New book offers guidance for those responding to traumatic events
Press release issued: 31 January 2006
In the context of recent natural disasters, global terrorism and awareness of the impact of smaller scale traumatic incidents, the University of Bristol’s Policy Press, in association with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is publishing a new and updated edition of Order from Chaos.
In the context of recent natural disasters, global terrorism and awareness of the impact of smaller scale traumatic incidents, the University of Bristol’s Policy Press, in association with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is publishing a new and updated edition of Order from Chaos. The book consolidates the core elements of good practice from previous editions, addresses current theoretical approaches and develops a modular training programme to prepare responders in the pre-crisis period.
The author Marion Gibson, a psychosocial trauma specialist from Belfast, has played a pivotal role following disasters around the world, supporting not only those directly affected by disaster but also, crucially, the staff responsible for dealing with them.
Marion said: "Pre-training of responders is essential if an appropriate response is to be provided to the people affected. Such training is designed to help ameliorate many of the negative psychological impacts of the work reported by responders as a means to preventing them also becoming 'victims'."
Her guidance, and direct experience of being a responder, has never seemed more necessary. On 7 July 2005, Marion was providing such training to the local authorities in inner London, in preparation for any potential attack on London, when the bombs went off. Turning theory to practice, Marion provided support to the London resilience team in the days following the attack.
One year on from being a responder in Thailand following the tsunami, Marion returned to provide support to some of the survivors and the bereaved during the anniversary period.
Marion said: "I have been honoured to share the grief and pain of many people over the years and I never fail to be amazed at the similarity of reactions world-wide no matter what the cause of the incident has been. Traumatic events affect all types of people irrespective of age, gender, creed, class or political orientation - it is only the context and environment that is different.
"I am always impressed by the way so many people manage to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of trauma. People, including the responders, often speak of re-evaluating their lives, adjusting their own priorities in life, valuing their family members and friends more and enhancing their ability to provide more sensitive help to others in the future."
Order from Chaos includes case studies, which are based on Marion's international experience and contribute a cross-cultural aspect to the text. The book is invaluable to all who might have to respond to such critical incidents as well as providing essential reading for anyone who supports people experiencing the impact of trauma in their individual lives.