Crisis psychology and disaster response

Learning outcomes


On completion of this course, the students should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student has in-depth knowledge of:


  • How psychological and social factors influence individual reactions and adaptation to trauma
  • Adaption of low threshold individual, family-, school- and community-based interventions following trauma
  • Optimal ways to organize psychosocial support after severe trauma, both in the short and longer run


The student has the ability to


  • Explain the basic mechanisms involved in human responses to trauma
  • Select and use screening instruments, assessment and clinical evaluation of trauma survivors 


  • Communicate to health and social service providers, families and NGO’s about methods and approaches to adapt and cope with trauma
  • Facilitate families, schools and communities in developing, implementing and evaluating social support and outreach efforts;
  • Facilitate school and community-based interventions to prevent long term adverse health effects


General competence:
The student can


  • Assist in establishing family-, school- and community-based programs,
  • Respond to families, teachers and communities with suggestions for adaptive action
  • Implement and utilize relevant research-based screening and assessment instruments,
  • Help build, manage and evaluate psychosocial support after violence, abuse and trauma
  • Work effectively in concert with other health professionals, families and communities

Course content

he main objective is to introduce students to the research and practicum area of crisis psychology and clinically anchored assessment, intervention and counselling to families, health professionals, and community-based services. The goal and focus of the subject is inspired by the UN sustainable development goals.

The main themes are (1) individual reactions and adaptation to trauma; (2) assessment and screening of trauma and grief reactions; (3) preventive interventions in families, schools and the community setting.


NOTE: The course is given by University of Bergen.

The attendance to the course is limited to 25 students. Priority will be given to students registered at the professional program in clinical psychology at the University of Bergen who has been admitted to the 10/20 ECTS module of Global Mental Health Practicum and students from the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (HINN) and international students participating in mobility programs organized by Center for Crisis Psychology.
Other master's students may apply subject to availability and fulfilment of basic knowledge requirements. Attendance is given through written application.

Teaching and working methods

Teaching methods comprise about 20 hours of lectures, seminars and group presentations.

Coursework requirements

Students are required to attend at least 80% of the scheduled lectures and seminars.

Compulsory activities must be completed and approved before the student can proceed to the assessment. 


Portfolio assessment with portfolio consisting of two products:
1. Group presentation
2. Group report