odds, she still maintained a sense of hope
that she would someday return home.
As her captors intensified their cruelty,
her coping methods evolved from
humanistic approaches to more mental
ones, as she dove deep within herself to
the essence of her being, seeking a place
of peace and light. She continually drew
upon her memories and hopes to keep
A FACE OF RESILIENCY
What was it really like for Amanda,
living in a state of continual torture for
months on end? Can anyone survive that
type of unrelenting abuse, or would some
perish under the weight of their own
physical trauma and emotional
hopelessness? “Resilient” is a word used
often to describe Amanda and others who
survive – and even manage to thrive
– after unspeakable horror. In fact, the
ability to survive and bounce back from
difficult circumstances is a prominent
topic of psychological research today.
Amanda embraces the fact that she has
become one of the faces of resiliency.
When reading about resiliency in the
psychological research literature, one
quite literally finds Amanda’s name in it.
A 2014 article in the European Journal of
Psychotraumatology cites Amanda’s
story recounting the 29th annual meeting
of the International Society for Traumatic
Stress studies, in which she participated.
“SEEING HIS IMAGE
HAS JUST BEEN
According to her own account, Amanda
continues to work on forgiving both her
captors and herself. It’s a process, she
says, more than a decision – a place she
aspires to so she can free herself from
negative emotions like anger and hatred.
Her progress was sorely tested in June of
2015 when her key captor, Ali Omar
Ader, was arrested in Ottawa, having
been lured there on the premise of book
publicity in connection with the
abductions. When his photo was widely
released throughout the Canadian media,
Amanda was completely traumatized.