From the Blog: One True Thing

Psychoanalyst Robin Stern and Project Rebirth | Psychology Today | by Jennifer Haupt

Life’s questions, big and small.

Survivors of 9/11 talk about overcoming tragedy and grief.
Published on September 8, 2011 by Jennifer Haupt in One True Thing

In Project Rebirth, a psychologist and a journalist examine the lives of nine people who were directly affected by the events of September 11, 2001. This collection of in-depth stories brings up questions and answers about how people react in the face of crippling grief, and how they rebuild their lives with hope, and amazing strength. Here’s more from psychoanalyst Robin Stern:

Jennifer Haupt: Tell me about this insightful collection of
stories that you and Courtney Martin put together.

Robin Stern: Project Rebirth is a companion piece to the movie Rebirth — and, stands on its own as a book showcasing the strength of the human spirit, resilience and hope. While the movie follows the lives of five people, Courtney and I were privileged to tell the story of eight people.

The movie has the backdrop of the rebuilding of the site; the book, on the other hand, weaves in the most current thinking from psychoanalysts, research psychologists and grief and loss experts about what has been newly discovered about grief, trauma, and resilience in recent years. While our stories do overlap with the movie, they are unique in their structure and narrative arc; naturally, we were able to include more details, more personal stories and recounting of defining moments from the survivors’ lives. It is exciting that these stories can be told through two different, meaningful and creative lenses.

JH: How this is a book about resilience and hope?

RS: Each chapter tells the story of one person who was directly affected by 9/11. Courtney and I had the extraordinary opportunity to draw on the footage, as well as interview all the subjects in the book, this past year, as we were writing. In their evolution and recovery we see the process of resilience at work, and we see moments and seasons of despair turn into hope for a new life and new future.

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