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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Counseling and Development: Counselors Without Borders

The Counseling and Development Program's Counselors Without Borders (CWB) organization is committed to providing culturally responsive humanitarian counseling in post-disaster emergency situations. CWB believes that counseling in urgent situations must be culturally sensitive and provide high quality and relevant counseling. The primary aim of CWB is to either develop or work collaboratively with existing mental health, social service, public health, and educational infrastructures and provide services for those in need of mental health and psychosocial support who are in emergency situations and not receiving counseling support.

CWB has an extensive national and international resource pool of professionals from around the world who have expressed a strong interest in participating in CWB post-disaster counseling activities. These professionals range from senior level counselors and psychologists to advanced level graduate students. Many are highly trained and experienced mental health professionals who have expressed a willingness and interest to join CWB teams to travel throughout the world to work in emergency situations. In order to maintain high quality counseling services in high stress situations, prior to travelling to an emergency situation CWB provides intensive training and orientation to all CWB teams, and once on-site holds daily supervision sessions for team members. Counselors Without Borders emphasizes community-based family, group, and individual support in conjunction with regional and local healing traditions.