As some of you know, I volunteer with the Crisis Response Team. We work with local police and fire departments to provide immediate assistance to people affected by trauma. In less formal language: When something really bad goes down, the cops page us to come talk to the survivors.

This is a wonderful program, and the reason why I decided to take the plunge and get an MA in clinical psychology. It is also extremely intense, involving things like walking into the scene of a murder-suicide which took place less than an hour ago. It's not for everyone. But if it's for you... we want you!

You must live in Los Angeles, CA, USA. Ideally, you will be within driving distance of the West side, Beverly Hills, and/or West Hollywood

I copy the flyer below:

Make a Difference in Our Community. Crisis Counselor ~ Volunteer Opportunity.

The Crisis Response Team is a program of Chiron Center, Inc. ~ a 501(c)3 Non-profit. ~


10-week, 30 hour Training. Thursday Evenings, 6 - 9pm. Begins Thursday, October 6, 2011

Space is limited to the first 25 qualified applicants. Ongoing training and supervision provided by nationally recognized trauma mental health specialists.

For more information visit our website: or call Agency Manager Dean Rishel:
(855) 343-6012, x707

Respond On-Scene to assist survivors of trauma or serious loss: homicide, suicide, death of a child, home-invasion robbery, fatal traffic collision, sudden death of a loved one...

Work alongside Police, Fire, Sheriff, and EMS personnel.

From: [identity profile]

It's not for everyone. But if it's for you... we want you!

It would be for me if it weren't 3000 miles away. Sorry to crash into your LJ and immediately start asking questions, but--

1. Can you recommend a good way for me to find out if my area has something similar?


2. Does it require the degree/license, or did it just inspire you to want to learn more? I haven't managed to get myself into a Masters of Psychology program yet, but I have about 10 years' experience working in mental/behavioral health, including a lot of crisis intervention. The American Red Cross's disaster services requires the license, which is why I haven't followed up with them yet. If the kind of thing you're talking about doesn't, I'd love to find something like it.

From: [identity profile]

You don't need a degree or license for my program, but others may differ. The non-licensed, trained volunteers go out with supervisors who are licensed therapists. I don't have a degree or a license, but doing it made me think it was the field for me.

I would try googling your city and terms like "crisis response/counseling." If your area doesn't have anything like this, I would try a crisis hotline, if you're comfortable with phones. (I'm not.)

I used to work with the ARC and I did not have a particularly good experience with them.

From: [identity profile]

I used to work with the ARC and I did not have a particularly good experience with them.

A lot of people don't, it seems, which is a pity. I taught first aid and CPR for them for a year, which was fine, but they don't seem to handle more complex and fraught needs well.

I'll look into it. On the one hand, I do often prefer getting my information without having to use the phone, if I can. On the other, I spent 4 months working a switchboard for the MA Dept. of Education, and nothing cures phone shyness faster than 8 hours a day of nothing but fielding stressed out callers. So I'll make some calls if the internet fails me. Thanks for bringing the existence of this kind of program to my attention.

From: [identity profile]

The work they do is often excellent. But in my experience, they were not a good organization to be employed by. However, I was doing disaster relief. (Locally, for fires and so forth.)

From: [identity profile]

Good for you!

I was involved with a local crisis team and it was the absolute best experience in the world. I wish you all the best.

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