Cataclysms, Crises, and Catastrophes: Psychology in Action

Cataclysms, Crises, and Catastrophes: Psychology in Action

Cataclysms, Crises, and Catastrophes: Psychology in Action

Cataclysms, Crises, and Catastrophes: Psychology in Action

Excerpt

psychologists neither live nor work in a vacuum. Each day, students of psychology learn concepts and techniques that will affect their interactions with other people, whether as clients, co-workers, or companions, for the rest of their lives. Each day, instructors face the responsibility of teaching those students. Each day, researchers gather data and draw conclusions upon which both the knowledge of psychology and its application are based. And, each day, clinical practitioners must apply the concepts and techniques they were taught in graduate school, as well as newly developed theories and applications that they later learn, in order to assist to the greatest extent possible the individuals and families that they serve. At the same time, psychologist practitioners in many fields also reach outside of their offices, beyond the immediate needs of a limited group of clients—into their communities and nation.

The chapters in this volume illustrate why this interaction between theory and practice, between a firm foundation in knowledge and basic human understanding, is so vital. They also illustrate how psychologists help individuals under stress confront, understand, and grow beyond not only the ordinary stresses they must face each day, but also the extraordinary stresses that today arise so often and so suddenly as a result of both natural disasters (such as volcanoes, floods, and fires) and humanmade disasters (such as toxic spills and acts of violence, crime, and terrorism).

Regardless of the nature of the disaster or whether it involves many . . .

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