Beyond the Reach of Ladders: My Story as a Therapist Forging Bonds with Firefighters in the Aftermath of 9/11 presents a truly unique perspective on the impact of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In it, psychoanalyst Elizabeth Goren chronicles what was a life-changing odyssey—for her and for the firefighters whom she counseled in the days, months, and years following 9/11.
Dr. Goren was assigned as a therapist to a downtown Manhattan firehouse that lost a number of its men on 9/11. In her book, she vividly describes the countless challenges—and rewards—of working with members of the FDNY who had always prided themselves on taking care of others and taking care of their own, but who, for the first time, were forced to accept outside help to help them cope with the enormity of the disaster. Heartfelt and unflinchingly honest, Beyond the Reach of Ladders takes us behind the scenes at a firehouse that was at the heart of the rescue effort in the therapy office. Her account of the raw time following the attacks provides us with fresh insight into the impact of events that have changed the world forever.
BEYOND THE REACH OF LADDERS
My Story as a Therapist Forging Bonds with Firefighters in the Aftermath of 9/11
Publication date: September 11, 2011
260 pages, $17.95 US/ £12.99 UK
Link to Amazon book page
Book's Q & A
Click here to read the Q&A with the author
"No other agency lost communications on Sept 11 as
broadly or to such devastating effect, as the Fire Department" New York Times
BEYOND THE REACH OF LADDERS presents a truly unique perspective on the impact of the terrorist attacks on September 11 2001 as its tenth anniversary is commemorated. In the book, author and psychoanalyst Elizabeth Goren chronicles the time she spent in the aftermath of 9/11 when, as a psychotherapist, she was assigned to a Manhattan fire station that was at the heart of the rescue effort, and had lost a number of its men on that day. The book chronicles what was a life-changing odyssey both for her, and for the firefighters whom she counselled in the days, months and years following 9/11.
Elizabeth Goren vividly describes the countless challenges, and the rewards, of working with members of the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) which had always prided itself on being able to take care of its own. It was the sheer scope of the disaster's effects that necessitated the FDNY accepting outside help for the first time in its history.
Elizabeth Goren had to persuade these men, accustomed to being helpers, to accept help themselves. Dr Goren was initially met with scepticism, discomfort and also a fear of what she represented. In order to break their resistance, Elizabeth Goren herself had to break some of the strict rules of psychotherapy that might have worked in her office, but not in a fire station.
In the first months after the attack the firemen had been held up as heroes - they were firmly in the in public spotlight and their dedication and persistence in the rescue operation was admired. Yet increasingly firefighters became alienated from the public as they began to lose their 'hero' glow. Their steadfast refusal to stop in the recovery operation, the losses, the limited success of the recovery effort and the continued terrorist threat was a reminder that America had been brought down by the unseen enemy of terrorism.
The author takes us behind the scenes, chronicling the raw time following the attacks and the roller coaster of emotions experienced by the firefighters and their therapist for many months, and years, after. The book provides a fresh insight into the impact of events that have changed the world forever, and is a reminder that these men are still dealing with its physical and mental after-effects to this day.
ELIZABETH GOREN is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice. She is adjunct clinical professor at New York University and Pace University, where she teaches and supervises psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and trauma studies. She lives and works in New York.
Click here to watch the video on Vimeo
Interviews and Appearances
August 31, 7:00 pm
Democrats Aboad, London UK
Panel discussion "Ten years on: Reflections on 9/11"
September 1, 8:00 am
BBC Radio, UK
Live interview with Jeremy Vine
To listen to the podcast please go to www.bbc.co.uk/radio2, click Jeremy Vine
September 5, 7:18 am
Wake Up Lake County/WELW-AM, Willoughby, OH
September 5, air time tba
Here and Now/WBUR-FM, Boston
Interview with Robin Young
September 5, air time tba
Lincoln Live/KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska
Interview with Dale Johnson
To listen to the podcast please go to www.kfor1240.com, click Lincoln Live
September 7, starts at 7:00 pm
Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to The Holocaust
36 Battery Place, NYC, NY
Panel discussion "Trauma's Afterlife: Remembering 9/11" followed by book signing.
September 9, 4:00 pm
All Things Considered/NPR
Interview as part of 9/11 series on "The Old Normal"
Shalom TV: National Jewish Television
Video will be available on demand starting September 4
Interview will air in November when cable channel goes live 24/7
September 17, starts at 5:30 pm
4869 Main Street (Rte. 7A), Manchester, Vermont
Reading and book signing