Dr. Kari A. O’Grady will be going to Port-au-Prince to learn about the role spirituality is playing in the lives of the survivors of the earthquake and in the lives of volunteers who have come to Haiti to help restore the communities. She will be investigating psychological and spiritual consequences of spiritual experiences and practices for the people in Haiti during this stage of trauma recovery though quantitative measures. She will also invite people in Haiti to share how their faith and spirituality has impacted them and been impacted over the months following the earthquake through in-depth interviews and quantitative measures.
During her stay in Haiti, Dr. O’Grady will also offer a workshop for local clergy to assist them in their efforts to help their faith community. Unfortunately when a large scale trauma impacts a nation, there is typically a dearth of trained professionals to implement interventions that promote growth and restoration. Training leaders in the community is one way to expand the availability of mental health helpers. Clergy are often the primary point of contact for people struggling with the aftermath of trauma (Benedek, Fullerton, 2007; Bradfield, Wylie, Echterling, 1989; North & Hong, 2000). Pastoral counseling doctoral student, Deb Rollison, and Brenna O'Grady, psychology major at Southern Virginia University, will be assisting Dr. O'Grady