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DCISR Button eLearning: An Introduction to Critical Incident Stress Management

A Self-Directed Learning Program

History has shown that employees may experience behavioral or personal problems, which if unresolved, can have a profound effect on their overall well-being and job performance. Consultation with and assistance to work organizations through organizational development processes can enhance management's value for quality performance.

As first responders we must recognize that being involved in critical incidents can often expose us to situations which can be emotionally and psychologically stressful. At times, these situations cannot be resolved through normal stress coping mechanisms. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) techniques, which include defusing and debriefings, can help alleviate immediate acute stress responses and assist us in understanding and coping with the affects of the incident. By practicing stress management, it allows us to enhance our resilience and bounce back from adversity.

This self-learning program has been developed to serve as an introductory to critical incident stress management, and is designed to assist the first responder to understand the emotional and psychological affects that may be experienced with responding to critical incidents. The objects of the program will allow participants to:

  • Become familiar with key terms and concepts relevant to the field of critical incident stress management
  • Understand the psychological nature of terrorism
  • Understand the difference between stress-related distress vs. stress-related dysfunction within five expressive categories
  • Understand the origins of nature and origins of crisis intervention
  • Understand the nature of critical incident stress management as a strategic crisis intervention system
  • Understand the role of self-care in crisis intervention


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