Objective: The objective of this review was to propose a typology for understanding the diversity of psychosocial reactions to environmental incidents.
Methodology: The first section provides an introduction and background to the topic; we then attempt to provide a typology of psychosocial responses to environmental incidents.
Results: Response to an environmental incident can be usefully considered in terms of the exposure, the response of the individual, the action of professionals, the response of the community, and the influence of the society in which the incident occurs. We reviewed each of these factors.
Conclusions: By examining incidents in an ordered framework, we suggest that a more comprehensive understanding is possible. We also suggest some basic ways in which the psychosocial management of such difficult and diverse incidents could be improved.