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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 05/17/2008 01:07 PM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 05/17/2008 03:57 PM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM

"Dealing With Emotional Reactions From the Calaveras Carnival Ride Accident"~By Michael McCratic, MFT, BCETS

When I heard about the carnival ride accident at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds, many emotions arose and many things went through my head. At first I was shocked and angry and I hurt for the kids involved, their parents, the onlookers, people in the community and even the ride operators themselves. I also had many questions, especially hoping that no one I knew personally was hurt. How could a tragedy like this ever happen? .....

What are some of the thoughts and feelings that you or someone you know are experiencing due to this accident? The following list is expected emotional reactions to an event like this. See if any of these reactions fit for you.

1.Anger? 9. Powerless ? 17. Difficulty Sleeping?
2.Frustration? 10. Self Doubt? 18. Feeling Jumpy?
3.Irritability? 11. Isolation ? 19. Numbness?
4.Worry? 12. Inadequate? 20. Flashbacks?
5.Fear? 13. Insecure ? 21. Nightmares?
6.Anxiety? 14. Not Safe? 22. Inability to concentrate?
7.Feeling out of control 15. In Danger? 23. Inability to get thetragic
8.Helpless? 16. Forgetfullness? picture out of your head?

THESE REACTIONS ARE GENERALLY TEMPORARY: They can very widely from one day to the next. Don’t be alarmed by the re-emergence of these emotional reactions days, weeks, or months later, especially if you have been performing necessary tasks and have not dealt sufficiently with these ongoing emotions. If these reactions persist or cause you discomfort , you should contact a therapist who specializes in dealing with Traumatic events.


1.Don’t push thoughts, feeling or memories of the event away. It is critical to experience these for adequate healing. It is also critical to talk about them. Talk with supportive listeners about your role , experiences, thoughts, and feelings.

2.Don’t be embarrassed by your repetitious need to talk to people.

3.Plan extra time to usual tasks. You may be distracted and not able to function as efficiently as usual.

4.Keep your life in balance. Get plenty of SLEEP, EAT SMART, AND EXERCISE REGULARLY. Balance your work with rest. Avoid new many projects in life. Keep a familiar routine with familiar people and surroundings. Give yourself a break.

5.Understand that this impact has had on you. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to understand how this event has impacted your life; for example, “I’m not safe”, “I’m insecure”, “ I’m in danger”, I’m afraid”, “ Something else bad is going to happen”, “I’m out of control”, “ I’m helpless”, “I’m powerless”,
“ I’m trapped”, “ There is nothing I can do”, “ I’m responsible somehow”, “I should have protected my child”, “ I’m to blame”, “If only I had…”, “ I’m inadequate, incompetent, stupid . “ I’m a bad parent”, and or “I’m not good enough”.


If a gradual reduction in these emotional reactions does not occur, or if you’re experiencing difficulty with the above self-help techniques, you should contact a specialist.

Michael McCratic, MFT, BCETS, Trauma Specialist is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 23 years experience. One of his passions is with those struggling with a the devastating effects of trauma in their current or past trauma in their lives. He has advanced training in “Critical Incident Stress Debriefing”. He is also an Approved Consultant and Senior Facilitator in EMDR - Trauma Resolution. This is a treatment model for the accelerated resolution of traumatic / upsetting experience. He MAINTAINS A PRIVATE PRACTICE IN MURPHYS AND IS THE DIRECTOR OF TRINITY LIFE SOLUTIONS IN PLEASANTON, CA. To contact Michael or receive a free article on stress recovery guidelines, please call
209 728 9118 or e-mail him at
Office address in Murphy’s is : 366 Main Street, Murphy’s, Ca.

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