These include personal and family histories of disasters and means of handling them, assessment of past illnesses, personalities, strengths and vulnerabilities. Again others may shed light on such histories. Re-enactments (Transference). Trauma stories may be “transferred” from the traumatic situation to the assessment situation and re-enacted or dramatised in the latter. For instance, anger in the assessment situation may reflect anger from the disaster event. Assessors own responses (Counter-transference). An assessors own responses may be empathic identifications or reactions to other people’s feelings, even if the latter are unexpressed. For instance, their own despair or denial may reflect the way interviewees feel, while the impulse to protect and provide may stem from others’ attachment needs. What to assess All dimensions of disaster consequences need to be assessed. Failing to assess any aspect of the triaxial framework may lead to ignoring potentially useful interventions. Assessments include: • A sweep of the “ripples in the pond” in all triaxial dimensions to see what effects the disaster caused, • Diagnosis of salient points on the ripples by orienting the points and tracing their manifestations back to their original contexts, • Assessments include adaptive and maladaptive, biological, psychological and social aspects of each ripple point which shows disturbance.
It is useful to do a checklist to see whether all the components of the three axes have been assessed.