Policy Press

Order from chaos

Responding to traumatic events

By Marion Gibson


Jan 30, 2006

Page count

256 pages


3rd Edition

Browse the series

BASW/Policy Press titles




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Order from chaos

In the context of recent natural disasters and the increase of global terrorism, there is a need for a greater understanding of the psychosocial impact of such events on the individuals and communities involved. This understanding can also enhance the support offered to people sho have to face trauma in their individual lives. Those who provide such a response need to develop their skills in this area of work. They too need to feel that they are supported in their work.

This revised and expanded edition of a highly successful book consolidates the core elements of good proctice while bringing theory and practice issues up to date. As with the first and second editions, this book can be used as a guide for best practice and as a resource for instant reference when staff are faced with responding to traumatic incidents. It also provides up-to-date case studies, drawing on the author's knowledge and experience and points the way for further, more specialised study. The book identifies core elements that are common to most traumatic events; discusses practical methods of intervention that are based on analysis of contemporary research and best practice in a multidisciplinary context; shows how the skills discussed can be transferred to individual clinical practice; addresses the needs of responders and the responsibility of organisations to provide a 'duty of care' for those who are exposed to trauma in their occupational roles and presents a modular programme of training, devised by the author, to prepare responders in the pre-crisis period.

Order from chaos is essential reading for all those who are or may be involved in supporting those who are experiencing the impact of trauma in their lives. It is also an invaluable resource for trainers in the field, and for social work and health and social care students and their teachers.

"Since the first edition of this book in 1991, our experience of mass traumatic events has, sadly, increased. However, thanks to the work of key publications such as this, so too has out understanding of their psychological and social impact and how best to prepare those responding to the needs of people affected. Gibsons's material is clearly laid out with case study examples and helpful illustrative figures." Bereavement Care

"I would highly recommend this book to all those who wish to explore and understand trauma and equip themselves in the work of responding to a traumatic incident." Accord Magazine

"I strongly recommend this book as essential reading for responders to critical incidents and for those who attempt to untangle the tortuous aftermath of trauma. Core principles of appropriate responses are offered and, most importantly, Marion Gibson does not forget the needs of professional helpers following their involvement." Gordon Turnbull, Consultant Psychiatrist, Trauma Services, The Priory Ticehurst House Hospital, UK

Marion Gibson is an accredited counsellor, part-time lecturer and Consultant Director of Staffcare, an organisation that provides a range of services, including counselling, mediation, training and Critical Incident Stress Management to organisations throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom. She has over thirty years experience as a trainer and responder working with individuals and communities in the aftermath of terrorist related trauma and disasters.

Order from chaos; Disasters; Psychosocial reactions in traumatic incidents; Responding to psychosocial reactions; The injured and their relatives; The bereaved; Crisis situations associated with children; Responders and the process of responding; Some theoretical approaches to helping; The response of systems to traumatic events; The psychosocial impact on responders; Modular training programme for responders; The challenge of bringing order from chaos in the future.