Psychological First Aid (PFA) – A Coursera Review

To discuss the subject of Psychological First Aid (PFA), I’d first like to start out with the Japanese saying: “It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”

Think about it, if in your daily, “common” life, some kind of catastrophe happens; how would you react? Would you know what to do? Would you know how to help the people involved and your loved ones? If you would like to be able to answer these questions or obtain more information about how to react effectively and help others. Follow on for Psychological First Aid (PFA) – A Coursera Review.

“Psychological First Aid (PFA)” is Perfect for You

This is a course for professionals, responsible for aid programs, for children and adults; individually and collectively, volunteers in help and emotional support teams, self-help groups, and others. At the same time, it’s intended for the general population, and people who seek to obtain more knowledge and information on how to act in crisis and stress situations.

About The Psychological First Aid Course

This course is divided into 5 weeks or modules:

  • Definition and application conditions.
  • PFA in children up to 12 years.
  • PFA in adolescents and adults.
  • PFA in especially vulnerable groups.
  • Self-care of the intervener.

Each features videos, reading material, quizzes, and essays (which are peer-graded).

From my point of view, the information is very complete and the way it is explained and developed in the videos makes it more enjoyable and easier to understand. Above all, we should take into account the nature and context of this information, which can be very sensitive.


100% online.


Approximately 15 hours, with flexible “deadlines” therefore, the duration of the course may depend on the person.

Language and Subtitles:

Spanish with Spanish and English subtitles.


At the end of the course by completing the questionnaires and essays, the certificate can be shared on social networks (LinkedIn, for example).

My Experience

From the separation and classification of how to interact with people of various ages and contexts to the last module, where something is not so well known or taken into account by the general public is discussed. The mental health of the helper is also explained in a direct, and very practical way.

This course provides us with simple but very useful and necessary tools. It teaches us how to address different types of people, what questions to ask them and how to treat them with dignity and respect.

My interest in this course stems from my passion and career in psychology. As psychologists we must be able to identify when the patient presents traits of stress and/or crisis (Post Traumatic Stress, for example) and how to treat it. This can be very dangerous because we must be able to calm it down and not alarm or confuse the person more than they already are.

Above all, if tomorrow one of my patients is a professional who is in charge of assisting people in crises, now I know their reality and their problems. Now I can empathize with all their stress due to the great responsibility they have on their shoulders and that many times, it may well seem that there is a disproportionate level of stress on them.

In my opinion, this is a course in which one doesn’t need to be involved with professions related to health exclusively. This is a course in which each person can learn something new and even be the hero when the situation deserves it.

I hope this review helps and  encourages you to learn and investigate more into psychological first aid. Have you practiced PFA? Tell us what your experience was like in the comments below!

Agustin Cardone

Agustin Cardone, from Argentina, currently lives in Ireland, and studies psychology in Mexico. He fell in love with sports when he started playing rugby at 14, soon becoming team captain. He now lifts weights and practices boxing as a way to release stress. He is highly interested in the relationship between body and mind, and is curious about how the brain works and why people do what they do. He would like to help people with addiction, depression, and personality disorders. He believes we all have a story to tell and that we should express it.

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