This guidebook is designed to be used as a practical resource for crisis intervention team coordinators in developing and maintaining a Critical Incident Stress Managment (CISM) team. It provides those responsible for the ongoing development and training of a team with ready-made exercises and games which promote learning in a safe environment. The target of this guidebook's exercises is practice of the following interventions: Individual (one-on-one), Defusing, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), and Crisis Management Briefing (CMB). With creativity, the material in the scripts could serve as the basis for practice of any of the other six CISM interventions, but the intent was to focus on the four interventions named.
The guidebook is divided into five sections. Section 1 is an overview of the CISM field and is designed to help train others in various responses, thus helping to "raise the bar" for delivering CISM services. Section 2 contains tips on operational guidelines that have been found especially important to the maintenance of a CISM team. Section 3 represents the authors' attempts to pass along their favorite secrets and techniques for training. The experiential area of this section includes descriptions and instructions for five techniques: Table-top exercises, role plays, group problem exercises, training games, and a model for debriefing the CISM team. Section 4 is comprised of dozens of practice scenarios for use in a variety of exercises. These scenarios (which are also contained on an accompanying read-write CD) are divided by population (firefighter/EMS, law enforcement, school, and community groups) and contain a wide range of topics and issues. Each scenario comes complete with an instruction sheet for six to nine participants that describes their role in the incident and some suggestions for thoughts and reactions that they might have. Section 5 is a collection of group exercises and educational games, the more complex of which are included on PowerPoint on the accompanying CD. They are designed for use when time is short, provide skill practice of a lively nature, and are fun ways to end a meeting or training on a high note. Finally, the appendix contains a variety of forms and a suggested reading list that have been found useful in accomplishing some of the goals proposed in the text.