What is Critical Incident Stress Debriefing?

  • After a major catastrophic or traumatic event many of the individuals directly involved or witnessing the event have physiological and psychological reactions.
  • If untreated those traumatized individuals will display symptoms which cause distress in their jobs, at home and in the community.
  • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is a processing group led by professionally trained facilitators who are knowledgeable about the effects of trauma on a person. They assist the participants to understand and cope with the stressful event so it does not impact their lives in a negative manner.

What is a Critical Incident?

There are many incidents that could be considered traumatic. We would describe it as “most people would have a difficult time coping with the situation.”

Examples of these situations might be:

  • death of a co-worker by accident, murder or natural causes
  • an accident where someone was injured, maimed or killed
  • a robbery or assault (armed or not)
  • a natural disaster like a flood, tornado, hurricane, or fire

Typically these events affect more than one person.

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) came out of a need to help groups of people cope with disaster in a healthy and expedient way. The AMERICAN RED CROSS uses this method for dealing with all of its disasters.

We at The Banyan Group recognize that disasters occur right in the work place and besides affecting the mental health of the person, affects the work environment. That is why we offer CISD intervention.

What about after a traumatic event?

  • A traumatic event like a death, a robbery, or an accident can cause many behavioral and psychological symptoms. Sometimes without intervention victims psychological and physical symptoms can escalate. Many times just not knowing what to expect intensifies these symptoms.
  • Most victims can benefit from education on what to expect which has lead THE BANYAN GROUP to develop professionally trained critical stress debriefers. We can work individually or as a team for incidents that involve large numbers of victims. Our team is mobile and can come directly to the site or workplace if needed.

Symptoms to look for

If you have felt these symptoms they are a normal response to a stressful event. However if they persist they can lead to more severe problems. Consult a professional for assistance to cope with the symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

  • Fear
  • Nausea
  • Anger
  • Hyperventilation
  • Guilt
  • Feeling Cold
  • Easily Startled
  • Hot Headed
  • Feeling Numb
  • Loss of Apetite
Emotional Symptoms

  • Sad,¬†Depressed
  • Headaches
  • Preoccupation With Event
  • Memory Problems
  • Overly Sensitive
  • Muscular Twitches
  • Seems To Dream
  • Unable to Sleep