, the Algemeiner, Arutz Sheva, the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, and the Canadian Jewish Tribune.
Captivity represents one of the most severe types of prolonged exposure to trauma.
While a single, unexpected traumatic event can occur anytime, anywhere, captivity subjects the victim to prolonged and repeated trauma. Its effects have been evidenced by hostages, prisoners of war, political prisoners, Holocaust survivors and survivors of other concentration camps in various parts of the world and last often for years after the victim has been liberated. As we live in an era of conflict both for Israel and for the US and as many soldiers are returning from combat with experiences that are difficult to put behind them, it is important to remember what we as individuals and as a society can do for them to make their homecoming not easy, but easier.