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To What Extent Is Psychological Debriefing Effective?

2368 words - 9 pages

Traumas happen throughout the world at any instant. One day a person could walk into their work office and the next thing they know if someone is open firing on everyone. In this case, some people may die and others live. But with this traumatic experience people will be upset and disturbed. People will have lost their loved ones, co-works, bosses, or friends. In a situation like this first responders will bring in trained psychologist. In which they will conduct different types of therapy to attempt to prevent a mental illness brought upon by trauma. The main mental illness the therapist will try to prevent will be posttraumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD.
Frederick E. Tesch’s article in 1977 introduced the methods of psychological debriefing. Psychological debriefing is a process used to help victims cope after a traumatic incident. Different types of methods can be used to conduct the debriefing and also depending on the incident different methods can be used. Tesch identified ethical, educational, and methodological as types of debriefing. (citation). According to Deahl, psychological debriefing involves two types of intervention, either single session therapy or multiple session therapy and the uncertainty of when the debriefing should be held, directly after the event or at a later time after the victim has been able to process what has occurred (Seely, 173). Psychological debriefing is meant to stabilize a victim after the traumatizing experience and attempt to prevent suffering after a crisis has ended. Certain careers are prone to psychological debriefing, such as the armed forces, emergency services, combat veterans, and journalist and photographers working in high risk areas. Not only are people in these lines of work likely to participate in psychological debriefing but also, “more than two-thirds of the population at some point in their lives are exposed to potentially traumatizing events of sufficient severity t meet that ‘stressor’ criterion for current PTSD diagnostic criteria” (Deahl, 929). Over time experts have come to question the methods of psychological debriefing and ask if it is really help after these traumatic experiences.
Tesch discovered early on the methods of psychological debriefing. As stated previously he identified the types of methods at ethics, educational, and methodological. Tesch founded these ideas over three decades ago but the authors of this article, Donald Sharp and Cathy Faye, believe that Tesch’s ideas applicable now than the methods were before. Tesch examined the method of ethics through deception. He questioned the effectiveness of psychological debriefing after the trauma of being deceived. Tesch did not find hard evidence of this assumption but other researchers have furthered Tesch’s work to find the truth behind his theories. In 2007, McFarland, Cheam, and Buehler conducted a study in which they tested two different groups of people. The researchers gave one group false...

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