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Is critical incident stress debriefing an effective treatment for PTSD?

One PTSD treatment technique that has not proved effective is a practice known as critical incident stress debriefing, which originated in the military and has been used on firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians, as well as immediate survivors of traumatic experiences. In this approach, participants meet within days of a traumatic experience for a single session lasting for several hours, recounting the event and discussing their thoughts and feelings about it with a counselor. Controlled trials have found that debriefing is not helpful and may even make natural recovery from stress reactions more difficult. Possibly people who are told to probe their feelings at such an early stage feel overwhelmed and misinterpret later symptoms as more serious than they are. It's now generally agreed that no one should be pressured or ordered to participate in critical incident stress debriefing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.