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Question
Posted by: Concerned | 2008/07/07

Trauma councelling

I was told this morning that there is no rush or need for urgent councelling after an traumatic event. A young girl was hit in the face by the person who robbed her of her cellphone on Friday. the councellor told me that there is no need for this girl to get councelling today it can wait until Wednesday. It is written in some book. is this true? According to my limited knowledge - debriefing should happen immediatly or as soon as possible after the traumatic event.

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Our expert says:
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Debriefing is trash. CISD< Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. was a very ehavily promoted and sold form of simplistic counselling, and people were falsely told that it must be done as soon as posible and was of great value. Several pieces of good quality research has shown not only that it is of no identifiable value whatever, but that people who receive it are often worse off than with no such immediate simplistic intervention !
It is useful for anyone who has been through a shocking event to be able to talk about it IF and WHEN they wish to, with a sympathetic friend or family member, who will listen rather than offer specific advice. ALl normal people are stressed and shocked by such suddent unexpected bad events, and are really shaken for a couple of weeks, and then most of us recover. If specific psychological symptoms arise and persist beyond the first couple of weeks, then seeing an experienced counsellor may help. So the counsellor was probably correct in saying that immeduiate counselling is not urgently necessary, and indeed might not be best and most helpful

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