Crisis Response
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Wild fires are devastating large parts of California. For those of you living and working in the affected communities, CAMFT hopes that you, your colleagues, and loved ones are all safe.

If you are an American Red Cross trained Disaster Mental Health volunteer, living in the Northern California Coastal Region (especially in Lake County), and would like to assist with this crisis please email For American Red Cross trained Disaster Health volunteers living in the Southern California region, please contact your local American Red Cross or a deploying agency that you are already registered with.

Professional training in crisis intervention and disaster mental health is proving to be crucial to the support MFTs can provide to communities experiencing shock, fear, and grief. If you are interested in how to become involved professionally, please explore the Crisis Response Education & Resources Committee’s web pages for suggested trainings and workshops to hone your skills. Be sure to also join the Crisis Response Development Group on the CAMFT Community to receive email updates from the Committee and to network online with other therapists interested in disaster intervention work.

The loss and devastation following a natural disaster can linger in the community long after the crisis itself has passed. Please see the links below for helpful resource materials compiled by CAMFT’s Crisis Response Education & Resources Committee (CRERC) to reference while helping those in need deal with the mental and emotional aftershocks of wildfires.


Redwood Empire Chapter

In the wake of the devastating fires, Redwood Empire CAMFT (RECAMFT) would like to immediately survey CAMFT members to learn how we can assist those who have lost their home, office, car, pets, or loved ones; identify members who are willing to share/sublet an office, have an extra bedroom, could care for a pet, loan a car, etc; and offer members an opportunity to make a donation, so the RECAMFT Board can provided grants to members who lost their home or office.

We do know of at least two of our members who lost their homes, and assume there may be more. Please take this survey ASAP to help us coordinate our response efforts. Take Survey Now!   

Are you willing to offer 3-5 free sessions of counseling to fire survivors? RECAMFT is creating a list of our members who are willing to offer 3-5 free sessions of counseling to those affected by the fire. We strongly encourage you to continue treating people beyond 3-5 free sessions, if warranted, either at no charge, or a low-fee sliding scale, or bill their insurance. This list will be made available widely in the community. Important: To be added to this list, you must be a licensed RECAMFT member in good standing (dues current with both CAMFT and RECAMFT, license in good standing). If you are a licensed RECAMFT member in good standing, and wish to be added to the list, please click the link below.

I want to help my community, so add me to the listOr cut/paste this link into your browser: Please respond quickly, so we have a lot of therapists listed when our press release about this goes out. Thank you for helping our community recover from this tragedy! Questions?

Additionally, we are hosting trainings and providing services to the community in the coming days. If you are interested in volunteering, please register to attend “Brief Disaster Response Training for Helping Professionals,” presented by Doreen Van Leeuwen, LMFT. After completing this FREE, two-hour workshop, you will be invited to provide psychological first-aid services at a community event on Saturday, October 21st from 11:00 am-4:00 pm. For details about the community event or trainings, please see event information below and check our website for updates.

With thousands of families affected by the fires, it is important to help our clients process their grief. RECAMFT will be hosting the workshop “The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Working with Grief and Loss in Our Everyday Lives” with author Francis Weller, LMFT on Friday, October 20, 2017 (see details below). This workshop will provide new, powerful, and vital techniques you can immediately use in your practice.

As therapists, we recognize how critical it is to take care of one another, so we can help take care of our community. Help us help each other!

Redwood Empire CAMFT Board of Directors


Training and Resources

FREE TRAINING: "Facilitating recovery and resilience for people impacted by the NorCal wildfires: Brief disaster response training for helping professionals" with Doreen Van Leeuwen, LMFT, Advanced Critical Incident Responder

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 7:00-9:00 pm
Saturday, October 21, 2017, 8:30-10:30 am

In this two hour session, you will learn how to do the following: 

• Make a connection and create an empathic bridge
• Listen and "triage"
• Give realistic reassurance and normalize
• Encourage resilience and coping skills
• Help people connect with appropriate resources & wrap up the conversation
• What NOT to say or do
• How to recognize the difference between normal and abnormal reactions to disaster
• How to separate your trauma from the person you are serving

More information and online registration

The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Working with Grief and Loss in Our Everyday Lives with Author Francis Weller, LMFT

Date: Friday, October 20, 2017
Time: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm (6 CE hrs, Lunch included)
Location: Mary Agatha Furth Center, 8400 Old Redwood Highway, Windsor, CA 95492

“Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground."-- Oscar Wilde

This day-long experiential seminar is an invitation to enter the sacred ground of grief and encounter the multiple ways it arrives in our lives. “Sorrow shakes us and breaks us open to depths of soul we could not imagine. In a very real way grief ripens us, pulls up from the depths of our souls what is most authentic in us. In truth, without some familiarity with sorrow, we do not mature as human beings. It is the broken heart, the heart that knows sorrow, that is capable of genuine love.” Francis Weller

Learning Objectives:

  •  Recognize the multiple sources of grief that arise in the therapeutic process and its impact on psychological health.
  •  Identify the obstacles to expressing grief in the culture.
  •  Understand the relationship between unresolved grief and other symptoms such as depression and addiction.
  •  Understand the inherent value of grief.

Francis Weller, LMFT: A psychotherapist, writer and soul activist, Francis Weller is a master of synthesizing diverse streams of thought from psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures and poetic traditions. Author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, he has introduced the healing work of ritual to thousands of people.

More information and online registration

Contact information for our local Red Cross:
American Red Cross of the California Northwest
5297 Aero Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: (707) 577-7600