Supporting Disaster Relief Efforts Internationally: A Call to Counseling Psychologists

Arpana G. Inman*, Lawrence H. Gerstein, Ying Fen Wang, Michiko Iwasaki, Mary Gregerson, Leah M. Rouse, Sherry Dingman, Joaquim A. Ferreira, Agnes Watanabe-Muraoka, Sue C. Jacobs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The increased occurrence of natural and human-made disasters has led to a greater call for culturally sensitive engagement in disaster mental health. In this article, we aim to stimulate culturally focused participation and competence among counseling psychologists who engage in disaster mental health work. Framed within an ecological and systemic interaction of individual, cultural, community, and structural factors, the article is based on two cross-cultural competency models emphasizing, cultural intelligence, language proficiency, cognitive complexity and flexibility, and highly developed interpersonal and communication skills, in the planning and delivery of disaster relief services. In particular, we address (a) specific cultural challenges, (b) skills and competencies needed, and (c) recommendations for online resources, that are relevant to counseling psychologists who seek to promote emotional resiliency in individuals and communities impacted by a disaster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-657
Number of pages28
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • disaster curriculum
  • international competencies
  • multicultural
  • networking
  • systems approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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