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Journal Article


Espinoza AE, Osorio-Parraguez P, Posada Quiroga E. Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct. 2019; 34: 154-164.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






Chile is a country that is constantly affected by natural disasters. In this article we present the results of a qualitative follow-up study with members of the Chilean Red Cross, who led the evacuation of the Pucón area after the Villarrica volcano eruption in 2015. The objectives were: to examine the experience of these volunteers throughout the evacuation; to describe their experience during a psychosocial intervention with art therapy called "Emotional Containment with Emergency Volunteers" to help them release their emotional exhaustion, and to determine the relevance of implementing psychosocial interventions with art therapy during the disaster response stage. First, we describe this art therapy intervention. Second, we present the study that included in-depth group interviews and a workshop called "Reflection on the intervention experiences after the eruption of the Villarrica volcano", which uses art therapy techniques. The findings showed the importance of implementing psychosocial interventions with volunteers, both during the emergency and after the disaster. In this sense, the art therapy activities used allowed participants to identify and become aware of their physical and emotional levels of personal exhaustion. They also realized the importance of self-care and to take care of the other volunteers on the team. Another finding that is an emerging issue in the humanitarian organizations' work is the potential impact and stress level in volunteers during and after the response phases. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the responsibility of the organizations towards their volunteers for providing rest time, support and spaces for their emotional expression.

Language: en


Art therapy; Chile; Disasters; Mental health; Psychosocial intervention; Volunteering


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