Personal reflections: What happens when disaster hits?


  • Lynne Briggs Griffith University
  • Molly Heisenfelt Roark A school social worker at the Community of Peace Academy, and also a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker at Nystrom and Associates.



canterbury earthquakes, christchurch earthquakes, disaster, recovery, community,


This article is a reflection by two social workers who were involved both personally and professionally in a community in stress in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes. As such we worked as volunteers offering counselling to people in need through the Canterbury Charity Hospital. While one of us lived through the earthquakes and the other was only a part of the quake-stricken community for a short period of time, both were witness to the appreciation, resilience, and courage paramount in clients; the emotional accounts of survival and loss; and Cantabrians going through the ongoing aftershocks that have relentlessly pounded our city over the past two and half years.


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How to Cite

Briggs, L., & Heisenfelt Roark, M. (2016). Personal reflections: What happens when disaster hits?. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 25(2), 98–104.