Debriefing is a one-time specific conversation of a psychological orientation with a subject who has experienced a psychological trauma or an extreme situation. Most often, the purpose of such a conversation is to minimize the psychological harm caused to the victim by listening to the victim’s point of view and explaining to him exactly what happened to him.

Debriefing is a learning process that helps all participants talk about past experiences, make discoveries useful for themselves, reveal new exciting ideas and share with other participants. Debriefing is a kind of group work with psyche trauma.

Debriefing in psychology

Debriefing in psychology refers to the method of conducting conversations with people who have together experienced a tragic event or catastrophe. It refers to emergency psychological measures and should be carried out immediately after the event has occurred. The best time to conduct a debriefing is 48 hours after a tragic event or stressful situation occurs. Since after 48 hours, the period of specific reactions will end, and the participants in the events themselves will be in a state in which the possibility of reflection and the ability to self-analyze return. In the case when it takes a lot of time from the moment of the event, the memories will become more vague and vague. Then use videos or video of the event.

The debriefing process involves responding in a safe and confidential environment. This process makes it possible to share the impressions, feelings, reactions that are associated with the event with other participants. Due to the fact that the participants of the events meet similar feelings and reactions in other people, it becomes easier for them to experience what happened. It also reduces the sense of abnormality and uniqueness of their reactions, internal stress. People get support from other members in the group. The actions of trainers in such a process lie in mobilizing and concentrating the internal reserves of survivors of the tragedy, and in preparing for the appearance of reactions or symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress symptoms or disorders.

The purpose of debriefing is to minimize any psychological manifestations after suffering stress. A common goal of collective discussion is to reduce psychological feelings, suffering and tension. In order to achieve these goals it is necessary: ​​to work through impressions, feelings and reactions, explain the structure and meaning of the events that happened and react to them, minimize group and individual stress, reduce the feeling of abnormality and uniqueness of individual reactions.

Debriefing cannot protect against all the consequences of injury or their possible manifestation. However, it can be used to prevent the development of such consequences and their strengthening. This process can help you understand the causes of the condition and recognize your actions, which should be taken to alleviate the consequences. Therefore, a one-time specific conversation is considered a method of psychological anti-crisis intervention, and prevention.

This method is also considered to be one of the most common procedures for group prophylaxis of professional stresses of employees of an extreme profile (for example, for employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations).

For the most optimal and effective reduction of undesirable consequences of professional stresses, it is necessary to follow a strict procedure of this specific conversation.

There are other uses for debriefing. For example, advertising debriefing can be used to provide an opportunity for participants to discuss and reflect on all the advantages and disadvantages, potential solutions to such problems, which do not imply the only correct solution. It is widely used as a way to train staff in general, and not only during social and psychological training.

Also, this method can be used to evaluate the effectiveness and optimality of training. During this procedure, participants and trainers change their roles. At the same time, there is a feedback that goes from the participants to those who conduct a one-time specific conversation, and directly the subject of debriefing is the effects of the training, the training process and its result. Social and psychological training is a kind of dialogue, in which feedback has a key place.

Debriefing and development of feedback consists in the equality of the psychological positions of all participants in the process, setting up a partnership, adopting a communication partner, initiating work on self-knowledge, creating a new understanding of the subject of communication as a result of a dialogue.

Debriefing in training

Any training is meaningless without discussing its results, i.e. without debriefing. It consists in learning that helps to reflect on past experienced situations or experiences, to discover new ideas and discoveries. There are several periods of the debriefing process: the period of experiencing experience, the separation of such experience, interpretation, synthesis, application, procedural period.

Literally debriefing is translated as a survey after the assignment is completed. Debriefing in training is an analysis and analysis of the experience that was acquired by the participants in the process of completing a task or exercise during the training. The objectives of the debriefing can be: the withdrawal of all participants of the training from the analyzed or played roles, reducing the emotional stress obtained after performing the exercises, analyzing why events developed in this way and not otherwise, identifying the attitudes, feelings and changes, the ratio of game experience to real life situations; analyzing the effectiveness of the participants' actions and outlining possible “growth zones”, outlining new topics for reflection and preparing for the next training, setting relationships with previous and subsequent training.

Debriefing is an essential key phase of the exercise. Without quality debriefing, training will be a simple set of exercises and games. There will be no practical benefit from the training.

Technically, debriefing is a series of specific questions that the facilitator or trainer asks the participants of the process after the exercise has been completed. Such questions should be compiled, taking into account the objectives and themes of the exercises. There are trainings in which the same exercises can be used for different purposes.

Debriefing in advertising is a summing up of the results and results of the training. Debriefing and development of feedback is to collect comments and information: what was interesting and effective during the training, what was not effective. Then the trainer summarizes the studied, and creates motivation for further independent deeper study.

Debriefing stress critical incidents

As a method of dealing with the results of mental group traumas among employees of potentially dangerous objects (VET), a method of debriefing stress of critical incidents has been developed. This technique was developed in 1983 by the American D. Mitchell. Psychological debriefing of stress critical incidents as a way of assisting in the event of crisis conditions or situations is conducted with a group of people who have experienced tragic situations together or have experienced stress.

The purpose of such debriefing is to minimize unwanted psychological reactions and consequences, to prevent the development of post-traumatic stress symptoms or disorders. Such a goal can be achieved through the exchange of emotions or impressions (ventilation); cognitive experience organization; minimize tension and anxiety; understanding of the universality of the characteristics of subjective personal reactions, which is achieved during the intensive exchange of sensations and feelings in the group; fund-raising to support, enhance collective cohesion and group solidarity; preparing all participants in the process for the correct acceptance of their upcoming state and the application of various strategies for psychological assistance.

The process of debriefing the stress of critical incidents should be carried out by two people: the lead and his assistant. The process itself may include from 5 to 7 phases of a mandatory nature. Through such phrases must pass all participants, which should not be more than 12 subjects.

Debriefing consists of three parts: working out the main feelings and feelings of the participants and assessing the intensity of stress; a detailed discussion of the symptoms, manifestations and provision of sensations of security, safety and support; providing information, mobilizing resources and developing plans for the near future. During debriefing, the presence of unauthorized persons who are not directly related to the situation or event is strictly prohibited.

The time of the procedure of debriefing stress of critical incidents is strictly regulated and at first is not more than two and a half hours without interruptions. This limitation is due to the fact that in 2.5 hours a very intense and fairly strong study of the experience takes place with the involvement of strong emotions. There are certain requirements for leading. The head of the debriefing must be familiar with collective work, with problems that are directly related to injuries, anxiety and loss, must be self-confident, must be able to manage their emotions and be emotionally balanced.