top of page

Sun, Oct 22


Online course

Live 16-Hour Online Course in Psychological First Aid (PFA)

Registration is closed
See other events
Live 16-Hour Online Course in Psychological First Aid (PFA)
Live 16-Hour Online Course in Psychological First Aid (PFA)

Time & Location

Oct 22, 2023, 7:00 PM

Online course

About the event

Live 16-Hour Online Course in Psychological First Aid (PFA)

Make sure to read all of the information so you don’t miss any answers to your questions

Who is this course for?

This course is open to the community regardless of your professional background. Psychologists, Nurses, First Responders, Military, Educators, and Clergy find this course especially valuable in their work with the community.

Are in-person courses & group discounts available?

This course can also be given in person exclusively to your agency or private group. Contact us for inquiries & group discounts. Group discounts apply to groups of 18 participants or more.

What is the basic concept of Psychological First Aid (PFA) in a nutshell and how does this course help?

“PFA” or Psychological First Aid is a method and set of psycho-social interventions used by experts around the world to support people during an ongoing crisis or immediately thereafter.

Our instructor, Avi Tenenbaum MA, teaches PFA in a one-of-a-kind manner based upon his extensive experience providing PFA to people on multiple continents during wartime, natural disasters, and hundreds of domestic emergencies such as suicides, road & industrial accidents, stampedes, SIDS, fire, scandals, pandemic, and more, while as a mental health counselor, EMT, Patrol officer, PFA provider, supervisor of PFA response teams, and instructor.

While everybody has heard of people with trauma seeking help from a mental health professional months or years after a trauma event, PFA focuses on how to support people during or immediately after an emergency or catastrophic loss until one month’s time after the event occurred, which is the window of time often referred to as the acute stage of people’s reaction to trauma.

While only mental health professionals do professional therapy, anybody trained in PFA can skillfully offer PFA to survivors during a crisis (make sure to check the local laws of your country). This is analogous to first aid: Anybody can learn how to use a tourniquet on a car accident victim and call for an ambulance, which may save the victim’s life.

The initial medical help that the non-professional first aider offered to the car accident victim increases the patient’s chances of survival until professional paramedics arrive to treat and transport the patient to the hospital, where the patient is then operated on by professional doctors and nurses and eventually discharged to rehab and home rest where yet other professionals in the chain of medicine will help the patient heal further to recover.

The analogy: Just like regarding medical first aid, the first person on the scene to put on the tourniquet and call for an ambulance was instrumental and profoundly impactful in saving a life, so too is the PFA provider instrumental and impactful in assisting survivors of disaster and crisis in becoming resilient to perform under duress to lead themselves and their families during life’s worst moments, and gradually bounce back better from adversity than if they had simply gone unnoticed, related to insensitively, judged, or left to stand afraid and alone.

Some people are motivated to take this course because they had once witnessed a neighbor/friend/co-worker/sibling experience a highly traumatic event and they felt helpless, not knowing how to assist and support the survivor enduring this loss. Feeling powerless as they watched the survivor reel from raw pain, or confused by utter shock and dissociation, they resolved to learn how to become an asset in similar situations in the future to those around them.

Others, such as first responders, community leaders, or nurses, may have once been professionally involved in a child drowning incident/hurricane disaster relief/coworker death by suicide and made the decision to learn how to interact with those people experiencing life’s worst moments, determined to be more impactful in the field to those they heal, serve, and protect.

In this course, Avi Tenenbaum MA, will be your instructor and use his unique academic knowledge and experience from psychology, EMS, and Law Enforcement to give you real tools that he uses in the field during disasters to help survivors. Having attended to hundreds of catastrophes as a highly regarded PFA expert, and as a first responder, he offers a highly engaging course with an emphasis on being practical so that students can walk away feeling more capable of helping the survivors they will encounter in the future during small domestic emergencies (e.g. a high school teacher interacting with teens after a suicide in the class) or large-scale trauma events (e.g. a team of PFA providers intervening in a community after a mass shooting). Keep reading below to learn more about this course, and make sure to also check out Avi’s bio by tapping on the “About” button at the top of our website.

Do Psychologists, Social Workers, Psychiatrists, and Mental Health Professionals also benefit from this course?

Mental health professionals of all types, including those with years of clinical experience, also report receiving great benefits from learning this course. This is because PFA greatly differs from psychotherapy in many ways, and is not similar to what is typically learned in University or post-graduate courses about clinical trauma treatment.

While psychotherapy takes place in a comfortable private office on a prearranged date and time with a familiar patient, PFA is typically offered at the scene of a suicide, fire, accident, shooting (etc.) on a day and time that nobody perceived in advance and with a patient that may be a complete stranger, and for free simply as a way of offering humanitarian aid to those in crisis. Psychotherapy may last several months or years, whereas PFA may only last for 30 to 120 minutes.

There are many differences between clinical work and acute trauma work. This course can add a layer of knowledge and tools to mental health professionals to learn how to apply their knowledge and skills to austere environments and situations. With additional training that we offer in the 6th module of our private training courses for agencies and organizations, we offer a special workshop to further learn how mental health professionals can align their previous clinical skills with the skillset of PFA to support people in their agency in a way that is congruous with all that is learned in this course and PFA work in general.


-At the bottom of this page you will find the most frequently asked questions about this course, including:

What type of people often take this course?

Why learn PFA?

What types of trauma events does this course discuss?

What topics are covered in this course?

Scroll to the bottom of this page for more.

General Course description

This online course is given in two formats (pay attention to the exact course dates and times during registration to be sure you know when your course takes place)

-Format A: Four sessions over two weeks, on Sunday Monday and then another Sunday Monday, at 10 AM Chicago time in the USA (10 AM CST) which is also 6 PM in Israel (6 PM IST)

-Format B: Four sessions over four weeks, on four Sundays,  at 10 AM Chicago time in the USA (10 AM CST) which is also 6 PM in Israel (6 PM IST)

Course Structure

This course consists of 4 modules:

Module 1: Introduction to Acute Traumatic Stress & Disaster Behavioral Health

Module 2: Introduction to Psychological First Aid, PFA models around the world, Historical context of the development of PFA, acute grief.

Module 3: Triage, Strategies For Intervention, Common Challenges in Practice, PFA ethics, when PFA is contraindicated

Module 4: Psychological First Aid-Provider Self-Care, Personal Trauma Management, Meaning & Purpose, First-Responder Cynicism & Suicide Prevention

Module 5 (Note-This module is only for agencies who purchased a private class and seek to set up an operational PFA-response team): How to train, retain, and dispatch PFA providers into the field during small and large-scale emergencies.

Module 6 (Note-This module is only for agencies who purchased a private class and seek to integrate their on-staff mental health workers into PFA-response team operations and manage first-responder wellbeing): How to use your social workers, psychologists, and counselors to add a clinical layer to PFA work, how to use mental health staff towards building an organizational culture of health and growth, how to assist first responders struggling with duty-induced trauma.

After the course

During the course we will provide participants with digital learning material for review, to help retain the main points of what is learned throughout the modules. A quiz will also be given at the end of the course, to further help participants become proficient in the information learned. Upon successful completion of the exam, a certificate of completion will be awarded to the student. This certificate does not count towards college credits, continuing education credits, or certify the student as a mental health professional. The certificate of completion from our course certifies that you have purchased and successfully completed this 16-hour PFA course.

After the course students will be invited to stay in touch every two months, where we will try, time permitting, to host a free online event for all course alumni to connect, review the ideas learned in the course, ask questions, and share.

Make sure to join all of our social media to keep abreast of all new courses, videos, articles, events, and content.

For inquiries about further questions not addressed here please use the contact page and we will respond to you shortly.

Course admission

  • Course admission for 1 person

    Sale ended



Share this event

bottom of page