Is there a way I can prepare for a crisis?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,018
    School psychologist Ted Feinberg discusses how to help children cope with crisis situations, including ways to prepare for a crisis.

    Ted Feinberg

    Dr. Feinberg has over 30 years of broad-based human services experience in the mental health field. He has extensive background in consultation and counseling with children, adolescents, adults and families. He has worked in both the public and private sectors. In August 2000, Dr. Feinberg assumed his current position as Assistant Executive Director for Professional Development for the National Association of School Psychologists. His new responsibilities include program development, oversight of advocacy, government and public relations, public policy initiatives, interagency networking as well as professional standards and ethics. Dr. Feinberg has also co-authored two chapters for a Best Practices book on crisis intervention in the schools, book chapters and numerous articles for the NASP Communiqué. Dr. Feinberg was one of the six members of the core workgroup who developed the nationally recognized PREPaRE crisis prevention and intervention training curriculum. Dr. Feinberg has been the Director of Albany Counseling and Crisis Intervention Services and the Senior School Psychologist for the North Colonie Schools near Albany, N.Y. He has been a member of the Graduate School faculties at Russell Sage College, University of New York at Albany, the University of Maryland and George Mason University. Dr. Feinberg completed his doctoral and postdoctoral training at the University of New York at Albany. In October 1995, the New York State Association of School Psychologists selected Dr. Feinberg as Practicioner of the Year. Dr. Feinberg completed his second trip to Panama where he assisted the United States Department of Defense with their reduction in force efforts. He was one of the founding members and Chairman for the NASP National Emergency Assistance team and has volunteered his time to do crisis intervention training and disaster mental health work for the American Red Cross and the National Organization for Victim Assistance. Dr. Feinberg was the team leader for NEAT/NOVA in Spotsylvania, Virginia where three adolescent girls from the community were abducted, molested and murdered. In April 1999, he was invited to Littleton, Colorado after the worst school shooting tragedy in US history to consult with school and community members impacted by the horrific event. Dr. Feinberg was the keynote speaker for the New York State Governors’ Conference on the Prevention of School Violence on March 5, 1999. He was also appointed to then Governor Pataki’s New York State Blue Ribbon Task Force on School Violence.

    Speaker: How can I connect with other people that are in similar situations?

    Dr. Ted Feinberg: In almost every community that I m familiar with, there are groups that exist that offer support to families who have gone through these terrible, terrible episodes, and if you contact the school they may know of those ongoing support groups. There are community agencies that run these groups and often times, there are groups like the Samaritans who have as their mission to offer support groups for people of all ages who have gone through a suicide.

    So, you get to talk with other families who have experienced these terrible events, and one, find out how they have coped and two, deal with some of the feelings and emotions that you are experiencing which in many instances, I would guess are very similar to what other people have gone through. So, you get to ask questions. You get to develop a network of folks who you can talk to, who you really feel and appreciate, understand, what you re going through and once again in most communities these types of services are offered free to anybody who wants to participate.

    A part of the difficulty maybe that, there will be some members of some families who will not see this as something that they want to take advantage of for a variety of reasons, whether it s pride, whether they don t want to air their emotional feelings to strangers. It could be a variety of reasons, why people resist that but by enlarge, having the opportunity to talk with people who ve gone through these terrible, terrible events that can be very comforting and supportive and helping to clarify not only what you re feeling but maybe more importantly where you can be down the road and that can be very helpful for folks. Even, if you re feeling terrible, you re talking to people who have gone through this and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.