CIMA Courses

CIMA offers the following courses (in alphabetical order):

Advanced Group Crisis Intervention

Over the course of two days participants will learn the latest information and techniques on critical incident stress management as well as the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress conditions. The knowledge that was obtained in the Group Crisis Intervention course and/or publications will be broadened and participants will complete the course having obtained advanced specific and strategic methods for helping those who have been exposed to trauma and may be suffering some ill effects. The content of the Advanced Group Crisis Intervention course will include various CISM interventions including defusing (also known as Immediate Small Group Intervention) and debriefings (also known as Powerful Event Group Support) in complex situations, response to disasters and support for service providers.
Prerequisite: This course requires previous relevant training and experience and completion of the Group Crisis Intervention course is essential.

Assisting Individuals in Crisis

This dynamic program will teach participants the fundamentals of and specific protocols for individual crisis intervention. Over the course of two days participants will learn practical techniques in administering emotional first-aid to those in a crisis situation. The course also examines psychological reactions to crisis and trauma and looks at one particular protocol for individual crisis intervention, namely the SAFER-R protocol. The program also includes practical strategies for the containment of individuals psychologically and behaviourally. The Resistance, Resiliency and Recovery continuum is also examined.
This course can be combined into a three day program with the Group Crisis Intervention course.

Difficult Conversations, Difficult Times – Delivering Bad News

Communicating news causing grief, pain and loss can be extremely stressful to those who have to deliver it. This one-day workshop will discuss the theory and practice of having meaningful conversations with people who receive bad news and how to alleviate their distress. Topics include sitting with very distressed people; normalizing grief and loss; understanding grief and trauma for children; gender and grief; self-care for professionals. This will be ideal for GPs, doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers, police, emergency services and anyone who regularly works with distressed people who have received difficult information and are seeking help.

Group Crisis Intervention

The two-day Group Crisis Intervention course will prepare participants to provide acute emergency mental health intervention to help large and small groups of people cope with their reactions after experiencing a traumatic event. The program presents the core elements of the comprehensive, integrated, systematic and multi-component crisis management system known as Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). The Course prepares participants for intervening and assisting groups of people in the recovery process. Topics covered include CISM, which has several strategies for intervention with large and small groups. The need for appropriate follow-up services and referrals is emphasised.
This course can be combined into a three day program with the Group Crisis Intervention course.

Managing High Arousal – Psychological First Aid

Traumatic experiences are caused by high levels of threat which in turn place the person into heightened arousal in response. This state is central to the posttraumatic condition and research has shown that continuing high arousal is associated with increased risk of later mental health difficulties. It is therefore important to reduce the arousal and initiate recovery as early as possible. This one-day workshop will draw on extensive observations of people at all states of response to traumatic events to show how their state of arousal can be recognised and will describe simple techniques of psychological first aid which can be provided as soon as possible. Materials will be used to show how different states of arousal can be identified and reduced.

Pastoral Crisis Intervention

Pastoral Crisis Intervention is the combination of faith-based interventions with traditional techniques of crisis intervention. It represents a powerful addition to traditional community and organisational psychological support resources. This two-day workshop will educate participants on how and when to integrate traditional psychological crisis intervention with pastoral crisis intervention. The SAFER-PCI protocol is examined and practised by participants. Chaplains, pastoral counsellors, mental health professionals, ministers and those interested in the use of faith-based resources in crisis intervention may find this course of value.
This course can be combined into a three day program with the Suicide: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention course.

Strategic Response to Crisis

Upon completing this two-day course participants will be educated on which sequence of crisis intervention processes to use, for which individuals or groups, at what times and under what circumstances. Essential information for assessments will be discussed as participants learn to create an effective plan of action to assist people in crisis. Participants will also be trained to use strategic planning and tactical decision making to determine the best crisis intervention process for particular situations. A series of interactive exercises highlights the need for assessment and planning before implementing interventions for people in psychological crisis.

Suicide Awareness: An Introduction for Crisis Responders

The ability to recognise and effectively intervene with suicidal individuals is one of the most challenging aspects of crisis intervention. This one-day course is recommended for those without formal mental health training and is designed to increase awareness of suicide, and equip participants with information and basic skills to respond to a person considering suicide. Discussions, demonstrations, and scenarios will be used to facilitate learning. This is an introductory level course.

Suicide: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention

Why do people commit suicide? How do I ask someone if they are feeling suicidal? What do I do if they say they ARE suicidal? How do I deal with the strong emotions suicide generates? This training course will consider these and other questions that people commonly ask about suicide. During the two days participants will develop practical skills for prevention, intervention and support for those impacted by suicide. An interactive teaching approach is used so that participants are able to learn as they apply the strategies and methods. The course provides educational briefing that can be given to local agencies.
This course can be combined into a three day program with the Pastoral Crisis Intervention course.

Trauma Recovery in Communities

Traumatic events affect the individuals involved by changing their social relationships as well as their own personal state. Although we may be familiar with Posttraumatic Stress, there are consequences for large and small groups from partnerships to families and communities. The social consequences are at the same time personal since every individual carries on their lives in a community of relationships. This workshop will draw on many observations of disasters and traumatic events to describe the social impacts and show how they can be anticipated and managed using interventions strategies aimed at promoting specific forms of communication to prevent some of the more destructive consequences. Participants will be encouraged to share their own observations.

For information on education and training: contact our Training Coordinator, Lyndsay Smith at or on 0418 869 280.