Psychological First Aid (PFA): A 4-Module Course

Module 3: Listen--listening deeply

December 01, 2020 4:00 pm


  • Duration: 120 minutes
  • Language: English
  • Geographical target: Global
  • Host/Presenter:  Patricia Omidian

We have designed this course on Psychological First Aid (PFA) for individuals and organizations who are supporting people in the immediate aftermath of a crisis or trauma event. We also recommend this course for people who want to deepen their psychosocial support skills. Through this training we practice:

  • Deepening the listening process at each step
  • Helping communities find their own solutions and paths to resilience
  • Self-Care for responders and their supervisors as they do PFA work in community
  • Discovering how a mind/body technique like Focusing can enhance empathy and resilience

Because most cultures of the world emphasise the group over the individual, we explore ways to help you balance support of both family/community and individual needs.

Psychological First Aid, as an approach for use by first responders in disasters and other emergency situations, uses a resilience, deep listening approach to community recovery. We found it very useful in Liberia when Pat worked there during the Ebola virus crisis. Communities were so traumatized and needed ways to be heard, find help, support each other and move forward in positive ways.

1 Module each month

  • We will meet together once a month to introduce each new module, discuss concepts and define activities for that month (attendance required for certification)
  • Each month participants will also be able to attend an open forum to discuss topics, problem solve and share PSSCW experiences (attendance optional). Date to be announced.

Certification is available based on the following:

  • Participant writes a formal request to Focusing Initiatives and receives approval
  • Payment of  US$150 course fee (scholarships can be negotiated)
  • Participant completes 80% of the reading, coursework and activities in each module

Upon approval by the instructors, the participant will be given access to the all  reading assignments and activity materials through our online course platform. Assignment results will be shared with the course instructors by email or on the course platform.


Date Title PFA Topic
06/10/2020        Learn
  • History of PFA
  • Critical issues 
  • Even when there is no disaster
03/11/2020     Listen
  • Deep listening
  • Reflection 
  • Why Listening works
Dec/1/2020        Look
  • Entering a community
  • Observation techniques
  • Aware of “on the ground” realities
  • Stress and stress reactions
Jan/5/2021        Link
  • Resilience
  • Next steps 
  • Supporting community

Focusing Initiatives International  has a proven track record of working in collaboration with communities and organizations to bring psychosocial support and psychological first aid  trainings. We have a total accumulated experience of over 50 years in training, teaching and program implementation. We have worked with communities, humanitarian organizations and their staff, and public health organizations and personnel particularly in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East, Africa, Japan, and North America.

Signup Need help?