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Psychosocial Capacity Building in Response to Disasters

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About the Author

Joshua L. Miller is professor of social work at Smith College. A social work practitioner for more than thirty years, he is a member of three disaster response teams and a panelist for managed care companies offering crisis response to companies. Miller has worked with disaster survivors from 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami, the Haitian earthquake, China's Wenchuan earthquake, and the armed conflict in northern Uganda. His books include Racism in the United States: Implications for the Helping Professions; School Violence and Children in Crisis; and Direct Work with Families.


Miller brings to this much needed text decades of on-the-ground experience as a postdisaster responder in settings across the globe in the wake of multiple types of disasters. His personal and clinical insights from firsthand experience are combined with a well-theorized perspective that locates both the fact of the disaster and responses to the disaster in context, an ecological perspective often cited in social work yet not so often applied. -- Yoosun Park, Smith College Essential reading for disaster workers. This lucid and compelling book masterfully synthesizes theory, practice, and personal experience. In place of narrow, individualized approaches, it shows how resilience, self help, culture, meaning, and collective action support psychosocial well-being in the growing array of disasters facing the world. -- Mike Wessells, Program on Forced Migration and Health, Columbia University In brief, I recommend Psychosocial Capacity Building in Response to Disasters as a useful overview of the topic of disasters, with a special focus on capacity building. It is a good "go to" volume at a very low cost for the paperback version... -- Anthony J. Marsella PsycCritiques If clinicians find themselves interested in vicarious trauma, PTSD, and secondary PTSD, they will be well rewarded with a close reading of this book, in which Miller essentially teaches how to prevent compassion fatigue and promote compassion satisfaction on both a personal and organizational scale. -- Allan E. Crandell, M.D. Psychiatric Services [Miller] has crafted a book that is as helpful as it is accessible. Social Work with Groups This is a must-read text not only for students and educators but also professionals whose jobs include disaster interventions as well as diplomatic corps personnel who are often at the front of international disasters. -- Tohoro F. Akakpo Smith College Studies in Social Work

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