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9 Tips for Coping with the NYC Terror Attack

 In the wake of the terror attack in New York City, in which an ISIS devotee driving a rented truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on the street, killing 8 people before crashing into a school bus and injuring two other adults and two children. Called the “deadliest terror attack since 9/11,” the tragedy triggers emotional reactions that can run high and disrupt your life and relationships.

Here’s how to cope:

 Talk about fears. These are escalated now, since “new” weapons of terrorists are common items like knives and vehicles rather than guns or suicide vests, and new targets are “soft” – meaning normal people in daily activities -- rather than high profile American symbols like the Twin Towers or the Capital. Best practices in psychology counsel to feel the fear and adjust to a “new normal,” to prevent fears leading to phobias about daily activities. Don’t obsess about thoughts that since the NYC terrorist rammed into bikers and a school bus injuring children and adults inside, that it could happen to you.

• Direct anger where it belongs. Get mad at the terrorists, to avoid the typical psychological tendency to project aggression at people at home or work.  Partners should especially share reactions and accept any differences in their ways of coping to prevent arguments.

* Uncover associations to your past. Publicized victimizations can trigger repressed memories of times you were mistreated, even decades ago, as outlined in a report in the American Psychologist. Process this old experience and separate it from the present.

• Notice prejudices and xenophobia.  These can triggered by the NYC terrorist shouting, "God is Great" in Arabic. Be kind to Muslims and whoever the “other” is to you. 

• Pay particular attention to children.  Since youngsters can be exposed to the attack on social media or from schoolmates, prevent their spreading myths and fears, by talking to them about the event. Child developmental psychology indicates this is the time to give extra comforting and notice changes in their behavior.  

• Accept reality. There is no absolute safety or perfect protection for you and your children. Indeed, as teens who watched the NYC terrorist from their Stuyvesant High School windows said, “We’ve lost our innocence.” Officials wisely advise “Be vigilant”
 and “If you see something, say something.” But, take breaks from being “on guard” to reduce stress. Measurement of the psychological principle of “locus of control” shows that even people who feel “captain of their fate” may accept that destiny plays a role; after all, you can simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also, trust authorities; they have averted other threats.

• Learn about terrorists and terrorism. Terrorists can be religious extremists and/or be socially and mentally maladjusted. Don’t generalize. Educate yourself about the ideology of radical extremism, foreign fighters, “lone wolves,” and abusive use of the internet. These aspects are outlined in the newly released book, “A New Counter-Terrorism Strategy: Why the World Failed to Stop Al-Qaeda And ISIL/ISIS And How To Defeat Terrorists Now” (ABC-CLIO, 2017) by former Ambassador of Iraq to the UN, Hamid Al-Bayati. For example, a “lone wolf” is a misnomer, even a terrorist who acts alone usually has extremist contacts. Older methods of terrorism used WMDs – weapons of mass destruction – but newer tactics use “Weapons of Mass Psychological Destruction” that aim to erode our emotions, as explained by psychologist Dr. Larry James in his book with that title.

• Consider activism. Action reduces anxiety and increases a sense of control.  Put pressure on congressional leaders to prioritize public safety and on social media companies to stop terrorists’ abuse of technology. Participate in a local media campaign, and encourage schools to educate youth about terrorism.  

• Reexamine your philosophy of life. It’s normal to have an existential crisis about the purpose of life but don’t lose faith. Terrorists won’t win when you get on with your life, as New Yorkers did celebrating Halloween and enjoying the city’s weekend marathon. Be resilient: when knocked down, get back up. Terror attacks are tragic but not a reason to give up on life, hope and believing in others. 




Friendship & the Rise of "Temple of the Souls"

Why are Dr. Judy Kuriansky and Reporter Jane Valez-Mitchell teaming up?
The two longtime friends are connected in many ways to the play and its themes: Friendship and Family.
Jane and Dr. Judy have been fast friends since 1982 when they were both reporters at WCBS-TV in New York, with ongoing illustrious media careers and interests and expertise in relationships.
From their days at Channel 2 News together, Jane Velez-Mitchell went on to host many shows including on HLN-TV, “Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell” having previously worked as a fill-in host for Nancy Grace.  An advocate for social justice and human rights, she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in 2010 for outstanding TV Journalism.  Her top-rated books include  “iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life” chronicling her journey overcoming alcohol addiction; “Addict Nation: An Intervention for America”; and “Secrets Can Be Murder: The Killer Next Door” about sensational trials that she has covered over her stellar journalism career; and “Exposed: the Secret Life of Jodie Arias.”  She is now an avid advocate for animal rights.
Dr. Judy Kuriansky went on to host the wildly popular radio call-in advice show, Lovephones, aired on the top-rated Z100 radio station, with rock stars adding their sex advice, and then to become a United Nations advisor to an African government and run two NGOs to the UN, where she, like Jane, also advocated – to successfully get mental health and well-being included in the new UN agenda for the first time; and also to become a professor at Columbia University Teachers College, and to criss-cross the world providing disaster relief after earthquakes in Haiti, China and Japan, hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Superstorm Sandy in NY.  Her theatre interests date back to 3rd grade when she was given the role of Queen in her 3rd grade play.
The background collaboration story of Temple of the Souls is rooted in a family history of the writers: Jane is the daughter of story creator Anita Velez-Mitchell and the aunt co-book writers of sisters Lorca Peress and Anika Paris. Their mother is an award-winning poet Gloria Vando and their father is music conductor and author Maurice Peress. Lorca and Anika's maternal grandparents, Anita Velez-Mitchell and Erasmo Vando have their life's work archived in the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College.
Dr. Judy and Jane are available to speak to you about their involvement in the show and their feelings on friendship and family, and thee topics of their career, getting over addictions, and controversial celebrity trials today (for example, Bill Cosby, for which Dr. Judy gave psychological opinion for a TV special, “Bill Cosby: An American Scandal”.

Don't miss this great opportunity to come enjoy this amazing musical!
For tickets, contact http://www.nymf.org/festival/2017-events/temple-souls/ or call 212-352-3101. Press 


The Reason Why You Should Go See "Temple of the Souls"

Popular Sex Therapist and UN Advisor, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, is the Executive Producer of the upcoming world premiere musical Temple of the Souls at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF).


"The virtual extinction of the native Taíno people by Spanish colonizers in 16th-century Puerto Rico serves as the background for the new musical, Temple of the Souls... Using a "Romeo and Juliet" love affair between a Taíno man and the daughter of a conquistador to depict the tragic consequences of that cultural collision.” (Backstage)


The theme of cultural-divide in Temple of the Souls – with the Taíno natives persecuted by the conquering Spaniards -- is a passion of Dr. Judy's as she has produced multiple events at the UN, such as the “World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” and “Interfaith Harmony Week,” as well as her books on the Middle East crisis, including “Terror in the Holy Land” and “Beyond Bullets and Bombs,” and her work for peace, in her “Stand Up for Peace Project” and “Global Kids Connect Project.”


In the play, set in the 16th Century Puerto Rico, the lovers, Guario, a young Taíno runaway, and Amada, the daughter of a Spanish Conquistador, meet by chance during a raucous Fiesta, but their union is thwarted by the intolerant world around them. The star-crossed lovers escape to the Temple of the Souls, to blend their two worlds with their forbidden love stronger than death. 


The theme of cultural divide is exceptionally relevant in today’s world.  Says, psychologist Kuriansky, a professor at Columbia University, who is popularly known as “Dr. Judy” from her years giving top-rated call-in advice on the radio, “The success of this romance is imperative to show the world today about the power of blending culture and race, and in turn, to decrease hatred and increase social tolerance and peace.  This is the hope for our present and future.”  


Dr. Judy is available to talk about her involvement in the play and her expertise on the subject of cultural differences.


For tickets, contact http://www.nymf.org/festival/2017-events/temple-souls/ or call 212-352-3101.




Proudly Presents "Temple of the Souls"

History repeats itself, an unfortunate truth when it comes to the persecution of people from certain cultures, whether it is the siege of Masada, the Holocaust, the Puerto Rican Taínos, or today’s crisis in Syria and the Middle East.
Popular clinical psychologist, radio and TV personality and United Nations NGO representative, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, is the Executive Producer of the upcoming world premiere musical Temple of the Souls at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF), a love story that deals with the theme of cultural persecution – when the Taíno natives in the 1600s were victimized by the conquering Spaniards and leapt to their deaths off El Yunque rainforest cliffs rather than be enslaved, much like the Jewish people who jumped to their deaths from the Masada plateau rather than be massacred by the Romans in 35 BC.  Cultural understanding is a passion of Dr. Judy, given that she has produced multiple events at the UN, including the “World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” and “Interfaith Harmony Week,” has written two books on the Middle East crisis, including “Terror in the Holy Land” and “Beyond Bullets and Bombs,” and done symposia and concerts for peace through her “Stand Up for Peace Project” and “Global Kids Connect Project.”
Interestingly, Temple of the Souls is created by sisters Anika Paris and Lorca Peress, who are half Jewish. On their Polish side, members of their family lost their lives in the Holocaust, and on their Puerto Rican side, they were victims of the Taíno struggle. Paris states, "We have this type of discrimination in our history on both sides and are extremely passionate about it, as well as the fact that it is so poignant and relevant in today’s political climate." 
“The Romeo-and-Juliet theme in Temple of the Souls reminds us of the importance of resolving world conflicts so that love can survive and heal the world,” adds Dr. Judy.
Dr. Judy, Paris, and Peress are all available to speak to you about the play and their expertise and experience about cultural diversity and victimization.  I've enclosed the press release for your perusal, and look forward to speaking to you about this unique  story angle and exceptional play, being performed July 19-23.
Catch limited performances at festival. For tickets, contact http://www.nymf.org/festival/2017-events/temple-souls/ or call 212-352-3101. 



Temple of the Souls - the MUST SEE musical !

Are Romeo and Juliet dead?  No! Forbidden love is alive and well this summer on stage in a mystical rainforest in an exciting must-see
musical, Temple of the Souls, that enchantingly portrays the fate of star-crossed lovers, a native Puerto-Rican Taíno youth and the daughter
 of a conquistador, that depicts “the tragic consequences of that cultural collision” (Backstage).

Noted relationship and love expert, author, and TV and radio personality Dr. Judy Kuriansky, is the Executive Producer of this West Side Story-type love affair, this July at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF).
Why is Dr. Judy supporting Temple of the Souls so wholeheartedly?  As a famous relationship expert, the star-crossed lovers/Romeo and Juliet-theme of Temple of the Souls is her expertise, evidenced in her giving advice to thousands on her popular call-in radio show “LovePhones” and in her many books, “The Complete Idiots Guide to Dating” and “The Complete Idiots Guide to A Healthy Relationship.”
“Falling in love from different ethnic, racial, age, or socio-economic backgrounds is more common today,” says Dr. Judy. “But couples still have to bridge their gaps and understand each other to make love last.”
Dr. Judy is available to speak about her involvement in the show and her expertise on the subject of love and forbidden love, and trends in choosing partners today:
·       Are the Romeo and Juliet-type relationships alive today for real couples?
·       Are more singles choosing partners of clashing cultures or backgrounds?
·       What differences are easiest or hardest to cope with for couples?
·       What do culture-clash couples have to do to make their relationship work?
·       What blocks and objections do culture-clash couples face today?
·       What are the 5 secrets to compatibility in a relationship?
·       What can we learn from this play and star-crossed love that will help heal the divides that exist in our   culture today?

For tickets, contact http://www.nymf.org/festival/2017-events/temple-souls/ or call 212-352-3101. Press contact: Katie Rosin Katie@Kampfirefilmspr.com, or 917-562-5670



Artificial Intelligence & Technology Tools for Mental Health, Well-being, and Resilience


WHO World Health Day 2017 - Youth and Mental Health


UN Event: Promoting Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing as a strategy for Social Integration and Poverty Eradication: Voices from the Field (7 February)


Youth and Mental Health: Youth and United Nations Ambassadors Speak Out (full version)


Youth and Mental Health: Young People and United Nations Ambassadors Speak Out (short version)