Shared trauma after a flood : a manual for therapists

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Bown, Johnathan
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Floods disasters are the most common type of natural disaster, and represent the most costly natural disaster in terms of property loss for Canada. Strong evidence shows that floods can have powerful long-term negative effects on mental health and can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. When counsellors are also victims of the disaster, a shared trauma scenario is created where resources and relationship boundaries are strained. The contentious issue of therapist self-disclosure needs to be considered as disclosures occur both willfully and unintentionally. A research-based manual was created for use in post-disaster situations to guide clinicians via effective and safe recovery strategies. The manual is based on a thorough literature review and synthesizes the findings into a two-part document. The first section of the manual is a concise presentation of the most high-impact concepts clinicians need to know. The second section of the manual is a brief and clear presentation of the key strategies readers can leverage to help their clients. The final product is expected to alleviate the stress of decision-making for counsellors under distress and facilitate rapid effective responses.
shared trauma , counsellor self-disclosure , post-disaster , second-responder mental-health workers , post-traumatic growth , Disaster victims -- Counseling of -- Handbooks, manuals, etc. , Floods -- Psychological aspects , Counselor and client , Posttraumatic growth , Post-traumatic stress disorder , Self-disclosure , Counseling -- Moral and ethical aspects