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Fall Journal

Volume 27, Issue 4

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Individual And Organizational Recovery From Crisis

Written by  Nancy Green, MSW, MS November 22, 2007

People who successfully overcome personal crises can grow to function better than before. Significant predictors are their coping mechanisms prior to the event and the support received as a consequence. Similarly, organizations, when faced with a crisis have been known to change into organizations that are stronger and sometimes better. Such transformation does not just happen. It requires leadership and a demonstrated concern for those affected. As a result of Sept. 11, 2001, many New York businesses faced extinction due to loss of life and property. Two brokerage firms, Cantor Fitzgerald and Sandler O’Neill, were among the hardest hit. But like individuals successfully emerging from tragedy, these companies have been steadily crawling back. In both individuals and organizations, the will to survive, an ability to take in support, and the coping structures already in place prior to the tragedy will contribute to such a recovery. Judith Herman, M.D., noted trauma expert at

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