An invitation to grieve: reconsidering critical incident responses by support teams in the school setting

O'Brien, Patrick and Mills, Katrina and Fraser, Amanda and Andersson, John (2011) An invitation to grieve: reconsidering critical incident responses by support teams in the school setting. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 21 (1). pp. 60-73. ISSN 1037-2911

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This paper 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 paper 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 post traumatic stress disorder. The authors of this paper 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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors' post-print version deposited with permission of publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2011 06:10
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2014 00:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical incidents; debriefing; expressive therapies; multiple intelligence; counselling
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130305 Educational Counselling
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1375/ajgc.21.1.60

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