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An Invitation to Grieve: Reconsidering Critical Incident Responses by Support Teams in the School Setting

Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Volume 21 Issue 1 (2011)

Abstract: This article proposes that consideration could be given to an invitational intervention rather than an expectational intervention when support personnel respond to a critical incident in schools. Intuitively many practitioners know that it is necessary for guidance/counselling personnel to intervene in schools in and following times of trauma. Most educational authorities in Australia have mandated the formulation of a critical incident intervention plan. This article defines the term critical incident and then outlines current intervention processes, discussing the efficacy of debriefing interventions. Recent literature suggests that even though it is accepted that a planned intervention is necessary, there is scant evidence as to the effectiveness of debriefing interventions in stemming later symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. The authors of this article advocate for an expressive therapy intervention that is invitational rather than expectational, arguing that not all people respond to trauma in the same way and to expect that they will need to recall and retell what has happened is most likely a dangerous assumption. A model of invitation using Howard Gardner's (1983) multiple intelligences is proposed so that students are invited to grieve and understand emotionally what is happening to them following a critical incident.

To cite this article: O'Brien, Patrick; Mills, Katrina; Fraser, Amanda and Andersson, John. An Invitation to Grieve: Reconsidering Critical Incident Responses by Support Teams in the School Setting [online]. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2011: 60-73. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=210231110130157;res=IELHEA> ISSN: 1037-2911. [cited 24 Jul 16].

Personal Author: O'Brien, Patrick; Mills, Katrina; Fraser, Amanda; Andersson, John; Source: Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2011: 60-73 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1037-2911 Subject: Crisis management; Psychic trauma in children; School violence; School children--Psychology; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) University of Southern Queensland, Fraser Coast Campus, Old Maryborough Road, Pialba QLD 4655
(2) University of Southern Queensland, Australia
(3) University of Southern Queensland, Australia
(4) University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Database: Health Collection