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Skills for Psychological Recovery


Recording date:  July 1, 2020

This video series introduces the basics of Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR). SPR is a set of 6 strategies that can help children, adolescents, adults, caregivers and first responders cope with or recover from disasters or traumatic events like hurricanes, earthquakes, wars and accidents. These skills may also be helpful during and following a pandemic like COVID-19.

SPR intervention strategies are research-based and focus on helping the survivor "regain a sense of control and competence" (see reference below).

Tips for viewing:

  • Videos are 8-24 minutes long
  • Start with the "Introduction" video - it gives a really helpful overview
  • The 6 skills videos can be watched in any order
  • Each skill can be helpful on its own
  • See word list for SPR terms and what they might mean for you
  • A guide with helpful worksheets and handouts is available (see link below)

Handouts and Worksheets

Worksheets and handouts mentioned in the videos can be found in the Skills for Psychological Recovery: Field Operations Guide. Page numbers are listed in each video's description.

This guide is written for therapists and contains more information about SPR and each skill, if you would like to read more.

Click here to access the guide in other languages (NOTE: no French version is available at this time).

List of words used in SPR and what they may mean to you


Introduction to SPR

This video talks about:

  • What SPR is
  • Who it can help (children, youth, caregivers, adults)
  • The 6 SPR skills
  • How the skills can help

Facilitated by: Patty Frazer

Skill #1 - Gathering Info and Prioritizing

This video talks about:

  • Listing your current concerns
  • Prioritizing which concerns are most important
  • Matching concerns with SPR skills that can help
  • Making an action plan

Handouts: SPR Guide p. 81-82

Facilitated by: Patty Frazer

Skill #2 - Building Problem-Solving Skills

This video talks about:

  • Identifying a problem
  • Deciding whose problem it is to solve
  • Setting goals
  • Brainstorming ways to solve the problem
  • Choosing the best solution

Handouts: SPR Guide p. 89-92

Facilitated by: Teresa Todd & Patty Frazer

Skill #3 - Promoting Positive Activities

This video talks about:

  • How positive thoughts and feelings are connected
  • Identifying activities that you enjoy and feel good about doing
  • Making a plan
  • Scheduling on a calendar
  • Modifying plans to work better

Handouts: SPR Guide p. 95-99 (ones for children & caregivers)

Facilitated by: Teresa Todd & Patty Frazer

Skill #4 - Managing Reactions

This video talks about:

  • Physical and emotional reactions many people experience in distressing situations
  • Identifying distressful reactions you or your family may be experiencing
  • Identifying what may be causing the reactions
  • Skills you can learn or teach to reduce distress
  • Creating a plan to manage reactions

Handouts: SPR Guide p. 101-138 (ones for children, youth, caregivers, adults)

Facilitated by: Heather Keegan & Patty Frazer

Skill #5 - Promoting Helpful Thinking

This video talks about:

  • How thoughts affect feelings
  • Noticing your thoughts and feelings (negative ones and helpful ones)
  • How to use the Cognitive Triangle
  • Practicing helpful thoughts

Handouts: SPR Guide p. 141-151

Facilitated by: Patty Frazer & Heather Keegan

Skill #6 - Rebuilding Healthy Social Connections

This video talks about:

  • Why healthy social connections are important
  • Identifying your social connections
  • Making a social connections map
  • 6 steps for getting social support
  • 6 steps for giving social support

Handouts: SPR Guide p. 155-161

Facilitated by: Carrie Macartney & Patty Frazer

Watch full series on YouTube


Berkowitz, S., Bryant, R., Brymer, M., Hamblen, J., Jacobs, A., Layne, C., Macy, R., Osofsky, H., Pynoos, R., Ruzek, J., Steinberg, A., Vernberg, E., Watson, P., National Center for PTSD and National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Skills for Psychological Recovery: Field Operations Guide, 2010. Available on: and

Copyright 2019 by Lynwood Charlton Centre