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Gerson, B. (2013). Traumatic Bereavement, Attachment, and Thoughts on Prevention: Mothers, Infants and Young Children of September 11, 2001: A Primary Prevention Project Edited by Beatrice Beebe, Phyllis Cohen, K. Mark Sossin, and Sara Markese London: Routledge, 264 pp., $42.95, 2012. DIVISION/Rev., 7:12-14.
(2013). DIVISION/Review, 7:12-14
Traumatic Bereavement, Attachment, and Thoughts on Prevention: Mothers, Infants and Young Children of September 11, 2001: A Primary Prevention Project Edited by Beatrice Beebe, Phyllis Cohen, K. Mark Sossin, and Sara Markese London: Routledge, 264 pp., $42.95, 2012
Review by: Barbara Gerson
One hundred or so pregnant women lost their husbands during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, their lives forever transformed. These precipitously widowed mothers-to-be were faced with fore-boding circumstances—grieving their husbands, their familiar selves, and their futures while delivering babies and sustaining new lives in a time of national chaos. It is upon this group of women that Beatrice Beebe immediately focused, as if drawn by an internal magnet, to help them grieve, heal, and attach to their (and our) next generation.
Together with a core group of seven colleagues—Anni Bergman, Phyllis Cohen, Donna Demetri Friedman, Sally Moskowitz, Rita Reiswig, Mark Sossin, and Suzi Tortora—Beebe initiated and still continues the Project for Mothers, Infants, and Young Children of September 11, 2001 (the Project, as it is referred to). It is conceptualized as a primary prevention project to “facilitate the mother-infant and mother-child relationships, the development of the infants… the ongoing development of the toddlers who had lost their fathers, and the mother's own recovery processes” (p. 13). I will be focusing in this review on the primary prevention work with the bereaved mothers/infants/children.
This multimodal project offered support groups for the widows and their children, and annual or semiannual mother-child “video bonding” filming and communication consultations, all provided without charge. Forty mothers and eighty children participated.
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