Definitions, Examples, and Protocol
is a Crisis?
crisis is an acute emotional reaction to a
powerful stimulus or demand. It is a state of emotional
Three characteristics of crisis:
The usual balance between thinking and emotions
The usual coping mechanisms fail.
There is evidence of impairment in the individual
or group involved in the crisis.
strategies are implemented when a crisis occurs?
Intervention is a TEMPORARY, but ACTIVE
and SUPPORTIVE entry into the life of
individuals or groups during a period of extreme
distress. “Emotional First Aid.” Different
interventions tools are used for individuals vs. group.
defines a Critical Incident?
critical incident is a powerful traumatic event that
initiates the crisis response. These events are usually
outside of the usual range of normal human experiences
on the job or in one’s personal life.
Examples of Critical
line of duty deaths or serious injury to
operations personnel, child deaths, multiple casualty
events and severe threats to emergency personnel.
is Critical Incident Stress?
Critical Incident Stress is a state of cognitive,
physical, emotional and behavioral arousal that
accompanies the crisis reaction. The elevated state of
arousal is caused by a critical incident. If not managed
and resolved appropriately, either by oneself or with
assistance, it may lead to several psychological
disorders including Acute Stress Disorder, Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Attacks, Depression,
Abuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs, etc.
is Critical Incident Stress Management?
Critical Incident Stress Management is a
comprehensive, systematic and integrated multi-tactic
crisis intervention approach to manage
critical incident stress after traumatic events.
a coordinated program of tactics that are linked and
blended together to alleviate the reactions to
is Critical Incident Stress Debriefing?
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is a
specific, 7-step group crisis intervention
tool designed to assist a homogeneous group of people
after an exposure to the same significant traumatic
Debriefing allows those involved with the incident to
process the event and reflect on its impact.
Under no circumstances should this group crisis
intervention tool be considered psychotherapy or a
substitute for psychotherapy.
Debriefing should be provided as soon as possible but
typically no longer than the first 24 to 72 hours after
the initial impact of the critical event.
Goals of Critical Incident Debriefing: