Stefan SchulenbergStefan E. Schulenberg, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in the state of Mississippi, an Associate Professor in the University of Mississippi’s (UM) Psychology Department, and the Director of UM’s Clinical-Disaster Research Center (UM-CDRC). Through the UM-CDRC, Dr. Schulenberg emphasizes research and education in disaster mental health and positive psychology. He served as a consultant on a National Science Foundation research grant issued in response to Hurricane Katrina, and conducted evaluation research funded by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health relating to the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Dr. Schulenberg’s research interests include clinical-disaster psychology, meaning in life, and positive psychology.

Workshop Title: Disaster Mental Health and Positive Psychology: Meaning-Making and Resilience Following Traumatic Events

Workshop Description: This workshop integrates disaster mental health and positive psychology. Topics of discussion include the role of psychologists and other mental health professionals in the field of disaster mental health; psychopathology associated with natural and technological disasters; vulnerability, meaning-making, and resilience; and related mental health interventions and services. Emphasis is placed on meaning-making and resilience as essential elements that facilitate adaptive coping and growth. Focus is also placed on being proactive in response to disasters, empowering people before disasters occur, as well as in the immediate and long-term disaster context. Discussion also involves how psychologists and other mental health professionals become involved in disaster mental health preparedness, mitigation, and response.

Learning Objectives:     

Upon completing this workshop, participants will have an understanding of:

  1. disaster mental health as a field
  2. the associated roles of psychologists and other mental health professionals in response to natural and technological disasters
  3. the significance of positive psychology concepts, such as resilience and meaning-making, as touchstones for adaptive coping and post-disaster growth
  4. new research support for meaning and resilience in disaster mental health
  5. how mental health professionals become involved in disaster mental health preparedness, mitigation, and response