Emotional and Spiritual Care in Disasters

This advanced level course will enhance your skills to provide effective emotional and spiritual care (ESC) to meet the disaster-related needs of disaster responders and disaster affected families and individuals within disaster operations. This course builds on the crisis intervention principles taught in the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) core courses to effectively integrate these principles within ESC teams for appropriate care throughout the disaster continuum from the immediate to long-term recovery process.

This course is designed for trained clergy, chaplains, mental health professionals, and CISM trained crisis responders who desire to enhance their skills in providing Emotional and Spiritual Care to survivors of disaster and trauma. Suggested but not mandatory prerequisites: Individual Crisis Intervention & Peer Support; Group Crisis Intervention; Pastoral Crisis Intervention.

Program Highlights:

  • One’s own faith tradition and ESC
  • ESC & the Incident Command System
  • ESC & disaster relief operations
  • Physical, psychological, emotional impact of disasters
  • Behavioral, interpersonal and spiritual impact of disasters
  • Range of ESC interventions in the aftermath
  • Suitability to provide ESC
  • Maintaining health during deployment
  • Deployment personal care plans
  • Intervention and care giving concepts

Successful completion of the Approved Instructor Candidate Program will allow you to teach this curriculum to others. Continuing education will be required to maintain your instructor status.

Prerequisites for Participation in the Approved Instructor Candidate Program:

  • Completion of the following ICISF courses as taught by ICISF or by an approved ICISF instructor. (Copies of certificates of completion are required to accompany the application).
    • Group Crisis Intervention
    • Individual Crisis Intervention an Peer Support
    • Advanced Group Crisis Intervention OR Strategic Response to Crisis
    • Emotional and Spiritual Care
  • A minimum of three years critical incident/traumatic stress experience.
  • Evidence of disaster experience.
  • A letter of recommendation from a local, state or regional CISM team or agency / institution dated within three months of application due date.*
  • A letter of endorsement from a local, state or regional CISM coordinator or clinical director dated within three months of application date.*

* At least one of the letters of recommendation must attest to the instructor candidate’s teaching ability. If neither of the aforementioned letters can do so, a third letter must be submitted.

  • Active membership on a crisis intervention team.
  • Current ICISF membership.
  • A copy of a current CV or resume.
  • Official course application form.
  • A brief statement outlining:
    1. Your crisis intervention/CISM and disaster experience.
    2. Your instructional experience.
    3. Reasons for applying for ICISF Approved Instructor Training.