The aftermath of large-scale tragedy in the US, whether environmental or as a result of violence such as mass shootings, often follows a predictable pattern for the public-at-large. Nothing could be further from the truth though for the impacted community where, in addition to the grief-stricken victims’ friends and families, everyone from the first responders and doctors to the local clergy and area leaders, are thrown into uncharted territory. In Healing a Community: Lessons for Recovery after a Large-Scale Trauma, today's special guest Melissa Glaser, MS LPC, the director of the Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team, and one of the country’s preeminent community response and recovery leaders, offers a practical and much-needed guide for local officials, emergency workers, mental health professionals, and anyone else dealing with the daunting task of supporting and healing a community after tragedy and trauma.
As the coordinator of Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team (NRRT), Glaser was tasked to develop a long-term mental health and wellness strategy in the town after a gunman took the lives of twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. When they began work in the shattered community 18 months after the tragedy, NRRT had no roadmap to follow. But over the course of their tenure, the group developed a set of therapeutic and transferable best practices. Glaser shares all the knowledge and insights they gained from the work in her book, to benefit other communities.
Melissa Glaser is a licensed professional counselor who’s been providing clinical psychotherapy services for the past 28 years. While maintaining a private practice, Melissa has held an array of positions in the field of psychology including several clinical leadership positions in non-profit organizations and stints in an urban hospital emergency room and an urban city school-based health center.