Ochberg Fellows Conclude Week at Columbia

On January 22, the 2017 Ochberg Fellows concluded an intense week of seminars and conversations on trauma science, journalism craft and ethics around covering violence, conflict and trauma. The fellows, representing eight countries and five continents, met with luminaries in the trauma field including Steven Southwick M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Yale Medical School and an expert on psychological and neurobiological effects of extreme psychological trauma, and Frank Ochberg, a founding board member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and Chairman Emeritus of the Dart Center, after whom the Fellowship is named. Other seminars were led by award-winning journalists, researchers and clinicians.

Fellows shared their experiences with the Dart Center at the conclusion of the program, and we've included a selection here:

"I was most touched by the personal stories fellows shared about their own personal trauma. Often times I work with many people that I know very little about. I will remember to not only ask questions to those we interview, but also my own colleagues that I share long hours and difficult experiences with."

"I discovered that I am not alone. That some of us share the same feelings about the way we work, we relate to our organizations and to the people portrayed in our journalism. That listening to peers could be the most grateful therapy to understand yourself."

"Better understanding the complex science behind trauma - how it works in the journalist and in our subjects - is beyond invaluable for the work I'll be doing going forward. I know I will be a better interviewer, writer and editor because of it."

"The discussions gave us a deeper insight into what we do and why we do it. It was a great privilege to be given the opportunity to stop and take stock."