According to George S. Everly, Jr., Ph.D., C.T.S. and Jeffrey T. Mitchell, Ph.D., C.T.S. (1997), founders of The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a comprehensive, integrative, multicomponent crisis intervention system that encompasses seven core components, and spans the entire temporal spectrum of a crisis.
One of these core components is Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD). CISD is an intervention that is usually employed 1-10 days post-crisis, and takes place in the format of a small group. The purpose of a CISD intervention is to afford individuals a safe space to process their reactions to a crisis and alleviate symptoms. Often, these symptoms are one or more of the stages of grief, which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Examples of a Critical Incident include but are not limited to:
• Serious workplace injuries or accidents
• Death of a co-worker or family member
• Assaults, violent acts, or threats in the workplace
• Suicide of an employee
• Traumatic family or work events