Psi Chi SEPA Distinguished Lecturer
From Mass Shootings to Natural Disasters: Understanding Trauma and How it Impacts Our Sense of Safety
Dr. Melissa Reeves
Winthrop University (SC)
TopicFrom movie theatre massacres to school shootings such as Virginia Tech and Columbine; from natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac to the nuclear meltdown in Japan, our sense of safety can be forever changed. This presentation will discuss how tragic events have affected our sense of psychological safety, the short and long-term positive and negative impact of trauma, and the role of media and social media in shaping our perceptions of safety and security. Strategies for regaining a sense of control and making sense of the senseless will be explored.
Dr. Melissa Reeves is a nationally certified school psychologist, licensed special education teacher, licensed professional counselor, and former school district coordinator of social, emotional and behavioral services. She received her master’s degree in counseling psychology and PhD in school psychology from the University of Denver. She worked for the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. Dr. Reeves is currently a lecturer for Winthrop University in their psychology department and school psychology graduate program, and also consults with the United States Department of Defense Schools in regards to crisis management and psychological recovery.
Dr. Reeves is a coauthor of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention curriculum, the first nationally disseminated school crisis curriculum developed by and for school-based professionals. She was a founding member of the Colorado Society of School Psychologists State-Wide Crisis Response Team. In addition to providing support regarding various local and national school crises over the years, she travels both nationally and internationally training professionals on crisis prevention and intervention, threat and suicide assessment, and the impact of trauma and PTSD on academic achievement.
Dr. Reeves is coauthor of three books and has contributed to multiple book chapters and journal articles. She has won multiple awards, including the 2006 and 2011 NASP Presidential Award.