Definition of Critical incident stress management

Critical incident stress management: A way of providing crisis counseling that includes debriefing people who have exposed to a traumatic event. Although this method has been widely practiced, there is no convincing evidence it is effective or beneficial.

Critical incident stress management (CISM) is stated to be "a comprehensive, integrative, multicomponent crisis intervention system. CISM is considered comprehensive because it consists of multiple crisis intervention components, which functionally span the entire temporal spectrum of a crisis. CISM interventions range from the pre-crisis phase through the acute crisis phase, and into the post-crisis phase. CISM is also considered comprehensive in that it consists of interventions which may be applied to individuals, small functional groups, large groups, families, organizations, and even communities."

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Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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