Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background

HOW WE CAN HELP


COUNSELING FOR KIDNAPPED VICTIMS

RECOVERY AHEAD FOR KIDNAPPED VICTIMS

Freedom almost always brings a sense of elation and relief. However, adjusting back to the real world after being kidnap can be just as difficult as abruptly leaving it. Upon release, many kidnapped survivors are faced with transitioning from conditions of isolation and helplessness to sensory overload and freedom. This transition often results in significant adjustment difficulties.

Kidnapped survivors can experience stress reactions. Typical reactions occur in:

  • Thinking: Intrusive thoughts, denial, impaired memory, decreased concentration, being overcautious and aware, confusion or fear of the event happening again.
  • Emotions: Shock, numbness, anxiety, guilt, depression, anger and a sense of helplessness.
  • Interactions: Withdrawal and avoidance of family, friends, activities and being on edge.

Such reactions to an extremely stressful event are understandable and normal. These are typical responses and generally decrease after a period of time. It is common for people's reactions to vary from one individual to another.

When kidnap victims are released, it is essential for them to:

  • Receive medical attention.
  • Be in a safe and secure environment.
  • Connect with loved ones.
  • Have an opportunity to talk or journal their experience if and when they choose.
  • Protect their privacy (e.g. avoid media overexposure including watching and listening to news and participating in media interviews).
  • Take time to adjust back into family and work.

Family and friends can support survivors by listening, being patient and focusing on their freedom instead of engaging in negative talk about the captors.

It is important to realize that families and friends of kidnap victims are confronted with numerous issues in coping with fears and uncertainties as well and may also need support in dealing with their own emotional reactions.

Recovery and the future

Released kidnap victims need time to recover from the physical, mental and emotional difficulties they faced. However, it is important to keep in mind that human beings are highly resilient and can persevere in spite of tragedy. Research shows that positive growth and resilience can occur following trauma.

If there are chronic indications of stress, continued feelings of numbness, disturbed sleep, as well as other signs, the kidnap victim might want to consider seeking help from a licensed mental health professional.  

WOODLANDS COUNSELING CENTER can help you develop
an appropriate strategy for moving forward.

PLEASE COME PREPARED

Download form with the link below and complete it before you arrive to your appointment.
PDF-button
Thank you.