Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) 

You went to work that day, expecting it to be like any other, but it wasn’t.

It was the day you learned that one of your directors is suspected of wrongdoing, or there was a devastating theft. It’s the day you found out your supervisor and mentor will be leaving the organization because of serious health concerns, or that a division of your business will be closing its doors.

It’s upheaval you never saw coming, and it can be devastating.

Critical incidents like these affect organizations and everyone associated with them. They also tend to:

  • Happen suddenly and unexpectedly
  • Rudely interrupt normal routine
  • Reduce or take away individual control, and therefore foster feelings of helplessness and being off balance
  • Threaten our beliefs and values
  • Attack our feelings of safety and security


Now what?

Following any traumatic experience, there’s a period of grieving, as we mourn our losses. There’s also a general feeling of vulnerability – that this, or worse, could happen again. Some people are unable to focus on “the now” and fear for the future. You may ask, “How long will it feel like this?”  Some people may relive the event over and over, or have trouble sleeping; all kinds of behaviours have changed.

As each person struggles to cope with the aftermath, productivity, morale, and relationships at work and at home may suffer.

Laurie M. Martin is a Certified Trauma Specialist whose work and compassion has taken her to international destinations. She has thousands of hours of hands-on, front-line experience, working alongside a team of professionals, following such crises as the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11th attacks, and the Walkerton water crisis. She has provided education and skilled and heartfelt support to thousands of people throughout North America and the Caribbean.

Life Interrupted uses principles of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), an systematic approach to crisis intervention. The method focuses on the response – not the event itself – and the people involved. The goal is to foster natural resiliency.

See our list of workshop topics available