UB Psychiatry Professor on MSD Student's Emotions

LISTEN: Dr. Stephen Dubovsky on importance of counseling

Mike Baggerman
February 15, 2018 - 11:44 am

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are feeling a mixed-bag of emotions ranging from relief, stress, guilt, and more, according to University at Buffalo Professor and Psychiatry Department Chairman Dr. Stephen Dubovsky.

"A lot of people feel like they're in danger," he said. "Like the danger is not over yet. That feeling of being in danger can persist for quite a while even though there is in fact no physical danger."

Seventeen people were murdered in Wednesday's mass shooting caused by a former student at the Parkland, Florida high school. The suspect was taken into custody without incident on Wednesday and charged with 17 counts of pre-meditated murder.

The school has been shut down indefinitely as police continue their investigation.

For now, counseling services are available for those affected. Dubovsky explained certain techniques during the counseling will be effective in helping the individuals.

"(Counselors need to) emphasize that the situation is now safe," he said. "The second thing that is important is an element of exposure, that is that you review the event and you may go back to the school sooner rather than later so as to not become phobic of the school."

An ineffective technique that Dubovsky explained is the "Critical Incident Stress Debriefing" where a therapist sits with a group of people to talk about the experience and then gives them advice on how to cope.

LISTEN: Dr. Stephen Dubovsky explains trauma in Florida in shooting aftermath


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