EFT Trauma Management for Humanitarian Aid Workers

In a 1998, half of the respondents in a World Health Organization survey of active aid workers reported they were unable to function well on the day they were interviewed. Six out of ten interviewed reported general fatigue and one half reported frequent headaches as well as high rates of sleeping difficulties, irritability, and anger (Lovgren, 2003). Another 2001 study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress showed that 30 percent of returning humanitarian workers reported stress symptoms and about 10 percent could have been diagnosed with PTSD (Eriksson, Vande Kemp, Gorsuch & Hoke). The adverse psychological consequences of working with traumatized individuals on an ongoing basis have been described in multiple ways: secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD), compassion stress, compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization (McCann & Pearlman, 1990; Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995).

Regardless of how we refer to these adverse psychological consequences, researchers contend that humanitarian organizations must do a better job of first selecting and then preparing their staff before sending them into crisis situations. They must also offer better psychological support for humanitarian workers while they’re in the field (Shah, Garland & Katz, 2007; McFarlane, 2004). EFT Global assists employees and volunteers of other humanitarian organizations minimize and recover from the impact of emotional and traumatic stress encountered as a result of working in difficult field conditions and crisis situations. We offer services before, during and after field missions as follows:

  • Before Field Missions: EFT Global has developed a specific support program to prepare humanitarian workers psychologically and emotionally before leaving for a potentially traumatic field mission. Humanitarian workers learn how to help themselves and their colleagues reduce the traumatic impact of working in ongoing crisis situations.
  • During Field Missions: EFT Global has developed specific EFT trauma related protocols to provide psychological and emotional support for local staff and field workers. Services can be provided in person or remotely via Skype.
  • After Field Missions: EFT Global provides one-on-one EFT sessions to returning staff and field humanitarian workers. These services are effective for both those reporting traumatic stress symptoms as well as those who are not although others believe an assessment and possible services may be warranted.

Contact us to learn more!