Reflections from the Field: On the Road to Recovery

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Abstract

As the two faculty members primarily responsible for the field education component of Tulane School of Social Work, the authors put forth their experiences of response and recovery from the trauma and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—from a personal and professional perspective. Their personal experiences are intertwined as well as uniquely individual. Professionally, this disaster affected their orientation to work and their ways of finding new paths for helping students continue their learning and recovery. The authors discuss specific efforts they made to do meaningful work as they struggled to heal themselves from the trauma they all suffered. Finally, the authors focus on the valuable lessons they have learned, and are still learning, about preparation, response, recovery, and rebuilding from trauma of this scale. These lessons are informed, shaped, and evolving through the lenses of professional and scholarly work throughout their social work careers.

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