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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR)


Continuing Education

This section brings together free in-depth Continuing Education resources for the Professional community concerned with trauma.

Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR)

  • Date Created: 03/31/2020
  • Time to Complete: 4.5 hours
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: Clinical Skills Training

Start Learning


VA Only: Go to TMSright arrow icon

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Go to TRAIN websiteLink will take you outside the VA website. VA is not responsible for the content of the linked site.

Earn CE/CME Credits

See How to Get Credits.

Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) Author(s):

Patricia Watson, PhD


After disasters or adverse events, many people who are experiencing stress reactions may not self-identify a need for mental health support or self-refer for care. SPR is a flexible, evidence-based model that helps providers teach core skills—problem-solving, behavioral activation, management of stress reactions, helpful thinking, and rebuilding healthy social connections—to help reduce distress and improve functioning.

This interactive online course trains lay professionals and providers responding to disasters, as well as those working to bolster resilience-building skills for Veterans. In addition to reviewing the core skills of SPR and their application in different settings, expert advice, scripts, video examples, and case studies are included. Additional information and tips are included for working with children after disasters.

Goals and Objectives

  • Describe the core components of Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR).
  • Define the purpose of the SPR skill-building approach in both disaster and Veteran settings.
  • Apply the core components of SPR to case scenarios in both disaster and Veteran settings.
  • Operationalize skill-building strategies that will help supervisors train lay professionals who can have a broader impact on disaster-affected individuals or Veterans who may not be willing to present to formal mental health treatment.

PTSD Information Voice Mail: (802) 296-6300
Also see: VA Mental Health