Psychotherapists Anna Ranieri, Joe Gurkoff Offer Help on Coping with Tragedy (Newtown Shootings)

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Licensed psychotherapists Anna Ranieri and Joe Gurkoff can give expert advice on how to deal with the emotional fallout from the recent Newtown, CT school shootings; including tips on acknowledging and clarifying strong feelings, taking action through community or causes, and in some cases seeking additional help.

Licensed psychotherapists Anna Ranieri and Joe Gurkoff, authors of the forthcoming book HOW CAN I HELP?: What You Can (and Can’t) do to to Counsel a Friend, Colleague or Family Member with a Problem, can give expert advice/answer questions on how to deal with the emotional fallout from the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings:

Emotional trauma
People everywhere have been shocked and saddened by the recent tragic deaths of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut. Beyond those feelings are a host of other emotions that can take time to process and understand.

How to help: listen & acknowledge
How can individuals help friends or family members as they confront this senseless act? Start by listening, allowing them to say what comes to mind and to take the first steps toward finding some calm or sense of safety. In these situations, people often experience feelings of anger and frustration, confusion and helplessness, fear or hopelessness as well as sadness and grief. Acknowledging these feelings and letting them know that others feel that way can be of great benefit.

Clarify feelings
Help them clarify just how the issue presents itself to them: defining the way the tragedy has affected them personally can be very confusing, but once they understand it, they can take steps toward healing themselves.

Take action
Help them set a goal for themselves and a plan to achieve it. Maybe they’d like to be with others to express their grief and feel connected with their own community through attending a vigil; or channel their feelings and thoughts to take action on the issues of school safety, mental health, or gun control. They could join like-minded people in working for these causes.

Seeking additional help
A part of their distress may arise from their own prior experience of tragedy or trauma. This recent event may have triggered unresolved feelings from their own childhood. Encourage them to seek a professional psychotherapist to aid them in resolving those issues.

For more information on Anna Ranieri and Joe Gurkoff, or the forthcoming book HOW CAN I HELP?, go to or contact Patsy Barich, Bon Mot PR, 415-596-5860.

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Patsy Barich
Bon Mot Public Relations & Marketing
(415) 596-5860
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