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Critical Issue Analysis - Psychological Debriefing

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Critical Issue Analysis - Psychological Debriefing Psychological debriefing is one form of therapy that is used when traumatic events occur in an individual's life. Individuals who encounter a traumatic event may become distressed and risk developing a psychological illness. Psychological debriefing is an intervention process in which survivors are urged to recount and relive the incident in order to avoid long-term consequences and traumatic stress responses (Halgin, 2009). There are some claims that psychological debriefing is helpful while other claims indicate that there is no therapeutic value in debriefing but it causes no injury to the individual and others who claim that psychological debriefing increases the risk of the individual developing long-term psychological symptoms following a certain events. Some companies, in fear of litigation, require employees who have experienced a traumatic event to undergo psychological debriefing. Debriefing has its beginnings in the military and is a form of psychological "first aid". General Marshall advocated the use during World War II to gather information from the troops about the fighting day but noticed that debriefing had a morale-building effect as well. Debriefing became popular again in 1983 when J.T. ...read more.


While other organizations use debriefing as a means to help individuals deal with the trauma they have experienced. The idea is that it is better to talk about the experience rather than bottle it up. Many individuals that have been part of a debriefing process report that the experience was a positive one. As stated before, CISD has seven phases. The process begins with a trained facilitator explaining that CISD is not psychotherapy. They explain that CISD is a method used to alleviate stress reactions that have been triggered by the traumatic event. This is called the introduction stage. The facilitator asks each group member to describe the traumatic event in detail to allow the others in the group understand what happened. This is the fact phase. After each participant has contributed in the fact phase, they move on to the thought phase, which consists of describing their thoughts as the event was occurring. The feeling phase comes next, which is designed to produce some emotional processing of the trauma. The thought is that the participants will benefit from sharing the emotions that were experienced during the trauma. ...read more.


Some professionals site that the individuals who are performing the debriefing are untrained and unaware of the sequence of events that need to be done before debriefing is begun which can skew the findings of any study. There are also some questions surrounding the need for debriefing. The thought is that maybe debriefing gets in the way of an individual's natural defense mechanisms which cause the effectiveness of debriefing to be diminished. Possibly the process an individual goes through when being debriefed increases the occurrence of long-term disorders. Whether or not PD is effective is still up in the air. It is clear that there are some individuals that do have positive outcomes from participating in PD, while others do not. The lesson here is that people are more resilient than they have been give credit for. As professionals we need to recognize that no matter what the motive is or well-meaning our intentions are, there is the possibility that any intervention can do harm as well as good. Psychological debriefing was never intended to be the end all and be all of trauma intervention but rather as a part of a comprehensive therapy solution that helps enable patients to gain access to resources to provide prompt treatment of trauma related disorders. ...read more.

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