Richard Heaps

Title:  Interventions for Crisis, Disaster, and Trauma: Adaptive Applications


This training seminar will examine

  • Variations in cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal impacts of crisis, disaster, and trauma.
  • Basic differences between recovery, resilience, and growth in reaction to crisis and trauma.
  • A dynamic, adaptive process for selecting intervention or treatment strategies.
  • A conceptual model that guides practical crisis interventions and trauma therapies.
  • Structural and process differences between crisis interventions and trauma therapies.

Participants will be presented with:

  • A need for adaptability in assessing and intervening in crisis and trauma.
  • A dynamic rationale for selecting crisis or therapy interventions.
  • Basic differences between recovery, resilience, and growth in reaction to crisis and trauma.
  • Two distortions of thinking which promote post-trauma stress reactions and the need for recovery or healing interventions.
  • Models for applying practical differences between brief crisis interventions and trauma related therapies.

Professional Biographical Information: 
Dr. Richard A. Heaps is a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist and Professor at Brigham Young University’s Counseling Center and Counseling Psychology Department.  He holds Designated Examiner status and professional license as a psychologist in Utah.  At his university, he has served as Acting and Associate Director of the Counseling Center, Director of Training for the doctoral Counseling Psychology Program, and Leader of the Counseling Center’s Emergency Response Team.
Dr. Heaps has served his profession as President of the Utah Counseling Association and Utah Psychological Association.  He currently serves as Disaster Response Committee Chair and Disaster Response Network (DRN) Coordinator for his state association.  He also serves as one of five members of the American Psychological Association’s National DRN Advisory Committee representing 13 western states.

Dr. Heaps has been a Disaster Mental Health (DMH) volunteer with the American Red Cross since 1992.  He has served his local Chapter as Chair and Vice Chair for Disaster Services, DMH Chair, and as Chair of the Chapter’s Board of Directors.  He has served his State as DMH Lead, Chair of Disaster Services, and Chair of the State Disaster Readiness Consortium.  He has served the national Red Cross as a Disaster Mental volunteer, national instructor, and volunteer manager in the Disaster Operations Center (DOC) at the American National Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, DC.

His service with the local and national Red Cross has taken him to sites of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, earthquakes, home fires, wild fires, avalanches, mud slides, highway chemical spills, missing person searches, bomb threats, shootings, and terrorist acts at places such as Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, New York, Louisiana, Texas, California, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Utah, including Ground Zero in Manhattan immediately following the tragedies of September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

Dr. Heaps also serves as a mental health volunteer with the Utah Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team.  In this role he has provided support to public safety emergency responders who have experienced tragic incidents involving difficult fatalities in their line of duty.

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