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What to do in Moments of Crisis, Highly Stressful Situations, and Emergencies

Review of the course “Psychological First Aid (PFA)” from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.


It is better to be a warrior in the garden, than to be a gardener in a war – Japanese saying.

If in your daily and “common” life, some kind of catastrophe happens, how would you react? Would you know what to do? Would you know how to help the people involved and your loved ones? If you would like to be able to answer these questions or obtain more information about how to react effectively and help others, Psychological First Aid (PFA) from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is perfect for you.

Although this is a course for professionals responsible for aid programs for children and adults (individually and collectively), it’s also useful for volunteers, self-help groups and the general population. People who seek more knowledge on how to react to crises, handle stressful situations, or as the sentence at the beginning says, want to be prepared to react when the context requires it.

Let’s begin:

About the course

This course is divided into 5 weeks or modules:

  •         Definition and application conditions.
  •         PFA in children up to 12 years.
  •         PFA in adolescents and adults.
  •         PFA in especially vulnerable groups.
  •         Self-care of the intervener.

Each features videos, reading material, quizzes, and essays (Peer-graded).

From my point of view, the information is very complete and the way it is explained and developed in the videos makes it more enjoyable and easier to understand. Above all, the nature of this information can be very sensitive.

Modality: 100% online.

Duration: about 15 hours; the limits or “deadlines” are flexible, therefore, the duration of the course may depend on the person.

Language: course in Spanish with Spanish and English subtitles.

Certificate: Yes, at the end of the course by completing the questionnaires and essays. The certificate can be shared on social networks (LinkedIn, for example).

My experience

This course covers the separation and classification of how to act with people of different ages and contexts. The last module explains the mental health of the intervener in a direct and very practical way. This is something not so well known or taken into account by the general public.

The course provides us with simple but very useful and necessary tools: It teaches us how to address different types of people, what questions to ask them and to treat them with respect and dignity.

My interest in this course stems from my passion and career; psychology. As psychologists we must be able to identify when the patient presents traits of stress and/or crisis (Post Traumatic Stress, for example) and how to treat it; This can be very dangerous because we must calm the patient down and not alarm or confuse them more.

And, above all, if tomorrow one of my patients is a professional who is in charge of assisting people in crises, now I know their reality, their problems, I can empathize with all the stress due to the great responsibility they have and acknowledge that it can be very unfair on them.


There is not much left to say, in my opinion, this is a course in which one should not be involved with professions related to health exclusively, this is a course in which each person can learn something new and even be the hero when the situation deserves it.

I hope this article has helped you and that it encourages you to learn and investigate more about psychological first aid.

My certificate of completion.
Agustin Cardone Profile Image

Agustin Cardone

I am a psychology student, I love psychoanalysis and Carl Jung's theory and work. I'm from Argentina but I live and work in Ireland since 2019.

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