Critical incident stress debriefing in the South African Police Services : trauma debriefers' perceptions.
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The experience of trauma has been the focus of much attention in the media and in academic literature. Many of these studies have explored the experiences of rescue and emergency personnel, including the interventions used to help them deal with these experiences. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is one of many preventative interventions that are used with these traumatized personnel. However, there are many inconsistencies relating to the efficacy of this intervention tool. Research that has investigated this issue has focused mostly on the experiences of the traumatized person/so The current study adopts a different perspective in that it explores the perceptions of practitioners who this method of intervention. The importance of professionals evaluating their tools cannot be overemphasized. These professionals would be in a better position to make suggestions regarding the use of their tool. A qualitative study was conducted that investigated the perceptions of six psychologists employed by South African Police Services (SAPS) the within the Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas (KwaZulu-Natal). These psychologists were trained by the SAPS to conduct trauma-debriefing sessions using the method ofCISD. The results suggested that this method of CISD has value when used as a group intervention with traumatized police officers but due to the continuous exposure to trauma, this method needs to be adapted or changed for police officers. Furthermore, due to continuous use of this method and the fact that it is the only method that is in use by the SAPS to intervene with trauma, many police officers become too familiar with this method and it tends to have less of an impact.