Support activities are important in the adaptation process of earthquake victims.

Specialized clinical psychologist Gözde Nur Kınalı underlined the importance of psychological first aid and psychosocial support in the process of returning to life after the earthquake and provided advice to individuals.


Specialist clinical psychologist Kınalı, drawing attention to the devastating effect of the earthquake on human life and the victimization it caused, explained the adaptation problems experienced by earthquake survivors exposed to tragic events with the following words:

“Earthquake survivors who have lost their homes, jobs, loved ones and health are struggling to adapt to their new situation. People who experience loss do not always know where to turn in which situation and may therefore receive insufficient support. Earthquake survivors have to start their lives from scratch, adjust to tent life, get used to the absence of lost people, and adapt to situations such as financial recovery. To support their adaptation, in addition to psychological first aid and some psychosocial activities, the human-centred approach of other disaster workers and the rapid and effective response to their needs are also important.”


Saying that the first step in psychological intervention is psychological first aid, Uzm. Sound. Psk Gözde Nur Kınalı expressed the importance and stages of psychological first aid as follows:

“The main goal of post-disaster psychological interventions is to prevent earthquake victims from developing post-traumatic psychological pathologies. The first step of psychological intervention is psychological first aid. If psychological first aid is not provided, the traumatic consequences of the earthquake may be more serious. Earthquake survivors can experience the grieving process intensely. In this period we see the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance respectively. The sooner psychological first aid is provided, the faster the process will go. Considering the application steps of psychological first aid; In fact, we see that it is also intended to facilitate the adaptation of the earthquake victim to the environment they are in. By trying to bond with that person, we become a mediator in his connection to the place where he is. Therefore, we can say that psychological first aid also facilitates the adaptation process of earthquake victims.”


exp. Sound. Psk Kınalı explained the basic elements to be considered when providing psychological first aid with the following words:

“As with physical first aid, the right approach is important in psychological first aid. The first-aider must show great sensitivity when communicating. Be calm, polite and helpful and this should be shown to the other party. It should make them feel like they empathize with the person who needs help and understand their feelings. If the person is closed to communication at that time, this should be understood and waited. The psychological reactions of the earthquake victim can also be severe. The situation they are in and in a state of shock should not be ignored. In unexpected sudden reactions, the psychological first responder must show respect and be free of prejudice.”


exp. Sound. Psk Kınalı stated that psychosocial support activities will be effective for earthquake victims in the adaptation process and listed the activities they can do as follows:

“Do individual and group work to ensure social competence.

Doing cultural and artistic activities

Make time for hobbies

To play sports

Participate in support programs

Participate in excursions in the city and beyond.”


exp. Sound. Psk Kınalı underlined psychotherapeutic support to end the grieving process and provide psychological well-being after psychological first aid.

Noting that most people cannot cope with the traumatic situation in this process alone, Uzm. Sound. Psk Kınalı said: “With EMDR and cognitive behavioral therapy, the psychological effects of the earthquake decrease. After the EMDR intervention, both the anxiety and the dysfunctional thoughts about the earthquake disappear. Symptoms such as repetitive thoughts, physiological arousal and mental avoidance are reduced. For such therapy support, a meeting with a psychotherapist is necessary. In this way, the psychological effects of the earthquake can be reduced.”

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