Traumatology has become an increasingly multidisciplinary field. Originally the province of psychiatry and clinical psychology, the field has now been enriched by the contributions of epidemiologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, and historians.
Psychological debriefing is a popular crisis intervention designed to alleviate immediate distress and prevent posttraumatic psychopathology following exposure to traumatic events. Despite a flourishing "debriefing industry," the author argues that there is no convincing evidence that it prevents posttraumatic psychopathology.
Individuals exposed to horrifying, life-threatening events are at heightened risk for posttraumatic stress disorder. Given the substantial personal and societal costs of chronic PTSD, mental health care professionals have developed early intervention methods designed to mitigate acute emotional distress and prevent the emergence of posttraumatic psychopathology.