Ready! Fire! Aim! The Status of Psychological Debriefing and Therapeutic Interventions: In the Work Place and After Disasters
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Psychological debriefing (PD) is a brief, short-term intervention aimed at mitigating long-term distress and preventing the emergence of posttraumatic stress. In recent years, it has become a ubiquitous intervention, one which has evolved as almost prescriptive following harrowing events and grew through a practical need to offer assistance to those who are exposed to severe trauma. Despite disturbing data from the recent refereed literature of psychology, it is still referred to as the "standard of care" for disaster and crisis response and its use in many quarters continues. This article critically reviews the evidence for and against its use and outlines the weaknesses in the research. The emphasis of this review is on the appropriateness of debriefing in organizations. This article also proposes a set of hypothesized constructs that may, in part, be responsible for the paradoxical effects found in some outcome studies on debriefing. Guidelines are also proposed to help organizations and professionals react appropriately using evidence-based interventions.
Review of General Psychology
Psychology not elsewhere classified
Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified