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About Assembly

Assembly Logo for websiteGiven the increasing climate of war, terrorism and natural disasters, and the associated paralysing effects of fear in the face of trauma, Dr. Pamela Ryan initiated an unprecedented International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror.

On August 19, 20 and 21, 2004, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, therapists, and academic experts on fear, terror and trauma therapy from around the world came together in Austin, Texas for the first “International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror”. The Assembly was convened by Issues Deliberation America / Australia, in collaboration with the University of Texas and the University of South Australia.

The aim of the International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror was to initiate international dialogue among experts on the topic from around the world – in order to develop strategies for combating international, national and local fear and terror. The findings from this first International Assembly will be published in formats that will facilitate dissemination of a “Menu of Strategies” to combat the negative and paralysing effects of fear and terror. The findings will be disseminated to the general public in multiple countries, and to a diverse array of governments and organizations around the world responsible for the mental well being of people, communities and nations who are suffering the consequences of the psychology of fear and terror. The Assembly was not intended to be a political event; rather an international collaborative problem-solving venture for the benefit of people everywhere, regardless of nationality, who find themselves paralysed by fear.

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Delegates included outstanding psychologists, social workers, sociologists, therapists and academic experts from all over the world and all levels of the community, many of whom have dealt with, and managed living with terrorism in their own countries. It was truly a unique coming together of practitioner and academic experts in a spirit of international, multidisciplinary and non-partisan collaborative problem solving. Experts attended from the USA, Israel, Iran, Palestine, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Germany and Canada. Organisations represented included: hospitals, clergy, community centres, disaster response groups, educational institutions, a diverse array of therapies, government agencies and academia.

During the course of the Assembly many delegates indicated a desire to continue dialogue and collaboration with those they met. Five general themes were decided upon for people to pursue. These mirror the main themes from the Assembly:

– Managing the response to victims of direct exposure to terrorist act
– Managing the response to victims of indirect exposure to terrorist act
– Managing the anticipation of terrorist act
– Helping the children
– General implications

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For participant information at the 2004 International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror, click below: