Early intervention to prevent PTSD: Visions of the next generation of services


Although most human service professionals believe in the utility of early intervention post-trauma to prevent development of chronic psychological problems, there is little agreement as to the appropriate forms of care. A range of psychological interventions has been advocated for use with various traumatized populations within days or weeks of their trauma exposure, including education about trauma and stress reactions, critical incident stress debriefing (CISD), cognitive-behavioral brief intervention packages, EMDR, and psychopharmacological interventions. Currently, prospective research studying response to trauma and beginning within hours or days of the traumatic event is increasing rapidly, and a number of recent publications have suggested the potential effectiveness of some early interventions in preventing development of PTSD. Recent support for such interventions is developing at the same time that the evidence for the most popular early intervention, debriefing, is being called into question. In this panel discussion, four members of the recently initiated ISTSS “Early Interventions” Special Interest Group will describe their personal views as to what the next generation of early intervention services will look like, how existing models of early intervention should be improved based on current research and theory, and how improved services can be implemented in real-world settings.






Josef I. Ruzek
Jonathan I. Bisson
Ulrich Schnyder
E. C. Ritchie
P. J. Watson

Original Work Citation

Ruzek, J. I., Bisson, J. I., Schnyder, U., Ritchie, E. C., & Watson, P. J. (2001, December). Early intervention to prevent PTSD: Visions of the next generation of services. Presentation at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 17th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA



“Early intervention to prevent PTSD: Visions of the next generation of services,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 9, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19509.

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