Perhaps it has always been this way. But it seems that we have been inundated with disasters – both man-made and natural – recently. Japan; New Zealand; Haiti. In each case, our TV screens are filled with images of rescue workers. Countless aid agencies are active, from Save the Children to the medical wing of the Israeli Army, delivering essential humanitarian aid. But what about the psychological damage?
This is where Dr James Gordon, a 69-year-old psychiatrist from Washington DC fits in. Gordon is a big man with a flashing smile and something of the evangelist about him. His medical credentials are impressive: Harvard and the National Institute of Mental Health, a former adviser to Presidents Carter and Clinton. But he is also an expert in alternative medicine. In 1991, he founded the Centre for Mind-Body Medicine, which “combines the precision of modern science with the wisdom of the world’s healing traditions”. And he has made it his mission to work in disaster zones.