About Psychological First Aid (PFA)
Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide
Brymer M, Jacobs A, Layne C, Pynoos R, Ruzek J, Steinberg A, Vernberg E, Watson P
National Child Traumatic Stress Network and National Center for PTSD
Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide, 2nd Edition
Copyright © 2006 National Child Traumatic Stress Network and National Center for PTSD. All rights reserved.
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Table of Contents
- Introduction and Overview
- Preparing to Deliver Psychological First Aid
- Core Actions
- Contact and Engagement
- Safety and Comfort
- Stabilization (if needed)
- Information Gathering: Needs and Current Concerns
- Practical Assistance
- Connection with Social Supports
- Information on Coping
- Linkage with Collaborative Services
- Appendix A: Overview of Psychological First Aid
- Appendix B: Service Delivery Sites and Settings
- Appendix C: Psychological First Aid Provider Care
- Appendix D: Psychological First Aid Worksheets
- Appendix E: Handouts for Survivors
- Appendix F: Duplicate Handouts to Copy and Distribute
About Psychological First Aid (PFA)
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Established by Congress in 2000, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is a unique collaboration of academic and community-based service centers whose mission is to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for traumatized children and their families across the United States. Combining knowledge of child development, expertise in the full range of child traumatic experiences, and attention to cultural perspectives, the NCTSN serves as a national resource for developing and disseminating evidence-based interventions, trauma-informed services, and public and professional education.
National Center for PTSD
VA’s National Center for PTSD is a world leader in research and education programs focusing on PTSD and other psychological and medical consequences of traumatic stress. Mandated by Congress in 1989, the Center is a consortium of seven academic centers of excellence providing research, education and consultation in the field of traumatic stress.
The views, opinions, and content are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.
Copyright © 2006 Brymer M, Jacobs A, Layne C, Pynoos R, Ruzek J, Steinberg A, Vernberg E, Watson P, (National Child Traumatic Stress Network and National Center for PTSD). All rights reserved. You are welcome to copy or redistribute this material in print or electronically provided the text is not modified, the authors and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) are cited in any use, and no fee is charged for copies of this publication. Unauthorized commercial publication or exploitation of this material is specifically prohibited. Anyone wishing to use any of this material for commercial use must request and receive prior written permission from the NCTSN. Permission for such use is granted on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of NCTSN. If you would like permission to adapt or license these materials, please contact Melissa Brymer, Psy.D. at email@example.com. Other inquires can be directed to the NCTSN National Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 682-1552.
This Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD. Members of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD, as well as other individuals involved in coordinating and participating in disaster response, have contributed to the current document.
The principal authors (in alphabetical order) included: Melissa Brymer, Christopher Layne, Anne Jacobs, Robert Pynoos, Josef Ruzek, Alan Steinberg, Eric Vernberg, and Patricia Watson.
Special contributors included: Steve Berkowitz, Dora Black, Carrie Epstein, Julian Ford, Laura Gibson, Robin Gurwitch, Jack Herrmann, Jessica Hamblen, Russell Jones, Robert Macy, William Saltzman, Janine Shelby, Merritt Schreiber, Betty Pfefferbaum, Rose Pfefferbaum, Margaret Samuels, Cynthia Whitham, Bonita Wirth, and Bruce Young.
Additional material for this Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide was drawn from an adaptation by the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Principal authors for the MRC adaptation (in alphabetical order) included: Abbe Finn, Jack Herrmann, John Hickey, Edward Kantor, Patricia Santucci, and James Shultz. Additional content was provided by members of the Clergy Adaptation Group, including from Fuller Theological Seminary (in alphabetical order): David Augsburger, Cynthia Eriksson, David Foy, Peter Kung, Doug McConnell, Kathy Putnam, Dave Scott, and Jennifer Orona; from the HealthCare Chaplaincy (in alphabetical order): Nathan Goldberg, George Handzo, Yusuf Hasan, Martha Jacobs, Jon Overvold, and Eun Joo Kim; and from the Adolescent Trauma Treatment Development Center of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System (in alphabetical order): Christine DiBenedetto, Sandra Kaplan, Victor Labruna, Ayme Turnbull, and Juliet Vogel. Additional content was also provided by the University of California, San Francisco (in alphabetical order): Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Alicia Lieberman, and Patricia Van Horn.
A SAMHSA-supported expert review panel was convened on March 31-April 1, 2005. Participants made invaluable contributions. Those attending included: Miksha Nation, Cecilia Revera-Casale, Kerry Crawford, Rosemary Creeden, Daniel Dodgen, Darrin Donato, William Eisenberg, Mary Fetchet, Ellen Gerrity, Richard Gist, Ian Gordon, Susan Hamilton, Seth Hassett, Jack Herrmann, Stevan Hobfoll, Stacia Jepson, Sandra Kaplan, Susan Ko, Linda Ligenza, Steven Marans, Christina Mosser, April Naturale, Elana Newman, Bonnie O’Neill, Dori Reissman, Gilbert Reyes, Janine Shelby, and Robert Ursano.
For citation: Brymer M, Jacobs A, Layne C, Pynoos R, Ruzek J, Steinberg A, Vernberg E, Watson P, (National Child Traumatic Stress Network and National Center for PTSD), Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide, 2nd Edition. July, 2006. Available on: www.nctsn.org and www.ncptsd.va.gov.
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