Clinic for Crisis Psychology (formerly Center for Crisis Psychology) was founded in 1988 by Atle Dyregrov and Jakob Inge Kristoffersen. Over the years, several highly professional and skilled psychologists have become part of the clinic.
The clinic’s employees have been actively involved in major events, like the bus accident in Måbødalen (1988), Estonia shipwreck (1994), Åsta accident (2000), Rocknes shipwreck (2004), the terror in Norway (2011), earthquakes in Turkey and China, various helicopter- and air crashes, the tsunami in Southeast Asia, as well as numerous other events thoroughout the world, including war situations.
In addition, our psychologists have built up special clinical expertise in working with individuals, families and groups who have experienced loss, trauma and disasters. In addition to therapeutic work, we have arranged personalized group meetings for survivors and/or bereaved following suicide, homicide and accidents, both within schools, local communities and businesses. Due to our longstanding focus on people who suffer from posttraumatic stress reactions or disorder (PTSD) and complicated grief, we have developed a special expertise in the area of posttraumatic therapy and grief therapy.
Based on our extensive experience and knowledge, we offer courses, training and education to professionals within different private and public sectors dealing with grief, trauma and crises. Also, we offer emergency response agreements to various organizations and companies.
Emergency Preparedness Agreements
The clinic has provided Emergency Preparedness and Response Agreements to municipalities, public organizations and private companies for more than 30 years. This includes oil companies, offshore supply companies, airline and helicopter companies, banks and other private companies and industrial entities. Our emergency preparedness and response agreements ensure prompt and highly professional follow-up in the event of a crisis or disaster.
Among our clients, are the Municipality of Os, BKK, Equinor, Canadian Helicopter Company Norway, KCA Deutag Drilling, The Operator’s Association for Emergency Response(OFFB) and Bergen Taxi. Read more about our Emergency Preparedness and Response Agreements here
The clinic conducts extensive training programs, especially towards professionals within the health and education sectors, but also for personnel and leaders within industry and business. Our psychologists provide a number of external courses in Norway and abroad. In addition, we contribute to on-site trainings at different university departments and other locations. Among the topics we regularly hold courses in, are:
- Crisis and disaster intervention
- Organization of crisis and disaster work
- Leadership in crisis
- Post-traumatic therapy
- Emergency response personnel in emergencies and disasters
- Help for children and adults who are experiencing grief and crisis, including crisis intervention
- Complicated grief
- Death notification
- Children who have experienced war or disaster
- Social network and peer support during and following crises
Clinic for Crisis Psychology has extensive expertise in working with people, families and groups who have experienced crisis events, including loss and trauma. We provide help and treatment to people affected by everyday emergencies and accidents. Particularly, these groups consist of the following:
- Bereaved by tragic accidents, murder and/or suicide
- Victims of robbery, violence, rape and assault
- Kindergartens and schools after critical incidents and other extraordinary situations
- Companies and organizations after accidents and other emergency events, including restructuring and downsizing
Our employees have expertise in areas such as:
- Crisis and disaster intervention
- Survivors and relatives – with special focus on children
- Posttraumatic stress disorder, complex trauma and dissociation
- Emergency personnel (police, fire, ambulance, etc.)
- Children with experiences from war or disaster
- Child Welfare Work
- Social network support following sudden death
- Human rights
- Refugees and asylum seekers
Crisis and disaster intervention
Through our employees’ work with a variety of local, national and international disasters, we have built up a unique expertise on how psychological support best can be organized following major and minor accidents and disasters. When such incidents happen, it is essential that affected organizations quickly implement structured assistance to prioritized groups. Based on our experience, we can provide knowledge-based advice regarding how to organize assistance, how to make important decisions with regard to ritual markings, and how to best help affected personnel and families. Psychologists at Clinic for Crisis Psychology are dealing with follow up of families affected by everyday tragedies and have the skills to assist in complex situations.
Survivors and their families, with a special focus on children.
The clinic’s employees were the first in Norway to shed light on the situation of children as mourners. From the early 1980s, we have researched in this field, published professional articles and books, and written feature articles in national newspapers. In addition, we cooperated with intensive care nurses to publish a book that improved the situation of children as patients or relatives in intensive care units. For several years, we surveyed the situation for suicide survivors, bereaved from children accidents and sudden infant death. This mapping included both what Norwegian municipalities had to offer, but in addition, we also collected information about survivors – both children and adults who feel cared for across the country. This has resulted in interventions that are tailored to the need of affected people.
Posttraumatic stress disorder
A number of people are struggling with long-term repercussions from dramatic life events. Memories of the incident(s) can return and create problems for work and leisure far beyond the immediate period after the incident. Clinic for Crisis Psychology has been a pioneering center for the introduction of new treatments for helping when problems ensue, partly by having foreign professionals come to Norway to stimulate knowledge among Norwegian professionals, and partly by developing and refining therapeutic methods at the center. This has made the clinic an important resource for clients seeking help for posttraumatic problems. Also, it has led to other professionals in Norway seeking to develop their knowledge in this area under our guidance and training.
(police, health workers and paramedics)
For many years we have contributed to the improvement of skills in this field through lectures and research. We have conducted research on personnel’s reactions following accidents and disasters. One of the center’s employees have worked extensively with police officers in relation to crisis, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Justice. In addition, he has worked to develop good peer support systems within the police. In our coverage area, as well as elsewhere in the country, we have assisted the police and other groups of personnel after critical incidents.
Children with experiences from war and disasters
In this area, we dare say that Clinic for Crisis Psychology is considered to have some of the world’s leading competence. For many years, our employees researched the situation of children in various war zones in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. This research has made it possible to initiate measures for children, including relief efforts in Mozambique, Iraq and former Yugoslavia and many other countries. The clinic, in collaboration with the Children and War Foundation, which we also co-founded, are training numerous professionals worldwide. During periods when there have been many children entering Norway as refugees, both unaccompanied or with their families, our knowledge has proved important to those who encounter these children. We have held a number of courses in this area. Clinic for Crisis Psychology employees also have supervised reception centers for the safeguarding of children and youth’s psychosocial needs.
Child Welfare Work
Several of our employees have many years of experience in working within child and adolescent psychiatry and child welfare. This has led us through several years of engagement with various local and regional agencies as supervisors and managers for various training measures for child protection services. We have also been used as lecturers in universities and colleges. Several of our employees are engaged as advisers for child welfare and foster parents. Through five years, we led, together with Alternative to Violence, the project «Children who live with domestic violence», supported by the Ministry of Children and Equality. The project has generated interest both domestically and abroad.
Social network support following sudden death
Another area where we have developed knowledge, is how to help optimize social network support following a traumatic death. We have studied the network support in light of both the bereaved as well as the networks’ experiences of the situation. This has until now been an unexplored area. By illuminating the area through the bereaved and the network’s own views and experiences, we have contributed to an increased use of social network resources following sudden death and illness. This has resulted in the book «Effective grief and bereavement support: The role of the family, friends, colleagues, Schools and support professionals » (Kari Dyregrov and Atle Dyregrov, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008). In 2013, we started an intervention study aimed at evaluating the impact of an intervention to strengthen social networks around families where one parent gets cancer.
Since the inception in 1988 we have served as a center for crisis, disaster and trauma. Other professionals contact us from across the country for advice on how to provide help or follow up after critical events, to receive relevant literature or literature references, to get feedback on local contingency or emergency plans, or to get comments on various projects. In many ways, our clinic serves a nationwide function as a center of excellence in this area. In the area of children and crises/disasters, we have built up a unique experience, and are considered as one of the premier knowledge institutions. Our employees have frequently been used as consultants by various organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR, the Red Cross, Save the Children, Norwegian People’s Aid and Swedish Save the Children.