DR. DEBRA HOLLAND
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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 capacity.

 

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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Mark Robinson, Executive Director for Equa Terra, comments on working with Dr. Debra Holland:

"I worked with Debra at the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she provided crisis and stress counseling to employees affected by a massive payroll services failure that went on for months and impacted tens of thousands of employees.

Debra assisted Contact Center staff in handling emotional employees by providing compassionate, caring advice to the distraught and by defusing confrontations with the angry. She also provided training and advice to the Contact Center staff that helped them cope with the incredible stress for them and their families of working 12+ hours a day for months on end to provide help to employees.

Throughout, Debra was an insightful, calm and professional source of encouragement and support to all who needed it. I am convinced that her exceptional contribution was essential to the ultimate successful resolution of the crisis, and I am delighted to recommend her to any organization or individual in need of stress or crisis counseling."

 

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