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Article   |    
Social Issues in the Management of Released Hostages
David R. McDuff
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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department of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, 645 West Redwood Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Mental health clinicians have assumed a more important role in the release of individuals held hostage by international terrorists. The author uses his experiences during three hostage releases in the late 1980s-the Achille Lauro incident, the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, and the release of a single hostage from Beirut-to illustrate important factors in managing victims. He describes an intervention model that emphasizes the importance of creating a healing social environment immediately after release. Such an environment encourages strong cohesiveness within the victim group, isolates the victims from external groups, promotes abreaction, and provides an opportunity f or rest and replenishment. Interventions are made to restore a sense of power to the victims and to reduce their feelings of isolation and helplessness and of being dominated by the terrorists.

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Social issues in the management of released hostages. Hosp Community Psychiatry 1992;43(8):825-8.