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Article   |    
Mental Health Consultation to a Preschool Following the Murder of a Mother and Child
Spencer Eth; Suzanne Silverstein; Robert S. Pynoos
Psychiatric Services 1985; doi:
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The West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center, The Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles

The Thalians Community Mental Health Center of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles

The UCLA-Neuropsychiatric Institute

1985 American Psychiatric Association

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The murder of a five-year-old boy and his mother disrupted the entire small community of the preschool he had attended. A two-stage mental health intervention consisting of separate group sessions with the preschoolers, teachers, and parents was initiated to help them work through their grief and fear and to reverse their increasing isolation from one another. The reassuring presence of adults who were not struggling with the crisis and the creation of a supportive milieu relieved the children's anxiety, enabling them to discuss their fears and fantasies about the deaths, and alleviated the anxious mistrust and sense of lost personal security of the teachers and parents. The teachers were able to resume their professional functioning, and the parents were better able to assist their affected children.

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