Trauma Related Critical Incident Debriefing for Adolescents
Social Work and Human Services
Events like the tragedy at Columbine High School and the terrorists attacks on New York City in 2001 have highlighted the need for mental health practitioners to become familiar with interventions that are designed to assist young people who have survived extremely stressful events. Mental health professionals often see people who have experienced car accidents, severe abuse, rape, or other victimization, as well as survivors of natural and man-made disasters during the first critical stages of the recovery period. This article describes the process of critical incident de-briefing and provides a step-by-step primer for its application. The process is short-term (four sessions or less) and provides an intervention designed to reduce the frequency and severity of post-traumatic stress symptoms. Adolescents are particularly at risk because of issues surrounding identity formation, self- esteem, and developmental differences in coping mechanisms. Therefore, those who work with an adolescent cohort should be familiar with debriefing methods and how to apply them to the teenager.
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Kirk, A. B., & Madden, L. L. (2003). Trauma related critical incident debriefing for adolescents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal 20(2), 123-134. doi:10.1023/A:1022816731082