FACT SHEET - Protecting Yourself from Plague

By Brandon Henderson,2014-01-10 21:05
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FACT SHEET - Protecting Yourself from Plague

FACT SHEET Disaster Counseling Tips

    LISTENING AND GUIDING ARE KEY Survivors typically benefit from

    ? talking about their disaster experiences

    ? being assisted with problem-solving

    ? getting referrals to resources

    Rapport refers to the feelings of interest and

    understanding that develop when genuine

    concern is shown. You can create rapport by

    ? presenting calmness and compassion

    ? listening with your heart

    ? conveying respect and a

    nonjudgmental manner TIPS FOR ACTIVE LISTENING Disaster workers listen most effectively when they take in information through the eyes and

    “extrasensory radar” to better understand the survivor’s situation and needs. Some tips

    for listening include:

    ? Allow silence. Silence gives the survivor time to reflect and become aware of

    feelings. Silence can prompt the survivor to elaborate. Simply “being with” the

    survivor and his/hers experience is supportive.

    ? Attend nonverbally. Eye contact, head nodding, caring facial expressions, and

    occasional “uh-huhs” let survivors know that you are in tune with them.

    ? Paraphrase. When you repeat portions of what the survivor has said, understanding,

    interest, and empathy are conveyed. Paraphrasing also checks for accuracy, clarifies

    misunderstanding, and lets the survivor know that he or she is being heard. Good

    lead-ins are:

     “So you are saying that…”

     “I have heard you say that…”

    ? Reflect feelings. You may notice that the survivor’s tone of voice or nonverbal

    gestures suggest anger, sadness, or fear. Possible responses are, You sound angry,

    scared, etc. Does that fit for you?” This helps the survivor identify and articulate his

    or her emotions.

FACT SHEET Disaster Counseling Tips (continued)

    ? Allow expression of emotions. Expressing intense emotions through tears or angry

    venting is an important part of healing. It often helps the survivor work through

    feelings so that he or she can better engage in constructive problemsolving. You

    should stay relaxed, breathe, and let survivors know that it is OK to feel the emotions

    they are feeling.


    Do say:

    ? These are normal reactions to a disaster.

    ? It is understandable that you feel this way.

    ? You are not going crazy.

    ? It wasn’t your fault, you did the best you could.

    ? Things may never be the same, but they will get better, and you will feel better.

    The desire to try to fix a survivor’s painful situation or make the survivor feel better often

    underlies the following “Don’t say” list. Often, these “Don’ts” make the survivor feel

    discounted, not understood, or more alone. It is best when workers allow survivors to

    share their experiences, feelings, and perspectives.

    Don’t say:

    ? It could have been worse.

    ? You can always get another pet/car/house.

    ? It’s best if you just stay busy.

    ? I know just how you feel.

    ? You need to get on with your life.

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