Santa Monica, CA - Pioneer In Treatment Of Holocaust Victims Dies At 83
Santa Monica, CA - The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/Z7KuUU) is reporting that, Florabel Kinsler, a psychologist and pioneer in the treatment of Holocaust survivors and their offspring, has died at the age of 83 in Santa Monica.
A native New Yorker, Kinsler first moved to California with her husband in 1954. She received her Master’s in social work from UCLA. Her thesis researched the effects on American GIs who had been incarcerated in prisoner of war camps during WWII.
The results of her research showed increased levels of alcoholism and severe mental problems, which ultimately led to what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
In her subsequent work at a Jewish Family Service, Kinsler found a disproportionate number of older Holocaust survivors struggling with marriages, alcoholism, psychiatric, and emotional problems. This caus ed Kinsler to reevaluate current approaches to therapy, which, at the time, prescribed that victims try to internalize their horrid past and get on with their lives.
Viewing the treatment as a ‘foolish and impossible order,’ Kinsler embarked on a decades-long career that encouraged survivors to speak up about their traumatic experiences.
Kinsler became a compassionate sounding board for their experiences.
“Flo would never moralize or tell people how they should feel,” said Sarah Moskovitz, a Cal State Northbridge emeritus professor who collaborated with Knisler. “By her compassionâ€¦she created an atmosphere of acceptance.”
In addition, Kinsler also treated the children of Holocaust survivors, as well as child-survivors—-individuals who as children in Nazi-occupied Europe had been sent to concentration camps, remained hidden, or wandered forests to avoid detection.
“She has an amazing legacy,” said Susie For er-Dehery, chief operating officer of Jewish Family Service.
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