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Disaster Counseling Skills

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What are the counseling skills that you would see as important when dealing with a person who has exoerienced disaster and, thus, loss and grief? What are some of the "dos and don't" to remember?

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Solution Summary

This solution examines the counseling skills are important when dealing with a person who has experienced disaster and, thus, loss and grief. It also discusses some of the "dos and don't" to remember.

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Disaster counseling involves both listening and guiding. Survivors typically benefit from both talking about their disaster experiences and being assisted with problem-solving and referral to resources. The following section provides "nuts-and-bolts" suggestions for workers.


Survivors respond when workers offer caring eye contact, a calm presence, and are able to listen with their hearts. Rapport refers to the feelings of interest and understanding that develop when genuine concern is shown. Conveying respect and being nonjudgmental are necessary ingredients for building rapport.


Workers listen most effectively when they take in information through their ears, eyes, and "extrasensory radar" to better understand the survivor's situation and needs. ...

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