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Helen Davey
Dr. Helen Davey is a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist in private practice in West Los Angeles. Her doctoral dissertation, A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Fall of Pan American World Airways, is a study of the trauma experienced by Pan Am employees when the airline collapsed. She published an article entitled "The Effects of the Trauma of 9/11" for airline employees following the terrorist attack.

Entries by Helen Davey


(8) Comments | Posted July 21, 2016 | 9:55 PM

Early in my career as a Pan Am stewardess, I transferred in 1968 from the Miami base to San Francisco. I wanted to experience the incredible Pacific flying that the base had to offer. Never having been to Asia before, I remember my first trip to Hong Kong.

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Elbert Hubbard And John Davey: Shared American Values

(4) Comments | Posted July 1, 2016 | 12:53 AM

One of the most eloquent admirers of John Davey was Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), a wildly popular and eccentric American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher in the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Hubbard was famous for his biographies of great people that he admired, in part written to seek inspiration within...

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Neerja: A Must-See Movie

(16) Comments | Posted February 28, 2016 | 7:51 PM

I have often written about trauma to the worldwide airline community, and more specifically about the trauma that employees of Pan American World Airways faced during the last 20 years of their beloved airline's existence. I'd like to recommend a new movie out on limited release - Neerja -that tells...

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The Loss of a Beloved Pet

(13) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 2:07 PM

One of the truly heartbreaking events in our lives is when we have to watch a beloved pet slowly dying, and/or have to make the painful decision to euthanize them. As a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist for the last 30 years, I've worked often with patients who are going through this...

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The Enduring Legacy of Motherhood

(5) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 11:36 AM

In this world of thousands of how-to books, chattering experts on television, and workshops on how to raise a secure child, sometimes the most profound and fundamental aspects of the meaningful ways that mother and child communicate non-verbally are not emphasized. In fact, it's the primitive nature of our sensory...

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A Tragic Reversal: An Iconic Image Tarnished

(10) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 2:09 AM

On Tuesday morning of March 24, a Germanwings flight crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 souls on board. Within minutes, the news rapidly circulated around the world via the media. Then, crushingly, the allegations began to leak out that it was actually the co-pilot who deliberately crashed the...

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The Three Legged Stool: On the Death of a Brother

(7) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 12:17 PM

On July 23, my beloved older brother Jim died, and it rocked my world. When I'm grieving, my personal inclination is to search for words to describe how I'm feeling in hopes that it will soothe my aching heart. Additionally, as a practicing psychoanalyst, perhaps I can even help someone...

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Dedicated to the Employees of Malaysia Airlines

(13) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 9:00 AM

As a veteran Pan Am flight attendant from 1965 to 1986, and a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist for the past 27 years, I feel compelled to reach out to the employees of your company to offer whatever help and understanding that I've garnered over the years from my extensive study of...

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Book Review: 'Fever Dream' by Dennis Palumbo

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 1:12 PM

I have just finished reading Dennis Palumbo's book, Fever Dream, the second in a series of action-packed, cleverly constructed tales featuring Dr. Daniel Rinaldi, a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with the Pittsburgh Police Department treating victims of violent crimes. The intricate plot twists and surprises keep the reader...

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Tales of Pan Am: You Just Can't Make These Stories Up

(24) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 1:12 PM

Like most people, I love a great story, and most of all, I love a great Pan Am story. I sure heard a lot of them at the recent Pan Am reunion!

As usual -- and this applies to employees of all airlines -- when a bunch of Pan Am-ers...

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The Aloha Reunion: Celebrating the Undying Spirit of Pan Am

(8) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 11:16 AM

On April 2-5, 2014, former Pan Am employees from all over the world are converging on Honolulu, Hawaii, to enjoy the Pan Am Aloha Celebration. It will be a week of seeing old friends and making new ones, sharing memories and stories, and interestingly, celebrating our experience, while at the...

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The Deepest Bond: Our First Love

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 10:52 AM

There is no more important bond in one's life than that of a baby's relationship to his or her mother. It helps shape all future relationships. But as mothers will often say, "Nobody gave me the manual." This is why I'd like to introduce you to the work of Dr....

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All Creatures Great and Small: A Lesson in Mourning

(2) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 11:27 AM

Many of you may have read about the life of the legendary "Elephant Whisperer," conservationist and author Lawrence Anthony, who established (and lived on) the vast 5,000-acre Thula Thula game reserve in South Africa. However, I've only heard about him recently.

Anthony rescued herds of violent, human-hating elephants that were...

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The Lockerbie Disaster: 25 Years Later

(8) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 1:35 PM

It was 25 years ago that the first photographs of Pan Am's Clipper Maid of the Seas lying shattered in that Scottish meadow began flashing across television screens across the world. It was to mark the end of pleasant air travel for all of us, and sadly, was the nail...

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The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of: Part IV

(2) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 9:38 AM

Before I continue the story of my grandfather, John Davey, the "Father of Tree Surgery," I want to tell you about an amazing coincidence that happened to him in England in 1864. He was 19.
Unable to read and write, John lived in the insular world of rural England,...

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The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of: Part III

(3) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 11:49 PM

In this third part of my story about my grandfather, John Davey, the Father of Tree Surgery, I hope to continue to lay the groundwork for how I, as a psychoanalyst, view the development of his personality and character. I feel that the most important trait that my grandfather shares...

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The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of: Part II

(3) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 12:46 PM

The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of (Part II)

"There are epochs in our lives that mark the beginning of new paragraphs, in our individual histories; we remember them like milestones." (John Davey, 1920)

In Part I of my story about my grandfather, John Davey, I...

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A Desperate Plea to Save the Iconic Pan Am Worldport

(29) Comments | Posted July 12, 2013 | 1:39 PM

Time is of the essence. As I'm writing this, jackhammers and bulldozers are in place at JFK International Airport, beginning the preliminary demolition steps meant to destroy the "Rotunda" section of the old Pan Am Worldport.

This project is continuing, in spite of the very recent recognition by the...

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The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of

(5) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 4:50 PM

"John Davey is a genius, for a genius is one who has the faculty of abandonment to an idea, or a cause... with the innocence of childhood, and the intellect of a man." Elbert Hubbard(1927)

I've wanted to tell the story of John Davey for a very long time. Not...

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Do You Have a Case of Wanderlust?

(3) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 4:03 PM

According to Wikipedia, "wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world." I suspect that if you're reading the Travel Section of The Huffington Post, you are likely to have at least a mild case of this condition. Did you ever wonder where...

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