Haiti part 2: Resources on Managing Traumatic Stress

Whether you know someone in Haiti or feel overwhelmed by watching the news of the disaster, you may feel distressed about the Haiti earthquake. Click here for resources from the American Psychological Association to help you cope.

The emotional effects on children of a large-scale catastrophe or disaster, such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, can be tremendous. Click here for tips to help your child cope.

The NIMH also has some resources and tips on how to cope with violence and traumatic events for parents, and as individuals.



Haiti. Oh my goodness, what occurred in Haiti this week- it is too great, too cataclysmic, to overwhelming for words. Banal, trite, to say yes, but true. Like the massive widespread destruction of property and lives in my beloved New Orleans thanks to the massive synergy of insufficient levees and the awesome power of hurricane Katrina, or the mindboggling Tsunami of 2005 there is CRISIS. NOW! Crisis lasting, lingering and lingers longer than the headlines will last.

As my husband and I are looking for our new home, a space we can craft into a home, we debate the merits of one house over an other, then suddenly blocks and blocks of homes and buildings are trembling, shuttering and ultimately collapsing, People are hurt. People are dead and dying. People are trapped. People are homeless. Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless. As many or more are wounded physically and otherwise- wondering what comes next? My concerns of what features of a house that might become my new home are trivial.

What to do? How to help? What can I do from here- that matters?  Works what with is already in place in Haiti, such as Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).  MSF is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. They are in it for the long haul, both before the earthquake, now and will be long after.

There are directed donation sites set up for Haiti on their website, but consider making an undirected donation. Here’s why, money given to a specific fund can only be used for that area which is super. Making an undirected donation helps MSF to serve the people of Haiti as they continue to serve other crises that continuing to happen while the world watches Haiti. And more importantly, it allows them to be first responders.

I have given my share and imagine you have too, but if can give a bit more or haven’t decided where to give, click here to donate to Doctors Without Borders.

Wellness Coaching: what and why?

Back in November  I began a Wellness Coach certification program through Wellcoaches,  to expand my professional growth and reach. Wellness, body, mind and soul is fundamental to me and I think really to all of us. So few are the people I have meet who does not desire to feel at their best physically, engaged mentally emotionally in a fulfilling and positive expanding way, and fundamentally at peace that I have 10 finger and 10 toes available  on which to count them. Most people,myself included find ourselves at cross-road and junctions in life where we just need a little extra support to move through the muck and towards our ideal visions of wellness. Wellness coaching fits with me and my background personally and profession.

The Wellcoachs certification program is part of my professional change I noted in my previous post. It’s thrilling and feels so instinctive to me.

The Boston Globe recently featured a front page article on the Wellness and Health Coaching. The Institute on Coaching at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital is featured. I am delighted to tell you that the Codirector of  Institute on Coaching at McLean Hospital is Margaret Moore the founder of Wellcoaches. Ms Moore is active in the Wellcoaches training program and I have had the pleasure of connecting with her through the program.

As Carol Kauffman, the other Codirector at the Instiutue on Coaching said, “Coaching is a process of change that revolves around strengths and potential, rather than feelings of pathology and pain.’’ When  focus on the possible and strengths things really do become possible, with work, even in tremendously difficult or frustrating situation. Read the article for some wonderful stories about people who have experience health and Wellness coaching.

Change: the beginning and the end

Talking with friends this past week, catching up after a Holiday Season punctuated by  “The EPIC Move” the question “What word or phrase sums up 2009?” came up over and over. For me the word was change. After more than 18 months of being in a holding pattern, change ebbed in like a rising tide especially the last 5 months of 2009. Fortunately the tide did not rise to high, too, fast, too quickly or in most cases too unexpected. Change can be exhilarating or paralyzing overwhelming. Either way or anywhere along that continuum change comes with its own growing pains.

There was change in my personal life, change in my geographical location, change in my family and change in my professional life. By in large the change was good even when it felt wrenching. After too many months (12+) our lovely house sold to a young family and I am once again living in the same State as my husband. Now we are looking for a new house to craft into our home and to be able to take our belongings out of storage. That year and a half of long distance phone call, and regular trips from the Midwest to the South, could have ruined our marriage. As hard as that change was it did not. And now we have a cat too boot!

After five plus years of working with a terrific group of people we disbanded, as the contract that funded our work together was not renewed. However, knowing the change was coming, I made the move to focus on my Coaching practice. And I am thrilled to have done so. I changed to increase my skills as a Coach and into someone who is starting a company.

I was a witness to the change many other people went through too. Family and friends married, got pregnant, left their jobs, started 1st grade, watch their loved ones die, learned to sing out loud and in front of the crowd, go back to school, got sick and got better, bought a house as phase one of retirement, and discover they can indeed ride with the “big boys” around the Cabot Trail. My husband is grown even more as a professional and into a person who handles change and adversity better than he thought he did.

Change humbled me at times and yes there were a few nights of “I-am-just-going-to-take-a-glass-of-wine-and-sit-in-the-tub-for-a-little-while”. Change inspired me to push, grow, evolve, support, and say yes and no even more deliberately.  Ultimately I am proud of how the husband, my family, friends and I have come through this year of flux and change.

Now the metaphorical dust has settled I am beginning to think about 2010. So 2010 starts with change too, finding a new house to call home. Crafting our lives together in one location again, continuing to evolve as Coach and I am looking forward to the results.  I think there are more good things to come even if they do require change, but I sure hope they don’t involve a move during a major holiday season again.