In a world where encounters with sources of aggression and violence, trauma and grief are all too common, understanding the dynamics of “critical incidents/hazardous events” – both for adults and/or children directly impacted and for those encountering second-hand effects – is vital. This “train the trainer/caregiver” workshop is for family members or close friends, colleagues, educators, religious or community leaders, emergency responders, or an array of helping professionals. Critical Incident Intervention demands the integration of head and heart when connecting with and comforting those caught in the radiating circles of trauma.

And the Stress Doc’s lively, high-energy programs are the perfect answer. In fact, the Doc’s workshops help audiences “Get FIT”…by being FUN-Interactive-Thought-provoking. The program involves a mix of brief lecture, real world group exercises, and group discussion. You will walk away with “hands on” tools and skills, techniques and strategies for responding purposefully, efficiently, and with compassion in times of trauma and crisis. And these tools and strategies will enable you to effectively engage both individuals immediately impacted by trauma and loss, and especially with those emotionally connected to or in the emotional shadow of trauma or grief ground zero.

Program Objectives

The Critical Incident/Trauma Debriefing Professional needs to have working knowledge in the following key areas, including:

A. Overview of Stress, Crisis, and Trauma

1. The Head and Heart Support and Resilience Goal of Critical Incident/Trauma Debriefing
2. Types of Stress, Smoke Signals, and Crisis Theory
3. Crisis Window of “Danger & Opportunity”
4. Different Types of Trauma/Grief Situations: “Fight & Flight, Freeze & Flow”
5. Predisposing Factors to Traumatic Stress Reactions

B. Dynamics of Loss and Grief

1. Unfinished Grieving and “Grief Ghosts”
2. Understanding the Multifaceted Nature of Loss and Grief
3. Stages of Loss and Grief, including Shock, Denial, Rage, Helplessness, Guilt, Ambivalence, etc.
4. Difference between “Feeling Sorry for Yourself” and “Feeling Your Sorrow”
5. The Magical Healing Path of Grief

C. Critical Incident Settings and Use of Personal-Professional Self

1. Types/Settings of Interventions
2. Use of Personal/Professional Self in Critical Incident/Trauma Debriefing
3. “Bad Kids or Traumatized Kids”: Understanding the Person-Situation Context
4. Capacity for Relaxed Attention, being Focused & Fluid, Absorbing & Scanning, and Detached Involvement
5. Conscious Use of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

D. Key Critical Incident Communication Skills

1. How to Engage in Reflective Listening
2. How to Ask Courageous “Good Questions”
3. How to Tentatively Reflect and Appropriately Reveal

E. Key Intervention Process Components, Tools and Techniques

1. Transitioning from Educator to Group Facilitator
2. “Nine Step Trauma & Grief Orientation-Engagement Recipe.”
3. Carefully Using Healing & Harmonizing Humor: The Link between Comedy and Tragedy

F. Taking Care of the Critical Incident Caregiver

1. Recognizing, Preventing, and Recovering from Burnout
2. Engage in Acclaimed Relaxation-Visualization Exercise
3. Stress Doc’s Natural SPEED Formula for Stress Resiliency and Brain Agility

Credentials and Experience of the Primary Presenter

Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, known as the Stress Doc ™, is a nationally recognized speaker, Stress Resilience and Critical Incident/Hazardous Workplace Expert. Mark has been:

a) a Stress & Violence Prevention Expert for the US Postal Service; was the “Social Worker/Consultant on the Beat” b) a Stress Resilience-Humor-Team Building Expert for the US Military, esp., Brigades/Battalions at Ft. Hood, TX
c) a Critical Incident/Trauma-Grief-and Hazardous Workplace Debriefing Expert for numerous corporations, government agencies, and institutions
d) over the past fifteen years, under the banner of Total Learning Solutions, has led a series of one-day Stress Resiliency & Conflict Management programs for Managers and Supervisors at Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
e) taught Crisis Intervention/Brief Treatment for ten years at Tulane University Graduate School of Social Work
f) recognized stress, transition stress, burnout and grief, transforming anger and conflict speaker and writer; has worked with hundreds of companies, institutions, and federal, county, and city agencies
g) author of Practice Safe Stress: Healing & Laughing in the Face of Stress, Burnout & Depression, The Four Faces of Anger: Transforming Anger, Rage & Conflict, and Resiliency Rap: The Wit & Wisdom of the Shrink Rapper ™
h) private practice therapist for nearly thirty years, specializing in stress, burnout, loss, grief, and couples counseling

A Sample of Critical Incident/Trauma Debriefing Interventions includes:

a) bank personnel/robbery at gun point
b) with postal facility’s personnel after an employee threatens to shoot two colleagues
c) postal worker held up at knife point
d) beloved manager killed by a stranger after work outside a club
e) federal supervisor threatened with a knife by employee
f) employee having a fatal heart attack on the workfloor
g) employee suicide in the context of some conflict-laden work relations
h) employee having a psychotic break at work
i) intense racial antagonism, and/or sexual harassment, and/or bullying/emotional intimidation in the workplace
j) supervisor losing son to AIDS and husband to a heart attack in a two month period
k) supervisor killed in a head-on vehicular crash while driving to work

Author's Bio: 

Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" ™, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a national keynote and webinar speaker and "Motivational Humorist & Team Communication Catalyst" known for his interactive, inspiring and FUN programs for both government agencies and major corporations. The Doc is a training and Stress Resilience Consultant for The Hays Companies, an international corporate insurance and wellness brokerage group. He has also led “Resilience, Team Building and Humor” programs for various branches of the Armed Services. Mark, a former Stress and Violence Prevention Consultant for the US Postal Service, is the author of Resiliency Rap, Practice Safe Stress, and of The Four Faces of Anger. See his award-winning, USA Today Online "HotSite" – – called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR). For more info on the Doc's "Practice Safe Stress" programs or to receive his free e-newsletter, email or call 301-875-2567.