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Saturday Workshop Series: Disaster Psychology: Overcoming Roadblocks to Enhance Opportunities for Engagement as a Disaster Mental Health Responder, Dana Nussbaum PhD and Ron Reynolds

  • Sat, January 26, 2019
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Corte Madera Town Center, Room 201, 770 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera, CA 94925


  • This is the discounted price for licensed members of neighboring CAMFT chapters - SFCAMFT, RECAMFT and EBCAMFT.

Registration is closed


Saturday, January 26, 2019, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Disaster Psychology:  Overcoming Roadblocks to Enhance Opportunities for Engagement as a Disaster Mental Health Responder

 Dana Nussbaum, PhD and Ron Reynolds

California has experienced multiple disasters in the last year.  During the immediate aftermath of a disaster, mental health clinicians can be extremely helpful to neighbors and the greater community.  However, few are armed with the knowledge they need to engage effectively with the various disaster response entities to be in a position to help people impacted by disaster.  Often, the path to engaging safely and effectively is confusing and filled with roadblocks.   We will address the challenge of navigating through the maze of emergency response operations while maintaining personal safety and think through how to best respond in a variety of disaster scenarios.

This course, is designed to introduce LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs to the practical aspects of engaging in disaster response as a mental health clinician, as identified by the instructors: one a psychologist, one a retired police officer, both seasoned disaster responders.  They will explain the disaster cycle and disaster response framework, including the chaos that goes along with it.  You will learn tips for how to navigate through the bureaucracy and cope with inherent frustrations, important considerations related to self-care and key disaster psychology intervention techniques to take into the field.

Together, we will discuss the variety of ways stress manifests in individuals exposed to disasters, how to formulate an understanding of the clinical picture and develop a plan in the context of disaster. Instructors will address considerations for developing cultural competency and how to develop and maintain a therapeutic alliance. This course gives students an opportunity to practice applying knowledge and skills using scenarios taken from the field and to develop the ability to discern when and how to apply their professional armament of therapeutic skills.  The objective of this course is to give you a roadmap to solve problems, engage with others during disasters and help you develop a sense of confidence that you can draw from when disaster strikes.

Dr. Dana Nussbaum has a private practice in Marin County, where the majority of her clients are first responders and people recovering from trauma-induced psychological injuries or stress.  A Specialty Provider for Cal Fire and the San Francisco Police Department, Dana volunteers on the North Bay Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team.  Dana deploys locally and nationally to disasters and teaches Psychological First Aid (PFA) to lay audiences and Disaster Mental Health (DMH) Fundamentals to licensed clinicians.  Dana instructs First Responder Intervention at the Wright Institute in Berkeley and is the Disaster Network Chair for the Redwood and Napa-Solano Psychological Associations.

A native of San Francisco, Ron Reynolds graduated from Lowell High School and earned his A.S. Degree in Criminology and B.S. Degree in Public Administration.  Ron spent four years as a University Of California Campus Police Officer, San Francisco Campus, with special training for Langley Porter Hospital.  Ron worked thirty-and-a-half years as a Police Officer, Police Sergeant and Police Inspector/Detective for the San Francisco Police Department.  Ron is a subject Matter Expert in Auto Theft, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and served as an Internal Affairs Investigator, Hostage Negotiator, Peer Support Counselor, Taxi Cab Enforcement Administrator and District Police Station Investigator.  Now retired from law enforcement and residing in Marin County, Ron has spent the last five years in disaster response and volunteering for the American Red Cross.  He is a subject Matter Expert in Logistics, Client Services, Mass Care and Disaster Shelter Management.  Ron is a Red Cross Disaster Response Team Member, Disaster Shelter Manager trainer and Red Cross Certified Instructor.


Educational Goals / Learning Objectives

  • Be able to describe 3 stages of how a disaster response unfolds.
  • Be able to describe 2 disaster response characteristics that impact one’s ability to engage in a disaster response operation DRO.    
  • Be able to describe and utilize one or more avenues for engaging in disaster response.
  • Be able to explain the importance of personal safety during disaster response and list several ways of how to stay safe.
  • be able to identify and discuss what the stress response looks like during a disaster.
  • Be able to distinguish Psychological First Aid PFA, Enhanced Psychological First Aid E-PFA and be able to describe and utilize several current accepted E-PFA practices employed during disasters.

Agenda for the Day

9:00 am     INTRODUCTION


  • Disaster Response
  • Disaster Types
  • Disaster Response Framework
  • Span of Control
  • Disaster Response Cycle
  • Disaster Response Agencies/Players
  • Specifics: How to get through it
  • Engage to reach your goal
  • Avenues for Clinicians to take when engaging in disaster response


  • What the stress response looks like during a disaster
  • Specifics: How to engage to assist others
  • Techniques Clinicians use to assist others
  • Enhanced Psychological First Aid E-PFA
  • Disaster Mental Health DMH
  • Hot Topics: Current best practices for clinicians responding to disaster situations

12:30 pm  LUNCH: On your own at one of the many restaurants in the area


  • Practice problem solving in typical disaster situations
  • Practice enhanced PFA


  • Avenues For Engaging In Disaster Response


  • Turn in a completed program evaluation in order to receive CE certificate

The workshop will be held at the Corte Madera Town Center, 770 Tamalpais Drive, Room 201

CLINICAL/ASSOCIATE   $35  $45                    
  • Marin CAMFT encourages those who attend its events to respect the fact that some individuals may have allergies to fragrances and pet dander. We ask that you refrain from introducing these elements into our meeting room. Registered service animals are welcome, of course. 
  • Information: For more information about Marin CAMFT's Workshops and about joining the Committee, please contact the Director-at-Large for CE.
  • Continuing Education Goal: Marin CAMFT is committed to offering continuing education courses to train licensees to train LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs to treat any client in an ethically and clinically sound manner based upon current accepted standards of practice. Course completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation. 
  • Refund Policy: Requests for refunds must be in writing and received by the Director-at-Large for CE no later than ten days before the program. There will be a $25.00 administrative fee to cancel registration for any program. The refund will be sent within ten days of the request.
  • Accommodation for Special Needs: The special needs of persons with disabilities will be accommodated. The Program Committee will endeavor to assure that continuing education program materials, content and venue selections will meet the special needs of the disabled and that reasonable accommodation will be made. A request for accommodation can be made to the Director-at-Large for CE who will work with the Committee and event venue to meet the need. All instructors will read and adhere to Marin CAMFT’s stated policies.
  • Grievance Procedure: Marin CAMFT will respond to complaints in a reasonable, ethical and timely manner, when submitted by program attendees in writing to the Director-at-Large for CE.
  • Anti-Discrimination Policy: Marin CAMFT shall not discriminate against any individual or group with respect to any service, program or activity based on gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age or other prohibited basis. Marin CAMFT does not require attendees to adhere to any particular religion or creed in order to participate in training. Marin CAMFT will not promote or advocate for a single modality of treatment that is discriminatory or likely to harm clients based on current accepted standards or practice.
  • CE Approvals: This workshop meets the qualifications for 6CE credits for LMFTs, LCSWs, LEPs and LPCCs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences for license renewal. These will be provided by Marin CAMFT (CEP # 56895), which is approved by CAMFT to sponsor CE for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs. Marin CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. Contact the Director-at-Large for CE for more information.

    Marin County Chapter of CAMFT                  

    PO Box 9065 San Rafael, CA 94912-9065     

    (415) 459 3484

    Marin CAMFT is approved by  the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT Provider #56895) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs

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