The trainings given by CIvH are part of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) model. CISM provides people working in peer support teams a very solid foundation to support colleagues after they have been a victim of a crticial incident.
Definition of a Critical Incident*:
Critical Incidents are stressful events which have the potential to overwhelm one’s usual coping mechanisms resulting in psychological distress and an impairment of normal individual, as well as collective adaptive functioning.
The ultimate goal of CISM is the mitigation of acute, disabling psychological discord and the rapid restoration of adaptive functioning in the wake of a critical (crisis) incident.
A few very important notes:
• CISM was developed for emergency response workers to support their colleagues after a critical incident.
• CISM is not a psychosocial tool for communities.
• One can ONLY apply CISM techniques if they have had the right training and following strict procedures.
• CISM is not psychotherapy and is also not meant to replace therapy.
• CISM is to psychotherapy as medical first aid is to surgery; it is part of a coninuum of psychosocial care.
* Everly & Mitchell: Integrative Crisis Intervention and Disaster Mental Health, Chevron Publishing