Thinking the Unthinkable: Disaster Mental Health

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(1), 27–28. Reviews the book, Coping with Catastrophe: A Handbook of Disaster Management by Peter E. Hodgkinson and Michael Stewart (1991). This book provides a sound and relatively comprehensive overview of the psychological sequelae resulting from various types of emergencies and disasters. The reader is cautioned that it is not a handbook of disaster management, as the title states. Rather, the book deals exclusively with psychosocial issues. This book will be most helpful to mental health professionals with little exposure to disaster work. Contents include a variety of perspectives on trauma and bereavement, a broad spectrum of disaster events, and guidance for interventions with primary victims as well as disaster workers. The book is an example and a reminder of several challenges in the disaster mental health field There is a need for research-based knowledge. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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