Spring 88: Environmental Disasters and Collective Trauma

Author(s) : Nancy Cater

Spring 88: Environmental Disasters and Collective Trauma

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This issue explores the intimate connections between environmental disasters and collective trauma. It is becoming increasingly obvious that our relationship with nature has changed. While our ability to predict natural events has increased, our collective illusions of control are being eroded by global communications that confront us with detailed information and images of the damage wrought by such events, leaving us to recognize how fragile our communities really are. The intrusion of natural disasters into the human psyche stimulates an age-old anxiety about our place on the earth and activates our fear of catastrophic change. The articles in this issue are intended to stimulate discussion about environmental disasters and our relationship with the earth and how this is changing. I hope it will encourage more professionals to work with impacted communities or, at a minimum, promote new approaches to anxiety management. With more than seven billion humans on the earth, and global climate change affecting food production, weather, and natural cycles, change is inevitable. In response to these shifts our state of consciousness must expand to meet new environmental challenges.

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