Instilling Hope and Resiliency: A Narrative Photo-Taking Intervention during an Intercultural Exchange Involving 9/11 Survivors in Post 3/11 Japan

Jacob Michael Lurie, Hazel Lever, Lucy Goodson, Daniel Jack Lyons, Robert T. Yanagisawa, Craig L. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

On March 11, 2011 ("3/11"), a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Northeastern Japan triggered a tsunami and nuclear power plant meltdown that killed 16,000 people and displaced more than 470,000 people. Since 2012, a group of volunteer docents from the September 11th Families Association in New York City has traveled throughout Northeastern Japan and held organized meetings where 9/11 and 3/11 survivors share their experiences and stories of trauma as part of an intercultural exchange to promote posttraumatic recovery. We sought to elucidate whether participating 9/11 docents developed a sense of increased resiliency by participating in this international outreach. This study employed photo-taking as well as framing questions, which were developed by 9/11 docents from the August 2016 trip. These questions guided photo-taking and resulting photographs informed discussion in individual and group sharing sessions. This process helped identify codes that guided analysis. Participants acquired a deeper appreciation of their own ability to overcome adversity and experienced a gratifying desire to help 3/11 survivors better cope with their experiences. This narrative photo-taking and group sharing experience demonstrates that a cross-cultural exchange between survivors of different disasters can instill feelings of resilience among participants. It additionally provides early evidence of the efficacy of such an exchange in benefitting disaster survivors in the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-497
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume208
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Resiliency
  • hope
  • recovery
  • trauma

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