Corporate Crisis/Grief Counseling
IF YOUR COMPANY HAS EXPERIENCED
THE DEATH OF AN EMPLOYEE OR A TRAUMATIC INCIDENT, CONTACT DR. DEBRA FOR CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS DEBRIEFING (CISD).
When unexpected acts of violence or accidents occur, they disrupt
our daily routine and sense of equilibrium, leading to emotional
reactions, a sense of loss, and physical and behavioral reactions.
These reactions can affect our daily life, our relationships with
family and friends, and our ability to function at work to our best
The terrorist attacks of 9-11-01 were an extreme example of a
critical incident, resulting in months, and for the people most
affected, years of stress-related symptoms. When 9-11 occurred, Dr.
Debra worked with the American Airlines flight crews and other
personnel at LAX for three weeks. Since that time she has done CISD
with companies whose personnel have experienced layoffs, robberies,
arrests, sudden deaths, misappropriation of funds by an employee,
and rapes occurring on company property. She counseled the victims
and families of the Metrolink train wreck on 2-24-02. In 2005, Dr.
Debra spent two weeks in Louisiana, volunteering as a mental health
relief worker for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She also spent time in New Jersey counseling Superstorm Sandy victims.
If a traumatic incident occurs in your company, it’s best to contact Dr. Debra as soon as possible. Receiving counseling
after a critical incident is important, even if a lot of time has
passed. However, the ideal time frame is within the first 72 hours
after the trauma occurs. The sooner the victim(s) speak with a
trained CISD counselor, more they are likely to have reduced short
and long term symptoms. Also the support and education a CISD
counselor provides is important.
The length of time Dr. Debra will spend at your company depends
on the number of employees affected, the complexity and trauma of
the incident, and the depth of respect and esteem the employees hold
for affected individual(s). It may take as little as two hours or as
much as three days.
For companies, having a trained CISD counselor respond to their
jobsite means that management and human resources receives support
for their own emotional and physical responses, as well as education
on how to best handle the employees who are affected by the
incident. Everyone is provided with group debriefing as well as
given individual time if needed. Handouts are provided for everyone,
detailing definitions of a critical incident, symptoms, and how
friends and family members can help.
Sometimes symptoms from a traumatic incident appear to diminish
within a few days. Other people can take months or years to return
to normal functioning. It is also common for a person to seem
symptom free, but they are really only suppressing their feelings,
or are numb. The symptoms may surface weeks or months later, often
taking the form of depression, angry outbursts, or some kind of
changed behavior. When this happens, the victim doesn’t associate
his or her feelings with the critical incident that happened months
earlier. Also, strong symptoms, sometimes out of proportion to the
incident, may occur if the person affected have had other traumas in
their past. For these individuals, it is best to contact Dr. Debra for individual psychotherapy.
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