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Session 101

Panel Discussion:

Part 1: Understanding the Clinical, Technical, and Policy Implications of Disaster Relief

Part 2: Hap Hazards: The Challenges and Rewards of Being a HAP Volunteer  


Disaster recovery is a complex process entailing social, political, economic and psychological aspects. Each of these interconnected aspects implicates many stakeholders, often competing for scarce resources and prominence. Disaster mental health services as a part of this process needs preparation: training and community awareness of services is fundamental. The recruitment of well-trained clinicians needs development over time. Concurrently, the integration of disaster mental health workers as stakeholders is crucial to the development of community capacity post disaster. As many of the outcomes of trauma do not emerge until well after the immediate response work has concluded, a system wide approach is critical importance.

The ‘standard model’ of disaster recovery is composed of the following stages: recognition of an emergency; a reaction; perhaps post hoc training along with relief and a hope for the spread of trained personnel to react to the next disaster. Planning infrastructural development for future disasters – the organization of care and service provisioning by professional and paraprofessional staffs – if considered at all, is an ‘add on’. This presentation discusses how to go beyond the ‘standard model’ of humanitarian disaster relief by implementing the Trauma Recovery Network model.

Trauma Recovery/HAP’s development of Trauma Recovery Networks (TRNs) provides a practical model of voluntary infrastructural development. This model is eminently portable and is currently also used in Asia and the Middle East. It builds local professional education and infrastructural development and provides enhanced clinical and social work practice to work toward community and individual resilience in the aftermath of disasters.

Trauma Recovery/HAP volunteers have had experiences that have impacted them on many levels. Sharing these experiences and what volunteers have learned from them can benefit those who will continue this work. How the volunteer has navigated cultural differences, uncomfortable physical situations, and sometimes dangerous settings, can prepare others for service. Some experiences have been very inspirational, while some we would not want to repeat. Some are humorous, some frightening, inspirational and all have been educational. Navigating cultures other than one’s own, maintaining cultural humility and an open mind can be challenging. Sometimes we do it very well and sometimes mistakes are made. These experiences can deepen our appreciation and understanding of challenges individuals, communities and nations face. Sharing these experiences can make us better volunteers.

Following the presentation of Part 1 and 2, there will be open discussion and a period of question and answer. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will identify the clinical, technical and policy implications of disaster relief.
  2. Attendees will recognize how Trauma Recovery/HAP & the TRNs educate for disaster relief.
  3. Attendees will be able to summarize facilitating the development of a stakeholder presence in a community.
  4. Attendees will recognize how others have succeeded and sometimes failed at cultural humility and recognize potential pitfalls.
  5. Attendees will recognize the importance of bonding and sharing stories of inspiration among volunteers. 

About the Presenters:

Howard Z. Lorber, LCSW – Originally an anthropologist, Howard retrained over 35 years ago as a psychotherapist. His anthropological work focused on change: the agents of change in the effects of rapid change on populations and individuals. His work as a psychotherapist continued this effort, focusing on individuals, couples, families and groups. Howard’s first work as a therapist was treating domestic violence and family conflict. As part of that work, he developed therapeutic supervised visitation program help safeguard children and former partners as well as begin the healing work attendant on the supercharged events that surround the dissolution of these unions. Moving forward from this work, he treated victims of political abuse and torture, as well as first responders and survivors of the 9/11 disaster. This work led him to EMDR as a significant modality treatment.

Howard has served on the Trauma Recovery/HAP Board of Directors since 2011, working to develop the foundations of outreach to sufferers of trauma wherever, and in whatever circumstances, they might be. His service on the HAP board furthers his aspiration to bring the knowledge and skills needed to mitigate the effects of both Powerful Events and the hidden injuries of life’s circumstances of so many around the world.

Margaret (Peggy) Moore has been a HAP volunteer since the inception of HAP. She was one of many volunteers to work in Oklahoma City after the bombing of the Murrah Building which prompted the formation of EMDR/HAP as a non profit organization. She has been an EMDR Therapist since 1992, a facilitator and has participated in HAP trainings worldwide as well as in the US. She also is a Consultant and volunteer for the Albuquerque Area TRN. She has a clinical practice in Albuquerque where she specializes in work with families, children and adults who have experienced significant trauma in their lives.

Panel Members:
Howard Z. Lorber, LCSW

Margaret Moore, LCSW, ACSW

Day and Time: Friday, April 21
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Length of time: 90 minutes

Credits: 1.5 EMDRIA CEUs and 1.5 CEs
*Pending approval.