Eric Wolterstorff: Society under sustained stress

In this conversation, Eric Wolterstorff draws on a systems approach to describe how the pandemic has elicited a “stress chain reaction.” He sees a parallel with the model mapped by Murray Bowen in the context of family dynamics. He also talks about how to dampen the chain reaction each time it passes through you. See also PDF transcript.

Dr. Eric Wolterstorff works at the intersection of psychology, trauma, culture, and group behavior (“A Speculative Model of How Groups Respond to Threats,” 2003). In the 1990s, Wolterstorff helped formalize Peter Levine’s work and placed it in the context of a memory-systems approach to healing trauma. He studied the work of Murray Bowen and Arnold Mindel, and created an approach to working with trauma and transference (Wolterstorff and Grassmann, “The Scene of the Crime,” 2014). With Glen Strathy, he is writing Better Parents, Better Children (2021) based on the work of Lloyd DeMause. He leads Sovereignty First, a social-impact LLC that helps organizations generate solutions to big problems that cross sectors, borders, cultures, & factions. He advises Cooperative Capacity Partners, a social-impact LLC that increases power-sharing, cooperation, and performance in global public-sector partnerships. Wolterstorff lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his fiancée, Jodi Simon, and her son, Liam. See website.

Published June 2020.