Reflections on the use of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing in schools

Clare Aucott, Anita Soni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Providing support to schools following a critical incident has become
an established part of service delivery for many Educational Psychology
Services (EPSs) in the UK. This article offers reflections on the use of
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) in schools. A review of the
literature on critical incidents, trauma, resilience and bereavement
suggested that studies exploring the effectiveness of psychological
debriefing in general have produced mixed findings, which may be
accounted for by methodological flaws and inappropriate application
of the intervention. However it is also argued that the underpinning
theoretical assumptions of CISD are questionable and, as a result, that
Psychological First Aid, a non-intrusive evidence-informed approach,
may be more appropriate in this context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-99
JournalEducational Psychology in Practice
Issue number1
Early online date30 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Critical incident
  • trauma
  • resilience
  • bereavement
  • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing
  • Psychological First Aid


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