Online Course











Flow Chart #1 for Paper #1

Unit Overview
This unit examines post-traumatic stress and its impact on individuals, the family, the workplace, the community, and in society at large. The unit examines the sources of stress (war, terrorist attacks, domestic violence, bullying, economic uncertainty) and examines the methods currently used to detect, assess, and therapeutically deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Case studies are examined, as well as secondary-order consequences and impacts. Strategies for providing support and recovery are discussed. Students will have the opportunity to investigate, discuss, and propose solutions for what they identify as current issues.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

  • Define post traumatic stress syndrome, and the implications with respect to the workplace, family members, community, and to human relations in general
  • Describe the impacts of economic crises, war or traumatic incidents (acts of nature, school violence) on families and the community
  • Explain how various approaches to dealing with stress, post-traumatic stress, and secondary traumatization may employ the following awareness and coping strategies -- cognitive, behavioral, biochemical, group / individual talk therapy
  • Describe how attitudes and beliefs about help-seeking can impede dealing with post-traumatic stress, and how leadership decisions can help overcome negative attitudes toward a stigmatized condition
  • Explore the concept of traumatic re-enactment. Please explain how it might reveal the existence of post-traumatic stress.
  • Explain the relationship between school violence and post-traumatic stress.  How might the responses differ by age group?

Websites and Web Resources

The High Cost of Losing Money
The German industrialist Adolf Merckle was the 94th richest person in the world in 2008, with a net worth of about $9.2 billion. But his poor investment decisions in Volkswagen shares pushed his business empire to the brink of disaster, and on Monday he took his own life at age 74.
Click link in title to read more…

French Madoff Investor Found Dead in NY Office. NEW YORK (Reuters) - A French executive who invested with accused swindler Bernard Madoff was found dead in an apparent suicide on Tuesday, reportedly distraught over losing up to $1.4 billion (955 billion pounds) in client money.  Click link in title to read more…

The Credit Crisis and the Suicide Epidemic
These are depressing times but it is distressing to see how many financiers and business people affected by the credit crisis are being driven to suicide.

Recession Depression
Are you feeling as depleted as your bank account? In challenging economic times, discovering you've overspent or can't make ends meet can cause feelings of inadequacy, sleeplessness and anxiety. That's why mental health professionals and economic experts say it's important to be optimistic in the face of adversity and create a plan that will help secure a little financial peace.

Kevin Bacon Joins Growing List of  Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victims
A string of high profile names have emerged as victims of alleged fraudster Bernard Madoff with pioneer hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt and Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon understood to be the latest on the list.

Guiding Questions
Please use these questions as springboards for fruitful contemplation, and to help you with your journals.  You may respond to the questions if you wish.  If you prefer to address other issues regarding the readings and leadership, or if you would rather use the flowchart, please feel free to do so. 

An option: Follow this flow chart for your journal.
Another Option:  Respond to the guiding questions.
Yet another option:  Describe your own experience.

How might economic problems lead to stress.  When does economic stress build to the point that one might consider violence against oneself and others? Please discuss examples

What are some ways that people might respond to economic stress and crisis?

Please describe one way that war or economic stress impacts families. What can be done to alleviate it or cope with it?

Describe therapeutic responses to PTSD or economic shocks and what various stages of recovery might look like. 

How can counseling and group discussions help individuals suffering from war stress, economic trauma, and PTSD?  Can it ever hurt?  Describe examples.

Reading from Required Texts
Read Transforming Leadership: Part 1: Change; Part 2: Leaders

Journal Articles
Please select three (or more if they interest you) for use in developing your paper and/or final project.  Some of the articles are available in Content in D2L (, and others can be accessed through OU's online databases (EBSCO).

Hoge, etal.  (2004)  Combat Duty in Iraq, Mental Health Problems, Barriers to Care.  New England Journal of Medicine.

Andrews, Linda Wasmer. (2004) Aftershocks of war. HR Magazine Apr 2004, 65-70.

Arzi, B., Solomon, A. & Dekel, R. (2000). Secondary traumatization among wives of PTSD and post-concussion casualties: distress, caregiver burden and psychological separation. 14(8), 725-736.

Baum, Dan.  (2004). The price of valor.  New Yorker, 5 July 2004.

De Silva, P., & Yule, W. (2001). Reactions to traumatic experiences: understanding and treatment. International Review of psychiatry. 13: 149-154.

Hilsenroth, Mark, & Harvill, L. (1995) Use of the Mississippi Scale for combat-related PTSD in detecting war-related, non-combat stress symptomatology. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51 (6), 799-801.

Mikkelsen, E.G., Einarsen, S. (2002). Basic assumptions and symptoms of victims of bullying at work. European Journal of work and organizational psychology. 11(1), 87-111.

Miller, L. (2003). Family therapy of terroristic trauma: Psychological syndromes and treatment strategies. 31, 257-280.

Post-traumatic stress syndrome. (2002) Harvard Men's Health Watch, Oct 2002, 5-6.

Raad, H. (2003) On compensation for psychiatric injury and emotional distress suffered by close relatives. European review of private law. 3: 412-465.

Van der Hart, O., Brown, P., & Graafland, M. (1999). Trauma-induced dissociative amnesia in World War I combat veterans. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 33: 37-46.

Watkins, J., & Roberts, Z. (2003). Firms fear war stress. People Management. 3 April 2003: 7-8.

Watson, C. G., Tuorila, H., Vickers, K., Gearhart, L, & Mendez, C. (1997). The efficacies of three relaxation regimens in the treatment of PTSD in Vietnam war veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 53(8), 917-923.

Weisenberg, Matisyohu and Joseph Scharzwald. Effects of Combat Stress Reaction and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on Perceived Self-Efficacy in Battle. (1991) Military Psychology, 3(1), 61-71.

Wessely, Simon. (2004) War and the mind: Psychopathology or suffering? Palestine-Israel Journal, 10 (4), 6-16.