chapter  53
The Empty Space
ByDorry Tompsett
Pages 1

In the aftermath of 9/11, the New York City firefighter became the symbolic, if not iconic, face of loss for the country. After the World Trade Center attacks in New York, many of people looked for ways to do something in order to restore a sense of effectiveness in face of so much helplessness. One of the sine qua non for conducting therapy is maintaining the frame for the therapy to proceed. Therapy occurs within a space that is typically protected from intrusion from the outside. Essentially, psychoeducation is information about what the firefighters expect in their reactions to what they were dealing with and ways they might cope. Some 25 percent took direct referrals from the firehouse clinicians for psychological treatment with professionals. The fire department considers the number of people who have consulted the counseling services unit an indicator of the success of this and other programs addressing the psychological needs of the firefighters and their families.