Interview: Bala Cynwyd Psychiatrist Recalls N.Y. Sessions With 9/11 Victims’ Families

Ira Brenner MD - Interview - Narberth Bala Cynwyd Patch

Photo by Eric Campbell (via Narberth-Bala Cynwyd Patch)

Discussing disaster psychiatry and post 9/11 counseling at Pier 94 Family Assistance Center. Interview by Eric Campbell of Narberth-Bala Cynwyd Patch.


As those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Manhattan told their stories to authorities and journalists in the weeks afterward, some also confided to volunteer therapists such as Bala Cynwyd psychiatrist Ira Brenner as they processed the tragedy.

The Penn Valley resident had had decades of experience in trauma psychiatry but “really not a whole lot” of first-hand experience with disasters before the attacks spurred him to travel to New York, Brenner told Narberth-Bala Cynwyd Patch in an interview at his Presidential Boulevard office.

Before he got into the city, Brenner made arrangements to hook up with the group Disaster Psychiatry Outreach for an evening of impromptu disaster-psychiatry training.

“I found it wasn’t so easy to just say, ‘Hey, I want to help,’” Brenner said. “It took a fair amount of investigative work on my part to find this group. I didnt want to hand out orange juice 10 miles away.”

Full Interview available at Narberth-Bala Cynwyd Patch

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