Using Image to Document Adjustments in the Trauma Recovery Process
This month’s “interactive tool” pick features both a slideshow and a video of one person’s physical and emotional journey toward healing in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Ryan McMahon was watching the race from the stands when the bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 280 others, changed the course of her fate. She had already been pursuing a career in the arts and thus turned to photography and videography to document and add a sense of control over her recovery and its effects on herself and her loved ones.
There’s an article that accompanies the slideshow and video, and it helps explain some of the intimate images. Without the article, it would be hard to decipher the significance of the back brace scene and the hairnet scene, both of which occur about halfway through the 12-minute video called “You’re OK”. (In fact, you’ll have to scroll through the article to find the video!) “You’re OK” requires adjustments to the volume at various points, but that’s fitting for the primary point of the video: adjustments. The days, weeks, and months since the bombings have amounted to a series of adjustments for many people, including Ryan McMahon. She was selfless enough to capture her adjustments via image and share them with the rest of us when she could have withdrawn instead. Thank you, Ryan, for inspiring trauma survivors and the therapists who support them.
With appreciation for the important work you do,
Megan February 2014