Saturday, October 27, 2007

If Plan A Doesn't Work...

When you're taken into captivity, the goal is to maximize control, psychologist advises

Oakland Ross
Middle East Bureau

JERUSALEM–Rocky Abramson's personal bottom line on being taken hostage closely parallels the commonsense attitude that prevails in most sentient parts of the globe.

"Really, you want to avoid it."

That being so, during the course of his four-hour seminar on the hostage experience, the Canadian-born organizational psychologist also examines ways of avoiding the situation entirely.

That would be Plan A.

The bulk of the program, however, is taken up with Plan B – what to do if Plan A fails – and reflects Abramson's opinion that time spent in captivity can, with the right preparation, be rendered less soul-crushing than might otherwise be the case.

It's largely a question of control.

"It won't be a pleasant experience," says Abramson, formerly of Vancouver, who moved to Israel in 1977 and has served with the Israel Defence Forces as a staff psychologist, among other roles. "You're not going to recommend it to your friends. But it doesn't have to be traumatic."

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