Michael Riley: How to Solve Our Family Trauma After Natural Disasters | All Together #22

In this episode, host Dina Sargeant is joined by Michael Riley, an experienced and accredited professional with a diverse background in family law, counseling, clinical supervision, couples therapy, and more!

The aftermath of natural disasters can be emotionally devastating. Addressing survivors’ emotional trauma, particularly those who have lost loved ones or suffered physical injuries during natural disasters, is challenging and requires a lot of time and effort.

This episode explores the importance of acknowledging the emotional trauma and long-term effects of natural disasters, emphasizing that each individual’s experience is unique, urging therapists to avoid judgment or comparisons, and encouraging group therapy after such disasters to foster mutual support.

Meet Michael Riley

Michael Riley is a versatile professional with a background in family law and workplace mediation, counseling, clinical supervision, couples therapy, coaching, MBC (Motivational-Based Change) specialization, juvenile justice consulting, group work facilitation, and training.

He’s also an expert in applying learned optimism to cope with grief, loss, anxiety, and depression. Michael adopts a structured approach to foster personal integrity, interpersonal growth, and emotional development.

About the episode

In this episode of All Together, Michael Riley defines family as a tight group of people who understand, support, and trust one another. It goes beyond size and transactional partnerships, delving deeper into emotional ties of connection and belonging.

Michael associates natural disasters with emotional trauma, explaining how such events can have adverse effects on people. He emphasizes the importance of family support during such times of strife, as the aftermath of natural disasters can induce issues.

According to Michael, it is important to understand how to deal with natural disaster trauma, as it can last for years, and its effect encompasses a family aspect that goes beyond physical and property damage. He necessitates raising awareness regarding such effects and understanding their long-term impact on the aggrieved people.

Michael asserts that therapists should treat each person’s story without imposing preconceived notions of their experience and emotions. He also states that experiencing a natural disaster can impact family relationships and dynamics. Michael encourages creating a safe space for open dialogue and allowing everyone to be heard and understood.

Michael discusses how to begin the healing process. He also asserts the importance of processing each family member’s experience and personal coping methods. Michael gives special attention to children, emphasizing the importance of incorporating positive memories of feeling safe during or after the disaster.

Michael explains Martin Seligman’s concept of learned optimism. He asserts that adopting such a concept can play a vital role in dealing with grief and loss after a disaster. Michael also highlights the vitality of teamwork and communication during times of strife.

Before moving on to the open mic sessions, Michael promotes the psychological benefits of helping others without expecting recognition. He also encourages adopting a group approach to foster mutual support and a systemic family dynamic.

In conclusion

This episode provides valuable insights based on personal experiences and professional expertise. It also offers a diversity of perspectives on family and its significance in the face of adversity.

As the episode wraps up, it leaves you with a deeper appreciation for your family’s role in your life and a better understanding of the importance of strong connections, trust, and support within your social network.

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