December 2014
Critical Response AssociatesVolume 14 Issue 6



This will be our last newsletter of the year, as we enter the Holiday Season. This time of year can be an unpredictable time in our business, that can often exert a variety of contradictory effects on the stress and conflict that underlie many of the situations that we respond to. We never really know how to prepare for it; sometimes it's quiet, and sometimes, not so much. That being said, all of us here at CRA wish you and yours a safe and joyous holiday season.


But more importantly, we are using this issue to announce, with very mixed feelings, the retirement of our valued colleague, CRA's very first associate, and my right hand since I first founded this little company years ago: the inimitable Dr. Carol Beavers. I begged Carol to just "semi-retire", but she said that she wanted the whole enchilada (I think that she was worried that I'd slowly pull her back in). Carol possesses an extraordinary range of experience and skills, such that she could be called upon to handle any situation, no matter how critical or unique - and in the end, she would always leave everyone smiling.


While Carol will be deeply missed by all of us and by many of you who have had the pleasure of working with her, we are also happy for her. Carol has a variety of interests and relationships that will keep her occupied and fulfilled - not to mention the fact that she will also have to housetrain her newly adopted "retirement puppy". If any of you wish to contact Carol, you can reach her at


So, without further ado, here's Carol:


Marc McElhaney, Ph.D.

Critical Response Associates




Parting Thoughts
Carol H. Beavers, Ph.D.



It is time to retire; I know that.  But what is the stubbornness that has caused me to hang on to work after all these years? After all, I have an abundance of good things in my life:  a smart, humorous, loving husband of 47 years, two accomplished and delightful sons, and an extraordinary five-year-old granddaughter. (Aren't all grandchildren extraordinary?)

Let me tell you where this journey started. After initially working as a high school English teacher, school counselor and rehabilitation counselor, I decided to "take a few courses" at Georgia State University (while also working at fulltime motherhood), which eventually resulted in a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a minor in Management. Ultimately, I was invited to join the faculty, where I taught the core "Communication Skills" courses.

I was extremely gratified in that position, but our world began changing. In 1995, I went to Oklahoma City following the destruction of the Federal Building there, returning twice to counsel victims and their families. In 1999, a few blocks from our home in Atlanta, there was news of a man on a shooting rampage in what became known as the "Day Trader Shooting." I coordinated the crisis response services, discovering that there were counselors who showed up, wanting "to help" but who were woefully unprepared. (One of my many duties was to send them away.) In 2001, when the early news reported planes flying into the World Trade Center towers, we were swept into the horror of that terrible event. I spent several weeks counseling in that ravaged area of the City. 

Within a year, I received a call from Dr. Marc McElhaney. We met for lunch and discussed the possibility of my working with him. Marc had a fascinating approach. He was experienced in crisis work and hoped to prevent further tragedies by intervening at an early point to provide help to people who felt misunderstood and alienated and saw violence as their only way of expression. It took only a short while to know that this would be extremely meaningful and rewarding work. 

Through these past years, we at Critical Response Associates have been assured by the professionals with whom we work that our interventions have saved not just jobs, but in all probability, have saved lives. What we do has been called "magic."  What it is in actuality is listening closely, being accepting of the person, having resources to get them to the help they need, and working with other professionals to ensure the safety of others. I feel privileged to have done this work and to have done it in the company of so many special people in the companies we serve. Human Resources, their staff, and Corporate Security professionals are truly the "unsung heroes" of the corporate world who, often without notice, prevent tragedies.

While I will miss the daily interactions with these great people, I hope to stay in touch with many of you as I enter this unknown territory of Retirement. Wish me luck!




Quick Links

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Dr.McElhaney's textbook is
also available in EBook.

Critical Response Associates has developed a training/awareness program for all employees and supervisors.