Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols

LOCATION: Virtual Zoom
DATES: Friday, May 21, 2021
TIME: 0900-230 EST

  • May 21, 2021 06:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
  • May 21, 2021 07:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada) 
  • May 21, 2021 08:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada) 
  • May 21, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)  

This is a private course offering by invitation only to FBI National Academy Comprehensive Officer Resiliency Train the Trainer March 2021 Cohort.  Maximum class size is 10 students.

Course Description

What are Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols?

Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols are interventions that can be used in the wake of a crisis, natural disaster or other critical incident to reduce distress and symptoms associated with the traumatic experience. They ARE NOT therapy, they are a form of “psychological first aid” that can be helpful in decreasing an incident’s vividness and disturbance through the use of eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation (BLS). They are broken down into two separate protocols: (CID) Critical Incident Desensitization and (ATIP) Acute Traumatic Incident Processing. Both protocols use short bursts of eye movements, or other forms of BLS, to desensitize the distressing event. 

When should Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols be implemented?

Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols are helpful to individuals who have had a recent exposure to a crisis, natural disaster or other critical incident. Critical Incident Desensitization is intended for more immediate use following exposure to an event, typically in the minutes and hours after the initial exposure. Acute Traumatic Incident Processing can be used after the immediate exposure has passed up to several hours or days following exposure to the traumatic incident. These protocols are not therapy, and therefore are not appropriate to use on traumatic incidents that are not recent in nature. 

Who can benefit from Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols and who implements them?

Anyone who has encountered a crisis, natural disaster, accident, assault or other critical incident and has experienced some distress or other symptoms associated with the experience may benefit from these protocols. Individuals who may be experiencing emotional, psychological or physical distress may experience a reduction or elimination by implementing one of the Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols.

Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols were designed to be implemented by para-professionals, although the person implementing these protocols may be a clinician, they may also be a volunteer, first responder, or other helping professional.

Are Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols evidenced based?

CIDP Protocols are not currently considered evidenced based; we are in the process of collecting data and information that would be used to obtain status as an evidenced based intervention. However, the mechanisms of action, such as the bi-lateral stimulation and dual attention, are supported by research. One such study, which is discussed in the CIDP training, provides evidence for short bursts of eye movements reducing image vividness and emotionality in addition to having a calming effect. 

How can Critical Incident Desensitization Protocols be implemented within a police department or other first responder agency?

CIDP can be implemented in variety of ways within a police department or other first responder agency. Because CIDPs are intended for immediate use after a critical incident, trauma or stressful experience it can be useful to have team members involved in Critical Incident Stress Management Debriefings trained on these protocols; this offers individuals an opportunity to decrease their distress without having to "talk about" the incident on an individual basis . It is also beneficial to have members who are involved in peer teams trained on these protocols; we recognize that peer support is an essential element in supporting our first responders, they are often more comfortable approaching peers with challenges or impacts they are noticing in relationship to a critical incident. Therefore, having peers that are already trained in these models creates an environment where individuals are empowered to reach out in a way that feels safe and comfortable to them, in addition to empowering peers to have a tool that will actually assist in decreasing images and emotions without getting caught up in the context of what happened. In fact, any provider within the department whose role includes assisting responders with maintaining their mental and physical health and well-being can benefit from training and experience with CIDPs; this includes both clinician and non-clinical staff. 

CIDP Protocols were designed by Roy Kiessling, LCSW, who is also the developer of Belief Focused EMDR therapy

Registration Limited to FBI Comprehensive Officer Resilience Class Graduates March 2021
(10 Students Max)

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