With a focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic, trauma expert Dr. Bruce D. Perry has made a series of short (20 min) videos. He explains stress, distress and how the pattern of stress can determine whether stress is destructive (sensitizing) or positive (resilience building).
I think these videos might be helpful to anyone - and to organizations - as we all deal with increased stress.
My husband and I are watching and discussing these with our 13-year-old grandson (sharing our screen on video calls) It's a good way to reflect on the current situation and think of examples from the past, both personal and societal. Also a great way to increase understanding and empathy for others whose past overload of stressful experiences makes the current situation especially difficult.
A few examples from our discussion about Episode 2 (which includes a discussion about organizational and governmental responses to stress):
- Our grandson talked about how stressed he was at the start of his first ride in a helicopter, and how he felt his body and brain change as he got over the initial panic.
- My husband described his experience with computer crashes as a member of an IT team for a major newspaper, how important it was to be on a team of people who could listen to each other and stay calm in the midst of the high stress.
- We talked about how our nation panicked during WWII - putting Japanese Americans in detention camps and pulling those with Eastern European backgrounds out of sensitive work (this happened to my father, who was in the Army).
Watch Dr. Perry's series of videos: Stress and Resilience.