The Psychology of Disaster Recovery

February 28, 2023

Across the globe, disaster can strike at a moments notice. While news headlines often focus on the death toll or economic cost, there's another hidden expense when natural disasters wreck havoc – the mental health of those who survive.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck along the border of Turkey and Syria has killed more than 50,000 and caused billions in damage for two countries ill-equipped to handle such devastation. As the region struggles to find its footing, hundreds of thousands are homeless and many are battling with trauma from the event. People are sleeping in streets out of fear that more buildings will collapse. First responders are pulling friends and neighbors from rubble.

In this episode of RadioEd, Matt talks with Dr. Tiamo Katsonga-Phiri, a licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Colorado and professor at the University of Denver, about the psychological effects of natural disasters and the many ways people cope with the trauma that comes from those life-altering events.

Show Notes

Tiamo Katsonga-Phiri, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Colorado. She received her doctorate degree in Clinical-Child Psychology from DePaul University in Chicago Illinois. Dr. Katsonga-Phiri currently works as a clinical supervisor at the Trauma Disaster Recovery Clinic training students in working with Survivors of Torture along with teaching several graduate level classes. Prior to that, she completed her post-doc at the Aurora Mental Health Center’s Colorado Refugee Wellness Center and Asian Pacific Development Center working with refugees and immigrants from all over the world. She received her prior clinical training in working with Survivors of Torture at Chicago’s Marjorie Kovler Center starting in August 2017. Prior to joining the Kovler Center, she worked as a therapist-in-training in multiple settings including one year of supervised clinical work at University of Chicago Counselling Services and Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center where she worked in collaboration with the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), and Chicago Police Department and at DePaul Family Community Services Center.

More Information:

Trauma & Disaster Recovery Clinic:

Earthquake in Turkey Most Recent Updates

Recent Natural Disasters

Most Relevant Natural Disasters of 2022

Most Relevant Natural Disasters of 2023

Disaster Relief Government Resources