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Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section

The Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section provides its members with a central hub where issues of psychological trauma can be explored, research and evidence-based treatments can be examined, and ongoing standards of best practice can be shared.

About

The Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section was formed in 2013 with the goal of creating a 'centre of excellence' in which the concept of psychological trauma can be explored, evidence-based treatments examined, research findings shared and best practice established.

The Section is working to create a framework that will allow its members to share experiences, develop ideas and increase knowledge and skills in trauma psychology.

Our activities include:

  • Community influence and support
  • Professional practice
  • Professional support
  • Research
  • Teaching and training
Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section

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Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section

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Newsletters

CDT Resources

How to support those in conflict situations and refugees who have experienced trauma

In response to events in Ukraine and the impact across the world, the CDT committee wishes to support those responding directly or indirectly in every way we can, to increase awareness of trauma and effective psychosocial support.

As psychologists, mental health practitioners or emergency responders, we can improve outcomes for those involved in war or fleeing conflict environments.

Using the link below for the Section Special Edition Newsletter we summarise some easily downloadable resources for helping adults and children, at home and in affected countries.

Read our Special Edition Section newsletter

Psychological support in schools following a disaster

This publication was produced by the Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section of the British Psychological Society in collaboration with the Educational Psychology Group at UCL.

This publication presents contributions to the 2020 'Leading Edge' day event at University College London.

The event, and this document, are aimed at educational psychologists and other applied psychologists and mental health practitioners who work with educational settings.

The contributors are academic psychologists, practitioner psychologists who work with schools and communities and those involved in managing teams, developing policy and guidance.

These different voices all have one underpinning aim, to support those affected by trauma as they move along the path to recovery.

Read our report on providing psychological support in schools following a disaster

How can psychology inform disaster management?

This publication highlights the roles of psychologists in education, preparation and training for disasters.

It also looks at what psychologists can offer to the response to disasters, including the psychological interventions that can help victims, and at psychologists' research into disasters and their management. 

The publication resulted from a symposium on the above topic held at the London offices of the British Psychological Society in March 2017 and organised by the Society's Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section and, in particular by its chair, Dr Noreen Tehrani. 

Recommendations for education and training of psychologists when working with psychological trauma

The document describes a training framework that details competencies, skills and attitudes designed to act as recommendations for education and training of psychologists when working with trauma across undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training in the UK, and different areas of professional psychological practice.

The intended target audience for these recommendations are those involved in designing and delivering training at HE institutions, those designing curricula for professional training and practice, those who wish to engage in training in psychological trauma and those who are involved in the supervision of training and professional practice.

Guidelines for psychologists working with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK

The number of refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom (UK), across Europe and across the world has increased dramatically since 2015.

As a discipline and a profession, psychology has a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent to apply in this area to help improve the lives of those who have fled their countries and are seeking safety.

This guidance document is important, not only for frontline psychologists and others working in the field, but also for practitioners in related disciplines.

It is an important resource for directors, managers and practitioners of organisations working with refugees and migrants and providing services to this population, at home and abroad.

This guidance will help everyone who is working with these vulnerable populations to access evidence-based psychology, which can help them to improve the lives of individuals and communities that have been affected by the ongoing crisis.

These guidelines were developed by the BPS Presidential Taskforce on Refugees and Asylum Seekers, which included CDT Committee Member, Anne Douglas OBE.

Download the guideline summary

Download the guideline extended version

If you are aware of any additional resources/links email them to [email protected].

Committee

Chair - Dr Siobhan Currie

Siobhan is an educational psychologist with extensive experience at all levels of Local Authority Service delivery to schools, and families.

She has successfully managed and supervised many psychologists and trainees and specialised in consultation and solution focussed approaches.

Now in independent practice. Siobhan led a multidisciplinary critical incident response team and completed research in this area for her doctorate at UCL.

She is now research advisor on the Educational Psychology CPD Doctorate Programme at UCL and is also chair of Trustees at Youth Works, an alternative education provision and counselling service in Northamptonshire.

Chair-Elect - Vacant

This position is currently not filled.

Past-Chair / Honorary Treasurer - Dr Annette Greenwood

Dr Annette Greenwood is a HCPC registered Consultant Counselling Psychologist who specialises in psychological trauma and staff wellbeing, and also an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Past Chair of the Crisis, Disaster & Trauma (CDT) section.

She has worked at consultant level in the NHS for over 20 years providing service to support healthcare staff following serious incidents. Her role has included leading psychological major incident response both at international and national level including the Bali bombings and the Italian Red Cross, as well as the Beverley Allitt incident, Organ Retention at Alder Hay hospital, Dr Holton inquiry and Madeleine McCann and other major incidents within the NHS.

Annette was consultant psychologist on a Neonatal Unit for 10 years working with parents and staff and helped develop a palliative care pathway from sick babies.

In 2001 she was commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to write Counselling for staff in health service settings: A guide for employers and managers.

For the last 14 years, she has been a Consultant Counselling Psychologist and Trauma Response Lead at St Andrews Healthcare, a charity that provides specialist secure care for mental health patients within the UK funded by NHS England and the Ministry of Justice.

The Trauma Response service she developed for healthcare staff traumatised by serious incident in their place of work.

She is a Lead Consultant Clinical Advisor for the Veteran's Complex Trauma service at St Andrews Healthcare commissioned by NHS England and based at St Andrews Healthcare.

In 2012 the European Union (EU) sponsored her with colleagues across the EU to co-write the new psychosocial guidelines for psychological support to first responders following a CRBN major incident (Berlin, 2011) and (Madrid 2012).

At St Andrews Healthcare, she has developed the Trauma Response service for staff traumatised and assaulted in their workplace by violent and aggressive patients.  The Nursing Times (2013) nominated the service for 'service excellence award'.

More recently, Annette received the 'Rose of Northamptonshire award', from the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire her work supporting traumatised and bereaved relatives of nurses who have died from Covid 19 in 2020. 

Honorary Secretary - Dr Jo Coombs

Dr Jo Coombs is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist working in independent practice.

She has a long-standing interest and experience in understanding relational trauma and attachment processes and how these affect people's lives, relationships and mental health across the lifespan.

Jo has worked in and led multi-disciplinary services for children and adolescents affected by developmental trauma and provides specialist psychological assessments of children, adolescents and families for family court where there are concerns about mental health, trauma, attachment and parenting in child protection cases.

Jo also has many years' experience in assessing and working therapeutically with neurodivergent people and has a particular interest in neurodivergence and trauma.

Committee member - Heather Sequeira

Dr Heather Sequeira C.Psychol. PhD. is Director of PTSD Trauma Workshops and developer of the PTSD Masterclass; an innovative BPS Approved Workshop for clinicians that focuses on live therapy demo and participation to facilitate clinical skills. With extensive experience of trauma and fiercely non-pathologising in her approach, Heather's mission is to bring together both CBT and client-centred values with the current research in neurobiology and trauma research.

Heather is an experienced science communicator and frequently featured in BBC, Daily Mail, Times, Refinery29 publications.

Heather has current experience as a specialist clinician in the NHS, where she directs a specialist service for Complex Trauma related OCD.  She has worked in private practice, a range of organisational contexts and was the former editor of the British Psychological Society Journal 'Counselling Psychology Review'.

Heather has a solid background in research, working as Senior Research Fellow, University of London (St Georges Medical School) for over seven years before training as a Psychologist. Heather published the first controlled studies in the impact of abuse on people with learning disabilities in the British Journal of Psychiatry. She has also held other research grants in complex trauma and coercive psychiatric practices in secure care populations.

Heather has regular current input to Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training programmes, CBT Diploma Courses and British Psychological Society CPD. She is frequently appointed as an External Examiner for Doctoral level qualifications relating to trauma.

Committee member - Jane Gilbert

Consultant Clinical Psychologist. M.A (Psychol), M.Sc (Clin Psych), C. Psychol, AFBPsS

Affiliate - Disaster and Development Network, Northumbria University, UK

The early part of Jane's career was spent as a Clinical Psychologist within Adult Mental Health Services in the UK.  Subsequently she worked as an international consultant specializing in the design and delivery of workshops/training on psychological self care, mental health in cross cultural contexts, counselling skills for peer support staff, and as Staff Welfare Officer for UNHCR in South Sudan. Consultancy to INGOs has also included the assessment and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial programmes.

She has worked in The Gambia, Uganda, Lesotho, Ghana, Jordan, Liberia, Turkey, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Gaza and South Sudan.  During the pandemic, and currently, Jane is providing online support to national and expatriate staff working for international organisations in various locations, often in the Middle East. She also spent some months working for an NHS Trust providing remote support to for staff.

Committee member - Nerea Jimenez

Nerea Jimenez del Nogal is a Graduate member and a newly co-opted member of the BPS, Crisis, Disaster and Trauma section. Nerea is also a member of the following member networks: Clinical Psychologist, Psychology of Sexualities and Psychotherapy section. 

Nerea is a Practitioner Psychologist (Health, Counselling and Clinical Psychologist) trained and qualified in Spain and also a Family and Systemic Psychotherapist trained and qualified in the UK with over 9 years of professional experience covering the following areas: Youth Custody Services (creation and set up a Family therapy Service), Neurodevelopmental Services (assessment, diagnosis and treatment: CBT and FT), Eating Disorders, Gender Identity Service, CAMHS inpatient/outpatient, Adult Psychotherapy, Integrated Psychological Therapies, Chronic Illness (Diabetes), Domestic Violence and Sexual abuse, gender Equality and Immigration and sociocultural integration. Nerea currently works in the NHS, in a recovery service for adults focus on complex and endurance mental health issues (PD, Psychosis, PTSD, Major depression and anxiety among others).

In the past, Nerea has been involved in some research areas such as Diabetes (impact and support for clients and relatives, developed a treatment program), Domestic violence (risk and protective factors for women), interpersonal relationships for adults in prison and Social support for people diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria. Nowadays, her primary research interests include first mental health aid after a crime incident, PTSD in young people after an offending behaviour/crime and family responses to trauma among others. 

Nerea is also a member of the following professional bodies in the UK: HCPC, AFT and UKCP. 

Committee Member - Anne Douglas OBE

Dr Anne Douglas is a committee member of the BPS, Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section, a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the BPS.  She actively supported the creation of the Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section and served as its' first secretary from 2014-2017.  She organised several conferences for the CDT during this time. She rejoined the committee as a co-opted member in June 2019.

Dr Anne Douglas is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who specialises in Trauma. She worked in the NHS for 35 years where she was pivotal in setting up specialist Trauma teams and helping to develop trauma-informed organisations. 

Dr Anne Douglas was also a member of the Presidential Task Force for Asylum Seekers and Refugees which was hosted by the CDT Section and was asked to present at an APPG meeting in Westminster on the topic of Trauma and Treatment in the Refugee Population.  As an expert in this area, she also contributed to the BPS Guidelines for Psychologists working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees which was launched in June 2018.

Anne  now works in Independent Practice providing consultation to organisations and individuals working in the field of Trauma.

Committee Member - Elaine Johnston

Dr Elaine Johnston is a newly co-opted member of the BPS, Crisis, Disaster and Trauma section.

Elaine has extensive experience of working clinically with adults experiencing a wide range of stress and trauma presentations, including civilian and military populations, as well as training, supervision and supporting staff in the NHS and voluntary sector.

Dr Johnston is currently the clinical psychology lead for the adult intensive care unit at Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Hospital Trust.

Prior to this, they worked for many years in clinical leadership roles across a range of NHS physical and mental health services before joining combats stress as the joint head of psychological therapies, contributing to delivering and developing psychological treatment and peer support for veterans with PTSD.

Dr  Johnston completed her clinical psychology training in Edinburgh in 2011 and has undertaken further post-qualification training in CBT for psychological trauma at Oxford University, as well as training in EMDR.

Elaine is also a member of the following professional bodies - BABCP, EMDR UK & Ireland, ISTSS and UKPTS - and has a specialist interest in the assessment and treatment of psychological reactions to stress and trauma.

Co-opted member - Blerina Kellezi

Blerina is an Associate Professor in Social and Trauma Psychology and Lead of the Trauma, Social Isolation and Mental Health research group. Blerina teaches in a range of modules: Psychological Wellbeing, Trauma, Theory and Applications, Social Psychology and supervises undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD and Forensic Doctorate students.

Blerina's research investigates how people collectively deal with and are affected by extreme life events from illness and accidents to war, torture and immigration detention. This includes the interplay between Social Cure and Social Curse analysis of war, dictatorship, transitional justice, immigration detention, social prescribing, and vocational rehabilitation. Blerina has been a committee member since 2021. You can learn more about Blerina here: https://www.ntu.ac.uk/staff-profiles/socialsciences/blerina-kellezi2

Co-opted member - Sue Baskind

Dr. Sue Baskind worked as an Educational Psychologist for Barnsley MBC and then Leeds City Council from 1994 - 2006  and then as a Clinical Psychologist for Harrogate District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from 2006 - 2020.

Her specialisms are ITU care, paediatric diabetes, long term health conditions and supporting the Trusts acute and community staff teams during the COVID period online and f2f. 

Sue left the NHS in 2020 to concentrate on building her business as a Director of White Rose Psychology Practice.

External representative (UKPTS) - Mark McFetridge

Dr Mark McFetridge is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the BPS and he serves on the Crisis Disaster and Trauma section committee.

Mark currently works as a Senior Lecturer at York St. John University where he specialises in Group Psychotherapy.

He is also a member of the following professional bodies: UKPTS and his primary research interests include therapeutic interventions for people with Complex PTSD, Groups and Therapeutic Community approaches.

External representative - Nursing profession - Kate Upton

Kate Upton is a Registered Adult Nurse and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and she serves on the Crisis Disaster and Trauma section committee.

She is currently an Independent Nursing/Medical Tutor and medical writer, as well as a visiting lecturer and Admissions Committee member at Aston University Medical School. Prior to this, she was a lecturer for 13 years in the School of Nursing at The University of Birmingham.  Kate has had a number of academic and comment articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She is also a member of the Nursing Midwifery Council and the Royal College of Nursing.

Having completed and published a study investigating compassion fatigue and self-compassion in acute care nurses for her Masters in Research (MRes), Kate has continued her interest in the well-being of health care professionals and is presently developing a proposal for a Doctoral study at The University of Birmingham.

Join

Membership of the Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section is only open to members of the British Psychological Society.

If you are not already a BPS member, you can join the Section at the same time as applying for membership of the society.

Apply to join the society

Benefits of belonging

Benefits of Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section membership

  • Full access to our website
  • Opportunities to influence and take part in the development of the section
  • Opportunity to voice your opinion, either at the Section's AGM and/or by becoming a member of the section's committee
  • Reduced cost of books resulting from selected section-sponsored meetings
  • Reduced registration rates to our biennial conference and regular training events
  • Regular updates via our membership announcement e-mail list

Member Announcement Email List

The Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section uses its membership announcement email list to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues. 

By becoming a member of the Section you are automatically added to the announcement list.

To receive these emails you will need to:

  1. become a member of the Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section
  2. opt into receiving email communication and provide a working email address

These preferences can be updated by logging into your member portal.

If you have any queries, please contact Member Network Services.

To assist us in responding to your query please make sure to include your membership number and quote 'Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section announcement email' in the subject line.

Getting involved with the Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section committee

The Crisis Disaster and Trauma Section relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Section is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or students members, and together form an open and inclusive community. 

Keep an eye on our "News" tab for announcements about how to apply for a committee role.