Psychosocial Response and Recovery , Urupare ki te hinengaro ā-pāpori me te Whakaora

This is a series of two short courses designed for those who want to learn about psychosocial response and recovery and how to provide support to practitioners and communities.

Key facts

Start date:

Course 1: Introduction to Psychosocial Response and Recovery: 15 – 16 March 2023

Course 2: Supporting Psychosocial Recovery: 3 – 4 May 2023

Cost: $600 + GST for each 2-day course

Duration: Each course runs for 2 days

Delivery mode: In person

Massey University
Wellington campus
Wallace Street
Mt Cook
New Zealand


Most people affected by an emergency will experience some distress and for many this will be eased with the care and support of family, whānau, friends, and the community. Others will experience more severe and longer-lasting psychological and social wellbeing impacts requiring more formal or professional intervention.

Effective psychosocial interventions to reduce distress and promote positive adaptation focus on aspects including self-efficacy and community participation. Social networks that help people support each other and foster a sense of control over their lives are critical for community recovery and resilience.

Psychosocial support builds resilience through preventative actions (helping to prevent or reduce the risk of negative psychosocial problems) and curative actions (helping individuals and communities to face and overcome such problems and to adapt to changing circumstances).

Because psychosocial impacts of emergencies have consequences beyond the primary location of an event, psychosocial support should be the concern of all providers, locally, regionally, and nationally.

These short courses have been developed to provide an introduction to psychosocial response and recovery. Each course will begin with an introduction and review of Aotearoa New Zealand and international research and practice. Through presentations and interactive exercises, we will explore key concepts and principles and provide practical guidance for turning the ‘theory to practice’.

Who this course is for

This is a series of two short courses designed for those who want to learn more about psychosocial response and recovery and how to provide support to practitioners and communities. Participants may sign up for one or both courses.

These short courses will also be part of the Massey course 130702 Coping with Disasters. If you are enrolled this course you will be able to attend both short courses, at no additional cost. However, you do not need to be enrolled in 130702 to attend the Psychosocial Response and Recovery short courses.

The courses are limited to 40 participants per course.

Course content and structure

Course 1: Introduction to Psychosocial Response and Recovery

The course will cover:

  • 'What is psychosocial response and recovery?'.
    • Psychosocial recovery is not about returning to normality. It is about positively adapting to a changed reality.
    • Short and long-term impacts and reactions.
  • Understanding resilience. Resilience arises from dynamic factors (social, economic, behavioural, and protective) that influence the ability to cope with or prevent stressors that disrupt fundamental expectations of normality.
    • Adaptive capacities.
    • That resilience is a process rather than an outcome.
    • That all those involved in a disaster are likely to benefit from some form of psychosocial support.
    • Tiered models of psychosocial interventions and mental health treatments.

Course 2: Supporting Psychosocial Recovery

This course will cover:

  • Long-term adaptation and recovery vary significantly. Can we predict who is most at risk during and following disasters?
    • Risk and adaptive factors.
  • Supporting psychosocial recovery.
    • Effective interventions – key factors.
  • Supporting communities to effectively anticipate, cope with, and recover from disasters.


Dr Carol MacDonald

Senior Research Officer

Dr Maureen Mooney

Senior Research Officer

+6449793617 extension 63671

Associate Professor Julia Becker

Associate Professor Julia Becker

Associate Professor
School of Psychology

Dr Lauren Vinnell

Associate Professor Siautu Alefaio-Tugia

Associate Professor Siautu Alefaio-Tugia

Associate Professor
School of Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Auckland campus

Professor David Johnston

Professor of Disaster Management

+64 4 979 3672 extension 63672

School of Psychology


Please complete a registration form for each attendee. Secure credit card payment can be made for multiple attendees or an invoice can be generated and sent to your organisation. Please contact for alternative payment options.

Contact information

Email the Joint Centre for Disaster Research at

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