What do you do when the call comes from a distraught parishioner who needs help in dealing with a murder, rape, traffic accident, miscarriage, or the effects of a natural disaster or war? How can students of pastoral care and counseling learn in a seminary setting how to think about and counsel in those situations? An extraordinary number of survivors of such catastrophic events turn to clergy for help to deal with their stress. The effects of such massive stress are typically known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Knowing how to recognize PTSD and how to handle such crisis situations is critical for caregivers.
Weaver, Preston, and Flannelly use case studies to show how to handle such tough situations. Treatment options, referral possibilities and procedures are explained so that the caregiver knows how to help those in their care cope with catastrophic emotional distress. The authors suggest religious resources within the faith (mainly Christian and Jewish) community that can be of help in crisis situations. The authors also list national, cross-cultural, and self-help resources (including street and internet addresses as well as phone information) which many caregivers and family members may prefer to access. This book is intended primarily as a teaching/caring resource and pastoral aid to be studied over time; however, the authors include a quick reference section for emergency aid.