FullSizeRenderIn this New York Times article http://nyti.ms/1NkMy5l journalist Katie Rogers asks Columbia psychologist Dr. Anne Marie Albano how to manage terrorism fears. Dr. Albano suggests that we refute fears with facts, limit media exposure, maintain routine, have an emergency plan in place, breathe and go about our lives.

There are a couple of other methods. Understanding how authorities are successfully retaliating against terrorists can conjure a greater sense of security as”Identification with the aggressor” (a psychological defense) can help individuals feel less vulnerable. Recalling good versus evil battles in history  –when people or countries mobilized, conquered and won an important moral victory– can move thoughts to a more hopeful place. Studies show that solace can be gleaned by a conscious alternation of perspective or a Mind Shift. When we are able to change our thoughts at will, we can feel better.

Another idea is to use imagination for empowerment.  Thinking of the“ better angel” of your nature (to quote Abraham Lincoln) as warrior can help when there is a good versus evil struggle  or when one is called to rise up from crippling fear.  Determination trumps decompensation  when it involves a higher purpose or helping other people (we are motivated by caring.)  Visualization, imagery, empathy, and moral strength are therapeutic devices employed in this latter technique.

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