Using our professional experiences with natural disaster relief, as well as existing theory, the authors introduce an equity-oriented framework— Social Justice Disaster Relief, Counseling, and Advocacy. We then present the case of the 2017 Northern California wildfires using responses from 259 individuals who were living in the region of the Northern California wildfires—the most destructive fires in California state history. We collected qualitative and demographic data on each participant three months after the fires ended. Qualitative data included detailed written reflections to a prompt from each participant in response to an online questionnaire. A thematic analysis using open, axial, and selective coding was conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the context, circumstances, and outcomes of recurring themes, concepts, categories and their relationship to core themes. Results reveal six themes including: loss and displacement; physical and psychological impact; exploitation; social inequities against vulnerable communities; community strengths and support; and the need for support and services . The themes highlight essential directions for Counseling Psychologists working with survivors in response to a natural disaster. We offer recommendations for training, theory, counseling, and research, as a means for supporting and advocating for clients psychologically, socially, and emotionally in the context of a natural disaster.
Domínguez, Daniela, "Social justice disaster relief, counseling, and advocacy: The case of the Northern California wildfires" (2018). Psychology. 63.