President (ESTSS) in Kharkiv

President of European Society for Traumatic Stress studies (ESTSS) in Kharkiv

Dr. Miranda Olff – the President of European Society for traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), Ass. Professor in Psychotraumatology, Head Centre for Psychological Trauma dept. of Psychiatry AMC/University of Amsterdam arrived for a two-day visit 11-12 May 2010) in Ukraine being invited by the head of the National University of civil Defense of Ukraine and Research Laboratory of Extreme and Crisis psychology.

The main objectives of the visit were:

  • collaboration between emergency psychologists of the National university of Civil Defense of Ukraine and European Society for Traumatic Stress studies;
  • familiarization of foreign colleagues-psychologists with the research Laboratory of Extreme and Crisis Psychology’s approaches and methods of treating suffering population after disasters.

As a result of this meeting, emergency psychologists of the Research Laboratory of Extreme and Crisis Psychology got ESTSS affiliated membership.

The discussion covered the question of International Centre of Psycho-Training Techniques Implementation establishment. The future centre on the basis of the National University of Civil Defense of Ukraine offers an opportunity for European and Ukrainian psychologists to exchange their experience and to take part in joint trainings.

Emergency psychologists’ activities, such as staff’s psychological assistance and disaster victims’ assistance, stressing PTSD prevention and treating in Ukraine were introduced to our guest - Dr. Miranda Olff.

One of the ECP inventions – “psychological hit” drew our guest’s attention, especially the set. It contains more than 30 items, such as: writing pads, pens, children toys, chocolates, cigarettes, phone cards, tissues, disposable cups, icons, candles, blankets etc. All these things were carefully selected by the laboratory staff, there are no accidental items.

Ms. Olff also acquainted herself with student training programs on emergency psychology in the National University of Civil Defense of Ukraine, having a meeting with students – future emergency psychologists. The discussion over professional matters in a friendly atmosphere was useful and interesting for both students and teachers of the National University of Civil Defense of Ukraine.

At the end of the visit, Dr. Olff had a press-conference, having an opportunity to share her impressions with a wide audience.

The conference was started by the head of the Research Laboratory of extreme and Crises Psychology Alexandre Timchenko’s speech. Future close collaboration between Ukraine’s emergency psychologists and European specialists was the main question. The discussion also touched upon approach differences.

The information about Ms. Olff’s visit was shown in all local news and newspapers.

Miranda Olff appreciated laboratory’s staff work and suggested professional trauma focused collaboration in the near future.