Trauma in the Family

Dr. William McDermott, internationally renown Trauma Psychologist, explains that families can either fragment or they can become more cohesive. The more a family can pull together for each other and the support of the injured person, the better off everyone is by far because it dilutes the intensity of fear.  Although the traumatic event involves a single person, there is a ripple effect that fans out to the immediate family and to the extended family. Although the injured person is considered the traumatized person, there is a vicarious trauma to all of the loved ones. We may believe that the family will pull together or that it has sufficient resiliency or tensile strength to cope with this well, we can’t take that for granted. All of us have a meaning of life. All of us have a meaning of ourselves in this life. Together, we can help people discover what the meaning of the losses are to them and help them move towards a definition of themselves in the world.  However, conspiracies of silence sometimes come from a very good-hearted attempt to prevent people from feeling badly or come from denial. It is critical to acknowledge what hurts, how it hurts and let’s face it together.