Rituals that helped heal a nation after a terror attack
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHawke, A.O. & Ness, O. (2017). Rituals that helped heal a nation after a terror attack. Scandinavian Psychologist, 4: e6, . doi: 10.15714/scandpsychol.4.e6
In this article, the authors describe rituals that helped the Norwegian society heal after a terror attack. Through a brief review of the international research literature and a qualitative document analysis of Norwegian newspaper articles and an Internet news site, we identified a list of rituals that were organized spontaneously in response to a deadly terror attack in Norway on the 22nd July 2011 this tragedy. We divided the rituals into six overarching groups that emphasize different socio-psychological phases related to crisis response and recovery. These phases refer to reactions such as experiencing shock, counting our losses, saying farewell, searching for justice, moving on, and rebuilding. We postulate that rituals could potentially help heal a nation, thereby enabling it to move on. We conclude this article by discussing what professional helpers and volunteer staff might have learned from this event.