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Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers: A Roadmap of Trauma and Critical Incident Care
Dunkley, Fiona
Routledge / Softcover / 2019-10-01 / 0367371898
Critical Incident Stress - CISD/CISM / Trauma
price: $28.95
136 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Humanitarian aid workers are trying to make a difference in an increasingly dangerous world. Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers: A Roadmap of Trauma and Critical Incident Care highlights the risks of such work, educates professionals responsible for their duty of care, and brings together current thinking to promote collaborative working to support the carers of our world.

From the humanitarian aid worker trying to organise support amongst chaos, to the professional offering a safe place for recovery, all of these individuals are at risk of becoming traumatised. Therefore, it is vital that we recognise the psychological risks on these individuals, and that they recognise how they can support themselves, so they can continue to function in the work that they do. This book can be used as a trauma awareness guide for all staff whose work exposes them – directly or indirectly – to trauma, and therefore becomes a risk to their physical or mental wellbeing.

Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers will appeal to all those working in the field of humanitarian aid, counsellors and psychotherapists, emergency first responders, as well as those who are looking to support themselves after surviving trauma.


"Raising standards in psychosocial support for those working on humanitarian response to crises and disaster is only just being recognised by those organisations working in the field. This book is an essential and timely contribution to understanding the need for such support as well as providing a practical guide to establishing systems and approaches. I would urge all those responsible for humanitarian aid workers and indeed, for those responsible for staff or volunteers working in development organisations, to read this book as a matter of urgency and to take on board its recommendations"

Philip Goodwin, Chief Executive, VSO International.

Table of Contents



1. Introduction: the roadmap of psychological risk

Aid work: the curse of the strong

Organisational duty of care

Ripple effect of trauma

The changing face of aid work

The scars of wisdom

2. The physiology of trauma:the mechanics of trauma

What is trauma?

The survival response

How is the brain impacted by trauma?

Common trauma symptoms

3. Treating trauma: support vehicles of recovery

What are trauma specialist treatments?

EMDR: how does it work?

Case study 1 (EMDR)

TF-CBT: how does it work?

Case study 2 (TF-CBT)

4. Resilience toolkit: the first aid kit








5. Psychosocial management of critical incidents: the emergency route

Peter Moore: case study

Megan Nobert: case study

Organisational trauma

What psychological support should be available to staff after a critical incident?
Appropriate timings of offering psychological support

Summary of early interventions

6. The complete package of care: the road most travelled

Pre-deployment psychosocial support

Psychosocial support during deployment

Post-deployment psychosocial support

The homecoming


7. Cultural relevance of psychosocial support: local roadmaps

Culturally sensitive support

Cultural models of psychosocial support

Developing localised services or importing international professionals

Supporting national staff


8. Conclusion: the complete trauma grab bag


Unresolved trauma leads to war

Post-traumatic growth

Final thoughts

Sources of help



About the Author

Fiona Dunkley is a senior accredited MBACP Psychotherapist, Trauma Specialist, Supervisor and Trainer. She is a member of EMDR, UKRCP and ESTSS. Fiona founded FD Consultants, offering psychosocial support and trauma specialist services for humanitarian aid organisations. She has presented on ‘Good Morning Britain’ as a trauma expert, has published several articles and has been asked to speak at various international conferences.

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