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Helen Davey
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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

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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The Amazing 'Hippopotabus': The World's First Luxury RV

(14) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 6:26 PM

Did you ever imagine a yacht on wheels? Well, my father did, though now you see such things on our roads and highways all the time. We call them "RV's." Along with his many achievements in his remarkable life, my father invented the first luxury RV.

This is the story...

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A Plea To The TSA: In Defense Of Flight Attendants

(16) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 7:00 AM

On March 6, John C. Pistole, administrator for the Transportation Security Administration, announced that beginning on April 25, small pocket knives, souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs, lacrosse and hockey sticks, pool cues and ski poles will once more be allowed in airline cabins, because these things will provide little threat...

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The Reluctant Traveler

(3) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 3:04 PM

I love a good story. I especially love a good story if it's true. And most of all, I love a good story if it's true, and it's about my family. History comes alive for me when I can imagine my own relatives living in different times and places, connected...

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Argo Got It Right!

(11) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 10:34 AM

As a Pan Am flight attendant who traveled often to Iran in the 1960s and 1970s -- almost up until our very last emergency evacuation flights from Tehran -- I was transfixed by the film Argo, transported back in time with a strong feeling of déjà vu. The sights, the...

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Horizons Unlimited: True Stories of Trauma and Triumph

(5) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 1:41 PM

As a young girl, I spent hours poring over the family scrapbooks that my mother had begun to assemble. For the next 60 years, she lovingly put together photographs and newspaper clippings along with her own memoirs and family stories. Most of the albums cover the end of the 19th...

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Remembering a Soldier's Face

(8) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 2:23 PM

It was the summer of 1968. The Vietnam War was at its height, and Pan Am had been flying "R & R" flights in and out of the war zone. Wounded soldiers were taken to hospitals in nearby Guam and Manila. We stewardesses felt a strong obligation, whenever we could,...

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A Shared Trauma: The Death of Pan Am

(3) Comments | Posted November 16, 2012 | 12:00 PM

In September, I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the 43rd Annual Convention of World Wings International, the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants, in Portland, Ore. Despite my initial nervousness (see my earlier blog, "Confessions of a Psychoanalyst: Performance Anxiety and the Dread of Shame"),...

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