Training Responders with a Wide Therapeutic Tool Kit to Provide Online Brief Psychological Services (1 to 2 Sessions) for Clients in Distress

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



As we face a mental health crisis in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, more and more Filipinos report higher levels of distress. Moreso, psychosocial support in the midst or post a traumatic experience is crucial in preventing the development of post traumatic stress-disorder, depression, anxiety, and even substance-use disorders among survivors. With the limited number of psychologists in the country, the need for trained responders also increases. The mental health and psychosocial support pyramid suggests that focused, non-specialized support such as psychological first aid (PFA) and psychosocial processing (PSP) may be given by trained and supervised responders who may not have years of training in providing specialized support (IASC, 2007). This presentation discusses key psychological skills and knowledge that psychologists-in-training must be equipped with in order to provide brief (1 to 2 session) psychological services online. The training adapted a pfa/psp framework that can be used to respond not just for disaster related distress, but also for depression and anxiety. It also included suicide risk assessment and response, narrative therapy in brief sessions, trauma and the transactional model of stress, provision of support online, and administrative and suicide protocol guidelines. Insights and challenges in the online training of responders will also be discussed.

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