Psychological Interventions in Times of Crisis

By Laura Barbanel; Robert J. Sternberg | Go to book overview
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Lessons Learned
What Do We Know About Psychological Interventions
for Victims of Crisis?
In this volume, prominent psychologists recount their experiences in dealing with victims of crisis, and also describe interventions they have used to help these victims cope with the devastation these crises have caused. In this final chapter, I consider some of the lessons that have been learned from the experiences of the authors and their colleagues. I make no attempt to recount every lesson learned. But I hope that the lessons mentioned here will assist readers who themselves need to aid victims of crisis, who train those who intervene, or who, in the worst of scenarios, themselves undergo the kinds of crises described in this book. My goal in the chapter, then, is to summarize from the book what I believe are the main lessons learned.
1. Those most in need of help are often those who are most difficult to reach. In a disaster, some victims are much more accessible than others. The most accessible ones often tend to be those who are salient in the affected community who in turn are often middle class or somehow part of the visible social structure. But as Mukherjee and Alpert point out, the members of marginalized segments of communities are typically those who are most affected by crises. They are also the ones with the fewest coping resources and the ones who are hardest to reach. Carr worked in Africa with members of communities rarely seen by trained help-givers at all. Dybdahl worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina at


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