Expert psychologist warned: earthquake victims should not receive psychotherapy for the first two months

More than 44 thousand civilians died under the dents that occurred in 11 provinces in the major earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş. While thousands of people were injured by the debris, many civilians were left homeless and placed in container and tent cities. Psychosocial support was started for the relatives of the civilians who lost their lives and the civilians who experienced the earthquake. Specialist psychologist Tülinay Seçkin evaluated that earthquake victims should not receive psychotherapy for the first two months.

Seçkin recalled that earthquake survivors receiving psychotherapy may be worse, underlining that natural disaster trauma has short-term emotions in the acute process and therapies should be started 2 months later. Seçkin said: “Why is psychotherapy not applied to earthquake victims in the first 2 months, because we call it the acute process, because such traumas can heal spontaneously for a short time in natural disasters. The effect may decrease spontaneously, there are dangers that can do more harm than good in the first two months. It is our primary duty to do no harm, which is why we do not recommend psychotherapy. He does not need psychotherapy if his feelings subside within two months. Stay away from those who say they do psychotherapy for the first two months.”

“It’s very important for them to be in an environment where they can see compassion”

Psychologist Seçkin stated that it is very important for earthquake victims to be in environments where they can feel compassion during this process, saying that the reactions shown were normal. Seçkin said: “We are going through difficult processes as we as a country are experiencing a major disaster and an extraordinary situation. As adults, children, and teens, we can react psychologically. In this process, we see that situations such as nightmares, awakenings, insomnia, shock reactions, increased anxiety and stress, especially in children, are associated with arousal and hyperactive overactivity,” he said.

“Actually, these are all very normal reactions because it’s a traumatic process,” Seçkin said. In this process, we say that it is very important for them to be in an environment where their feelings can be understood and compassionate. ” he said .

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