Critical Incident Stress Debriefing  

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Critical Incident Stress Debriefing  

What is critical incident stress debriefing?  

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is a process through which one of our experienced professionals helps a group of people work through their response to a highly stressful or traumatic event. CISD is a form of crisis intervention aimed at reducing the traumatic impact of an event by fostering a connection between people who went through the same experience, increasing effective coping and trauma education after the stressful event. One of our trained mental health professionals will facilitate the group. This can help provide space to process after a stressful or traumatic event occurred.

CISD is intended for use immediately (within 24 to 48 hours) after the incident occurred. Its purpose is to provide support and resources to people who experienced a traumatic event as soon as possible.

How does critical incident stress debriefing work?

Although the process is flexible and can be adapted based on the needs of the group, CISD is generally structured in seven phases or steps that can be summarized as follows:

  1. Introduction and Assessment: The facilitator gather details about the incident in order to appropriately guide the intervention to meet the group’s unique needs. This phase also involves allowing group members to introduce themselves and ask questions about the process.
  2. Fact Phase: Facilitators encourage group members to share the facts of the incident from their perspective. Members are encouraged to focus only on the facts of the incident itself and not their emotional reactions to what happened. While members are not required to share, this phase aims to promote discussion and create a sense of safety in the group space.
  3. Thought and Emotion Phase: After the facts of the incident have been shared, group members can disclose their thoughts and feelings about the incident in a supportive space.
  4. Reaction Phase: Facilitators help group members safely explore their reactions to what happened and begin exploring what this means for them going forward. This includes sharing fears and worries about the future in light of the incident.
  5. Symptom Phase: In this phase, facilitators help participants explore what symptoms they might be experiencing in response to the event. This helps participants identify areas in which they might be struggling and explore coping skills that might benefit them going forward.
  6. Teaching Phase: This phase is educational. Facilitators normalize participants’ responses to the event and provide psycho-education about trauma, stress, and coping skills.
  7. Re-Entry Phase: This last phase includes a summary of what was covered, what participants learned, and resources provided by Sage facilitator. The facilitator will answer any additional question and help participants focus on moving forward, past the traumatic event.

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How it works

We know it’s likely to have been a struggle to get this far, but we are with you every step of the way. Our process is simple – we work with you to develop a unique plan and provide the a level of support according to your needs, whilst ensuring measurable and sustainable outcomes.


Book an appointment by calling us on +971 4 575 5684 (or you can book online) and tell us what you are having difficulty with.


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