Disasters, psychiatry, and psychodynamics

Craig L. Katz, Roger Nathaniel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The unique experience of Disaster Psychiatry Outreach, a voluntary organization devoted to providing psychiatric assistance to people affected by disasters, provides a valuable substrate for exploring the role of psychodynamics in the human experience of disaster and trauma. This article offers a theoretical framework for such an experience that takes into account personal meaning, ego psychology and defenses, and grief work and suggests how to employ this framework in the setting of a disaster by way of examples from the events of Sept. 11. A useful clinical construct for future disaster work known as the "trauma tent" is ultimately proposed, as are novel applications of psychodynamics toward the prevention and mitigation of manmade and natural disasters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-529
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Disaster
  • Grief
  • Psychodynamics
  • Trauma


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