Bravo Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus for reaching out to the world via video. We are all so very happy to hear from you and so proud of you. We know that it has been only two months since you have escaped the torture of your kidnapping in Ohio.
As a psychologist, I speak from my heart and my experience when I wish you all a successful recovery. Here is what you will need as you face a lengthy and bumpy road ahead. By the way, it is my experience that the human condition is to be very resilient. The three of you appear to be a testament to that.
I am asked constantly if trauma survivors can live a normal life. I always have a difficult time with that question because I am not sure what normal means. I do, however, believe that trauma survivors can have meaningful and important lives and that is about as much as any of us can ever hope for- traumatized or not.
In order to recover and move on trauma survivors need:
1. To catch up emotionally and developmentally.
2. A great deal of social support and social scaffolding including family, friends and therapy.
3. Education about how the world has changed.
With these supports in place the three young women should be able to gradually be able to move on to develop meaningful lives and meaningful relationships. I wish them all the best as they face life with hope and strength.