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Terror on the Couch

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Who doesn't need therapy thesedays? So, two days after the blast, shrinks' offices were besieged with shell-shockedregulars. "They're calling up to say, Can't you get me an extra session?" says Dr.Sheenah Hankin. "We're having to do triage in the office."

"People thought theirreactions -- fear, terror, anger, rage -- were pathological," says Dr. Allan Schwartz. "Theywere surprised and relieved to hear they were normal."

Therapists have been feeling morethan a little normal, too. "When I went to my shrink for my regular appointment, he wasworse off than I was," says a 30-year-old editor whose therapist had to run from his ReadeStreet clinic after the Trade Center collapsed. "Everything was amplified because we hadour own emotions to deal with," agrees Schwartz. "I saw ten patients in a row on Thursday.I didn't want to go back the next day. I'm exhausted."

Not surprisingly, Doctor Freudpopped up in all the obvious places. "These majestic buildings were like phallic symbols.Then they fell to pieces," says a Park Avenue psychiatrist. "When you are castrated youbecome depressed." Says Dr. Warren Berland, "it's very important to find ways to have thisaffect us positively. So far, it's already made people more compassionate. But I had a manwho was so upset I had to say, 'I think we need to take a break from the TV.' "


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