Effectiveness Crisis interventions in Schools
The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of evidence for the effectiveness and safety of commonly used crisis interventions in schools, such as critical incident stress debriefing (CISD), critical incident stress management (CISM), and psychological debriefing (PD). Selected reviews were compared and analyzed for the effectiveness of CISD/CISM/PD interventions.
Psychological debriefing (PD) was first used as an intervention among soldiers during World
War I (Litz et al. 2002) to boost moral and reduce psychological distress, facilitating returns to
the front lines. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) was introduced into civilian life in
the early 1980s by Mitchell (1983), as a group-based multi-component crisis intervention
program for emergency service workers (secondary trauma victims) (Everly et al. 2002).
CISD is usually applied by a trauma debriefer in seven phases: introduction, the facts,
thoughts and impressions, emotional reactions, normalization, planning for the future, and
disengagement (Mitchell 1983). In the 1990s, the term CISM was introduced to reference
the “overarching umbrella program/system,” of post-traumatic interventions, while the
term CISD was reserved for a subcomponent of the CISM program (Everly et al. 2000).
CISM is also composed of seven elements, including pre-crisis preparedness training,
large-group crisis interventions (e.g., demobilizations), defusing, CISD, individual crisis
intervention/counseling, family crisis intervention and follow-up, and referral mechanisms
for formal assessment if necessary (Everly and Mitchell 1997).
CISD/CISM is the most widely used method of PD globally and has been used in a diverse
range of settings and situations (Everly & Mitchell, 1999). For example, it is employed by
crisis counselors and mental health professionals as a first response to suicides, accidental
deaths and other community disasters....