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Counseling Victims of Natural Disasters

Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Occupational Therapy CEUs | Marriage & Family Therapy CE | School Psychology CE | Teaching CE

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Counseling Victims of Natural Disasters is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines how to help the victims, and witnesses, of natural disasters.

We may ask ourselves: What can be done for the victims of natural disasters? Beyond the physical needs, such as safety, food, and water, there remains the emotional residue of living through an experience that threatens one’s life. This course will address these emotional needs.

This course offers healthcare professionals an opportunity to consider the psychological impact of living through a natural disaster. The practical information presented here will aid healthcare professionals in taking clients through the first steps of recovery: disclosing, normalizing, and grounding. Clinicians will consider the ways in which natural disasters can lay the foundation for profound psychological growth. In searching for meaning in the aftermath of a traumatic experience, people can develop new perspectives on life, which leads to an adjustment in values, beliefs, and priorities. The experience becomes incorporated into their sense of self, helping them to see themselves as stronger, more capable, and more appreciative of what they have.  The clinician will then examine specific skills to use with clients as they learn to cope in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Course #31-04 | 2019 | 41 pages | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the initial psychological response to natural disasters
2. Define the concept of post-traumatic growth and describe the way it emerges in the aftermath of a natural disaster
3. Define the concept of post-traumatic growth and describe the way it emerges in the aftermath of a natural disaster
4. Explain the concept of dialectical thinking and the role it plays in post-traumatic growth
5. Describe the shifts in perspectives common in the reports of those who experience post-traumatic growth
6. List strategies that can be helpful in supporting victims of a natural disaster

AOTA Approved Provider

Professional Development Resources is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education (#3159). OT Content Focus - Domain of OT: Context and Environment; OT Process: Outcomes. This program is offered for 0.3 CEUs. The assignment of AOTA CEU's does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635) (all courses are reported within two business days of completion). Participant successfully completed the required assessment component for this activity.

As part of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Approved Provider renewal process, AOTA is requesting that participants of this course complete a short online survey about your continuing education experience with our organization. Completing this survey will enter you into a quarterly drawing for a $100 voucher for AOTA publications or CE. To access the survey go to http://www.aota.org/appsurvey.

Thank you for your participation.



This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

About the Author(s)

Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in post-traumatic growth, optimal performance, and wellness. She is licensed to practice in California and Colorado. Claire earned her BS in Kinesiology and worked as a personal trainer for years before becoming a course developer for International Sports Science Association. Claire is always thinking about ways to improve physical fitness and nutrition as a modality for improving mental health. She also writes in her popular blog, Leveraging Adversity on Psychcentral.

Financial: Claire Nana receives author compensation from Professional Development Resources.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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