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The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid

, 232 pages

2 b&w illus.

February 2017



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Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid


Psychological first aid, or PFA, is designed to mitigate the effects of acute stress and trauma and assist those in crisis to cope effectively with adversity. PFA is designed to be applied in emergencies, including disasters and terrorist attacks. In this essential guide, George S. Everly, Jr., developer of the Johns Hopkins RAPID PFA method, and Jeffrey M. Lating, his collaborator in its implementation, describe the principles and practices underpinning this psychological model in an easy-to-follow, prescriptive, and practical manner. They explain the history of PFA and persuasively demonstrate its powerful versatility. Mental health practitioners can apply PFA in all settings. It can also be used as a public-health tool to address mental health needs following critical incidents and as a means for building community resilience.

Aimed at mental health practitioners, all first responders, and global health disaster teams such as Médecins Sans Frontières and the World Health Organization, The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid is the first book to thoroughly explain RAPID PFA. RAPID, a unique theoretically grounded and evidence-based PFA method, follows a set of easily understood principles. In each chapter, Everly and Lating provide a step-by-step approach and include a key point summary to emphasize essential elements. A unifying case exemplifies each phase of the RAPID PFA model in an ongoing dialogue that presents ideal PFA responses, examples of common mistakes, and various outcomes.

In addition to their counseling experience in Kuwait after the Gulf War and in New York City after the September 11 attacks, the authors have traveled nationally and internationally to teach the RAPID PFA method in numerous public health, fire, police, military, and faith-based settings. Beneficial to those with little or no previous mental health training, this book is an essential tool for people who want to learn, to practice, or to retain their ability to use psychological first aid effectively.

George S. Everly, Jr., is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, an adjunct professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a professor of psychology at Loyola University Maryland. He is a former member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness. Jeffrey M. Lating is a professor of psychology at Loyola University Maryland. Everly and Lating are the coauthors of A Clinical Guide to the Treatment of the Human Stress Response and Personality-Guided Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

"There is nothing else in the crisis intervention/psychological first aid field that offers such content. Well written and easy to understand, this important, unique, and innovative book will be a huge contribution to the discipline."

"The techniques taught in this book belong in disaster preparedness kits alongside water, food, batteries, and a flashlight. Using this guide, citizens can become crisis interventionists, fostering individual resilience during disasters when professional help can be hours or days away."

"This guide is appropriate for all psychology students and others in the mental health fields; teachers, police officers, and firefighters will also find it helpful. Recomended."


"The book uses worked examples to engage the reader and help bring the [RAPID response] model to life in real situations."

"In their two part, nine-chapter book—aimed at the medical community and general public alike— Everly and Lating present an exhaustively sourced yet crisply written analysis of RAPID PFA and its successful application, including sample exchanges between a provider and a distressed individual to demonstrate how the process is done."

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