To everyone, whether at school or at the institute, they explain the importance of first aid when there is an accident or some type of trauma involved. They teach us how we should treat the different wounds, what to do if a colleague or friend is suffocating, what is the best way to respond to any type of accidental factor that we may encounter … And that is a great idea, because that is how we can be prepared if someone requires us to do first aid at any time. But do you know that first aid also exists within psychology?In this case, it is not necessary that the one who gives them is always a psychologist, although he is the one who will know best how to give them; we, as non-psychologists, the only thing we can really do is know as much about them as possible and know when they are needed.

It is known as first aid within psychology to the intervention that psychologists must do in a moment of specific crisis . The idea is that the psychologist or psychologist helps the person who has suffered the trauma to cope with it in the best possible way; to teach you how to handle your feelings, how to cope, and how to get out of it. It is very important that emotional balance is restored as soon as possible after a trauma, and this is precisely what psychology attempts to do.

We are talking about complicated situations, in which the victim may well have lost a close person , or have suffered such a great shock that they are not sure if they will be able to cope at some point. Being able to control your pain, and focus your feelings on something positive, is critical to your recovery both physically and psychologically.

And what do they consist of?

Just as we know how to apply first aid, it would be important to know how to apply this psychological first aid. Again, not everyone is capable of carrying them out , but it is important to know how to identify the trauma and ask for help whenever it is necessary. Because as an individual you can help considerably, and then get the victim to obtain specialized psychological care.

The main objective of psychological first aid is that the person who is going through what is called Acute Stress Disorder and avoid developing a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . What is done is that, always at a time when the person is receptive, we help them to feel more secure in that moment of crisis . We will make sure to attend to all your needs, especially in the matter of information, and help you manage any matter that at that moment causes you concern, even if we think they can wait.

The first thing to do is assess whether this first aid is necessary, observing the victim and staying alert. If the person in question does not know you, or does not know who you are, you must introduce yourself so that they know that they can trust you ; always with respect, but with confidence. For a bond to be created between you, it is necessary for the person to feel comfortable, always acting with all possible calm and solidarity. Try to move it to a quiet place, away from the hustle and bustleof other people who may be suffering (typical of accident cases where there are several people involved). For example, if you see that he needs water, you can give it to him, or you can simply offer support and ask him what he needs. Once you have managed to create this link, ask him and listen. Above all, listen to what I have to tell you, without forcing anything, because otherwise what you have advanced previously would have been of little use.

You can then move on to reassuring the person in the best possible way. Try to always be realistic: if your partner has just died, don’t tell him that everything will be fine , because it is not true. You will have to go through very hard times, overcome the grief , and you will never get that person back. But you can tell them that you are sorry, and that they are probably strong enough to cope with the trauma. After this, you can move on to encourage and give him strength, as well as to get in touch with more people who can help him.

You should know that it is not always easy , that not all people are equally accessible, and that the fact that a person who has just suffered a trauma wants to speak does not imply that everyone will want to do so. That is why it is necessary to have a specialist who is able to reel off all the information. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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