Disciplines:
  • Social Work
  • Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Psychology
Hours: 5 Contact Hours
Author(s): Textbook Authors:
  • Jennifer Housley, PhD
  • Larry E. Beutler, PhD
Workbook Author:
  • Jennifer Housley Patterson, PhD
Item#: B4014
Contents: 1 Textbook, 1 Exam Workbook (16 pages)

Treating Victims of Mass Disaster and Terrorism


Price $39.95
Item # B4014
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Mass violence and disasters present unique challenges to mental health practitioners. This course introduces the learner to the concepts of early intervention for trauma and principle-driven treatment and assessment after exposure to mass disaster and terrorist events. Also included is information on epidemiology, prognosis, differential diagnosis, comorbidities, and diagnostic procedures. The author presents two general models for the psychological consequences of trauma exposure: the learning-cognitive model of posttrauma response and the conservation of resources model. 

The course describes how to apply the principles of therapeutic change to guide the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of survivors. A practical three-stage approach is described to identify survivors who will need intervention and the types of interventions that are likely to be most effective. The approach entails psychological first aid that can be used by first responders and clinicians in the field, specific intervention techniques (such as psychoeducation), and key strategies for treatment based on the survivor’s coping style (such as internalizing vs. externalizing). The learner is provided instruction on how to tailor treatment to the individual needs of the survivor at each stage. The target audience for this intermediate-level course is behavioral health professionals, including social workers, clinical mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and advanced practice and psychiatric nurses.

Social workers will receive 5 (Clinical Content) continuing education clock hours in participating in this course.

Click here for a list of supplemental references.

American Psychiatric Association. (2014). Disaster psychiatry. Retrieved from http://www.psychiatry.org/practice/professional-interests/disaster-psychiatry

Boscarino, J. A., Hoffman, S. N., Adams, R. E., Figley, C. R., & Solhkhah, R. (2014). Mental health outcomes among vulnerable residents after Hurricane Sandy: Implications for disaster research and planning. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, 9(2), 107–120. Abstract retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25068940?tool=MedlinePlus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Coping with a traumatic event. Retrieved from http://emergency.cdc.gov/masscasualties/copingpro.asp

Crepeau-Hobson, F., Sievering, K. S., Armstrong, C., & Stonis, J. (2012). A coordinated mental health crisis response: Lessons learned from three Colorado school shootings. Journal of School Violence, 11(3), 207–225. Abstract retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15388220.2012.682002#.VFJ6PPnF98E

Framingham, J., & Teasley, M. L. (Eds.). (2012). Behavioral health response to disasters. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Levers, L. L. (Ed.). (2012). Trauma counseling: Theories and interventions. New York, NY: Springer.

Reifels, L., Pietrantoni, L., Prati, G., Kim, Y., Kilpatrick, D. G., Dyb, G., . . . O’Donnell, M. (2013). Lessons learned about psychosocial responses to disaster and mass trauma: An international perspective. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 4. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3873118/

Shallcross, L. (2012, February 1). A calming presence. Counseling Today. Retrieved from http://ct.counseling.org/2012/02/a-calming-presence/

Shaw, J. A., Espinel, Z., & Shultz, J. M. (2012). Care of children exposed to the traumatic effects of disaster. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.

Weems, C. F., & Graham, R. A. (2014). Resilience and trajectories of posttraumatic stress among youth exposed to disaster. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 24(1), 2–8. Abstract retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24200122


Course Objectives
  • Describe current theories and models of treatment associated with post-trauma response.
  • Identify issues relevant to treating victims of mass disaster and terrorism.
  • Discuss the principles underlying the diagnosis and treatment of victims as set forth in the three-stage model.
  • Explain how to apply the three-stage treatment model for early intervention.
Jennifer Housley Patterson, MS, is active in local, national, and international organizations addressing the psychological consequences of trauma. Currently at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology and National Center on the Psychology of Terrorism in Palo Alto, CA, she has served as Program Director for the Palo Alto Medical Reserve Corps and published on topics related to mass disaster, trauma, and health psychology. She is a widely respected advisor, program developer, and instructor on interventions, coping, and first aid following trauma and disaster, both for licensed mental health professionals and for first responders and disaster volunteers.
  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.