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Why TRiM instead of debriefing?

Added on the 7th March 2016

Here at March on Stress we are often asked about alternative approaches to dealing with trauma and how to treat people after an incident, with debriefing often cited.

If you have ever wondered why we advocate TRiM instead of debriefing, please read on for PTSD and trauma expert Professor Neil Greenberg’s analysis of key differences between the two approaches.

TRiM vs Debriefing

by Professor Neil Greenberg, BM BSc (Hons) MMedSc FHEA DOccMed, MFMLM MInstLM MEWI MD MFFLM FRCPsych

1. TRiM is backed by a wealth of evidence, see TRiM articles and research for more, whereas there is a dearth of studies of debriefing methods such as Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) as a comprehensive strategy to deal with trauma which have shown it to be effective.

2. TRiM is wholly compliant with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approach to ‘watchful waiting’ after a traumatic incident – NICE advises not to do psychological debriefing. See the NICE guidelines for more details.

3. Psychological debriefing has been shown to potentially cause more harm (Sijbrandij et al. 2006).

4. A recently released review paper makes recommendations not to undertake psychological debriefing. It states: “The reviewers concluded that debriefing interventions should not be delivered on a routine basis and that if a traumatic incident occurs in the workplace, employees should be offered psychological first aid, emotional and instrumental support and ongoing monitoring.” (see Workplace interventions for common mental disorders: a systematic meta-review for the full article).


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Keywords : PTSD Workplace Monitoring, Crisis Management, Advanced Mentoring Skills, TRiM training

Description : March on Stress are acknowledged and accredited experts in the mamagement of Trauma, Stress and PTSD