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CAPTP Lecture: Helping Newtown: Reopening an Elementary School in the Aftermath of Tragedy

Date: Nov 28, 2018 8:00 pm

The Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Society

of the Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program




Wednesday November 28, 2018

8:00 pm to 9:30 pm



Helping Newtown: Reopening an Elementary School in the Aftermath of Tragedy


Presenter:  George Hagman, LCSW


Four days after the Sandy Hook tragedy, the schools of Newtown reopened.  This paper describes Mr. Hagman’s work as a leader of a mental health team which supported the students, teachers, and parents in one elementary school. The goal was not just to restore the school system in its educational role, but also to sustain it as a source of psychological and emotional support. The team provided whatever was needed in the way of clinical and supportive assistance to help them get through the first school days and begin the recovery process. Mr. Hagman will describe the step-by-step process by which clinical and supportive services were developed and provided. Specific issues related to managing anxiety in an institution are addressed and the special psychological demands on teaching staff are highlighted. The importance of a responsive empathic approach broadly applied and attuned to individual needs is emphasized.


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George Hagman, LCSW was a manager/clinician at the Greater Bridgeport Community Mental Health; he was also the co-team leader of the Disaster Behavioral Health Relief Network for Fairfield County which was mobilized in response to the Newtown shootings. He is a graduate of the Columbia Social of Social Work and the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. Mr. Hagman is a faculty member/supervisor at the Training and Research Institute for Intersubjective Self Psychology and the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.  He is a clinical social worker and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut. He is also the author of many published papers and several books, most recently Creative Analysis: Art, Creativity and Clinical Process, Routledge (2015) and New Models of Bereavement Theory and Treatment: New Mourning (2016), and is the general editor of a new series, the “Art, Creativity and Psychoanalysis Book Series” with 10 volumes in preparation.




Refreshments to Follow