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In the mental health and medical professions, a technique called debriefing is used to help professionals who need to process traumatic experiences. describes this as, “…an information-sharing and event-processing session conducted as a conversation between peers.”

They are referencing this as group dialogue although this can take place as a one-on-one conversation also.

The intention is to enable the person who has been troubled by a scenario to be able to share and process their feelings associated with this trauma. And, for the individual who is attentively listening and helping their coworker, he or she is assessing whether on-going care, probably short-term, needs implementation.

Experienced professionals interface with hardship both in their client base and, like you and me, in their daily lives. Without this debriefing process, these feelings will eventually fester and, in turn, manifest health issues.

Professionals are conscientious about their coworkers, and themselves. They are trained to be aware of signs of burnout and/or the need for, retreat, debriefing and renewal. shares insight on how to detect the need for debriefing:

“…there can be a somber mood with signs such as an unusual quietness, less conversation, less responsiveness to each other and to patients, less expressed interest in each other, and obvious signs of sadness such as frequent sighing or easy tearfulness.”

You too might see these signs in a loved one suffering the aftermath of a traumatic experience (disregard the responsiveness to patients insert). The message here is for you to realize the need to be able to verbally share your pain with someone you trust and also recognize the need for your loved ones to do this, maybe when they do not even recognize they need it themselves. Holding in these raw feelings can be toxic and sometimes a sympathetic, nonjudgmental, attentive listener can make all of the difference.

Whether you are labeling it the need to debrief or just an important need to vent and process feelings; be sure this tool is part of your world! It will make a positive difference.

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