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The Therapist in MourningFrom the Faraway Nearby$
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Kerry Malawista and Anne Adelman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156998

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156998.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

The Loss of Normal

The Loss of Normal

Ten Years as a U.S. Navy Physician Since 9/11

(p.255) Chapter 14 The Loss of Normal
The Therapist in Mourning

Russell B. Carr

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, the author relates his experience as a military psychiatrist during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He writes about feeling isolated and set apart from his civilian counterparts. He experiences the war through the eyes of his wounded patients, feeling a complex blend of emotions, including rage and shame. As a result, he finds himself reluctant to connect with old friends, neither trusting that they would understand what he had been through nor be able to bear the recounting of his wartime experiences. He poignantly remembers the pain of seeing young men with limbs torn off, traumatic brain injuries, and PTSD. In the face of such horrors, he is acutely aware of his own helplessness and vulnerability. He points out the necessity of finding what he calls a “relational home,” where traumatic experiences can be processed and borne.

Keywords:   therapists, Iraq War, Afghanistan War, wounded patients, trauma, military psychiatrists

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