A new high quality review provides further evidence against the routine use of psychological debriefing following traumatic events.
The Australian study examined the effectiveness of a number of workplace mental health interventions and in its findings identified that strong evidence was found against the use of debriefing following trauma. It also reported that while there was strong evidence for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)-based stress management there was less evidence for counselling.
Professor Neil Greenberg, March on Stress Director, said: “This latest research study supports previous findings surrounding the use of critical incident debriefing.
“Previous research had found this approach to post-trauma management can actually cause further harm and the new review supports this. Most people recover well after a traumatic incident with the benefit of access to good social support from people they trust and sensitive and proactive management by their employers. The evidence available clearly warns against bringing in psychological debriefers or counsellors immediately after an incident. Instead a period of watchful waiting should be implemented, as per the UK NICE (National institute of Health and Care Excellence) guidelines.
“If someone is not recovering after a period of time, which can be identified through structured peer support such as Trauma Risk Management, then specific evidence-based interventions are recommended which could include evidence-based therapies such as CBT or EMDR. The benefit of easy access to peer support is that well trained and supervised colleagues may be able to help affected individuals overcome the stigma which surrounds mental health that often prevents help seeking”To access the full report, please click here.
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