TODAY   |  July 09, 2013

Cleveland kidnapping victims look ‘bolstered’

TODAY contributor Dr. Gail Saltz discusses the first public video appearance made by kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, as well as their recovery process, calling the video a “very smart” move.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back at 7:42 with more from the cleveland kidnapping victims. amanda berry, gina dejesus and michelle knight speaking out for the first time in a video posted on youtube earlier this morning. their message, one of hope.

>> first and foremost, i want everyone to know how happy i am to be home with my family and my friends. it's been unbelievable.

>> i want everyone to know i'm doing just fine.

>> thank you for support.

>> it's been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness.

>> thank you to your prayers. i'm looking forward to my brand new life.

>>> thank you.

>> today contributor dr. gail saltz is psychiatrist and associate professor. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> i hope people watch the whole video. it's stunning to see these three young women have such poise and be able to speak like that and to say those words of hope and resilience. what do you see in that tape?

>> i do see women who, two months out, that's what we have to remember, look really bolstered. look like they are surrounded by parents. surrounded by their faith and those are really important -- they feel supported by the community and that is extremely important when you talk about the concept of resilience. some people are born with more resilience. we hope these three women were. but if they were more sensitive and had issues that they came into this with even that makes this trauma more difficult for them and less survivable, they can build certain coping tools and that's what we're seeing here. the money, right? the references to their faith.

>> yeah.

>> and we know that faith and religion are very important when it comes to loss. surrounded by parents. that's very, very important.

>> what do you think -- i mean, i have been contemplating this morning the fact that they want their privacy and yet they have come out and now everyone will know their faces so i guess i worry, does that mean some of their privacy will be compromised. do you think this was important for them, though, in terms of their own confidence building to be able to come out and show the world their faces and say we're strong? we're survivors?

>> yes, i think this was intelligent first of all because i think this will keep the media at bay. they weren't crying. they weren't looking traumatized. they weren't talking about their captor. all of that was very smart because frankly it makes us less interested. that's sad to say about america. but we gravitate toward the disturbing story and they have made this less disturbing. so that was smart of them and i do think that it's affirming, you know, we want them to have inner strength and real strength and the question will be can they have intimacy later but there is a certain fake it until you make it and believing what they're saying that they can do this. that's really useful to them right now.

>> well, i think it's the fact that they are able to speak at all and do what they were doing this morning i think is just a testament to them.

>> real strength.

>> thank you gail. nice to get your perspective. coming up