Alumna Marie Fonrose, PhD ’03 Outlines Her Haiti Mission

Alumna Marie Fonrose, PhD ’03 who lost 11 relatives in the recent Haiti earthquake outlines her Haiti mission below.

To donate money to support Marie in her work in Haiti, send checks to Saybrook University, attention the Alumni Association Haiti Fund or go to Be sure to designate your donation in support of the Alumni Haiti Fund.

Marie will be leaving for Haiti on February 16th for her first 5 week mission.

From Marie:

Helping people heal and find meaning after the earthquake (Haiti)


The purpose of this trip is to facilitate people in their growth to becoming healthy and balanced after this devastation. In service, my intent will be to serve the whole person utilizing an eclectic approach in the context of the culture. A combination of education, counseling (individual and group), spirituality, and sharing provides the opportunity to the growth process.

Action Plan

Phase I

Individual crisis counseling: Assists earthquake survivors in understanding their current situation and reactions, reviewing their options, and linking them with other individuals and agencies (church) that may assist them.

Group crisis counseling: Includes providing/facilitating support groups. Train leaders in church to lead their own group. Group counseling will be very instrumental in cultural context since many of the sufferers were not able to go through the process of burying their loved ones.

Education: Includes the distribution of psycho-educational information on the crisis counseling-related topics. Educational information may be provided will be provided via public announcement, brochures, flyers, and training to human services personnel.

Assessment and referral: Assessment determines the need for a deeper level of services than can be provided at this time. A list will be developed and shared with the larger organizations who will be leading the mental health component of the project.

Phase II

Assessment—Summarize phase I and develop an action plan to help address the issues that surfaced in phase I. Organize mass training so communities will be able to hold their own via group counseling.

Service—provide services to individuals who pose major risk (safety and welfare).

• Journaling/expressive arts: These can provide an individual with a sense of mastery or control over existing circumstances. This is particularly important after a disaster or trauma where an individual feels a sense of helplessness.

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