Critical Incidents

ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT TODAY”S WORKSHOP: We are starting on time. Many of you no doubt heard that Portland Public Schools are opening two hours late because of snow. It is not snowing at all on the near-in east side of the city where the workshop is held. I want to be respectful of all participants, including people who already traveled from far away to be here and those who need a certain number of CEUs for imminent licensing and audit purposes. I’m going to encourage folks to get there as best and safely as they can. I will take detailed notes of the material that we cover in the first hours to help late-comers fill in the gaps. I’ll also be in contact with NASW (who approved our CEUs) this morning to figure out a fair way to credit any missed hours for folks compelled to come later. We’re sorry for the inconvenience!

CRITICAL INCIDENTS are events or crises, outside the range of usual experience, that have such significant stressful impact on a team or work unit that they overwhelm employees’ ability to cope and return to their baseline experiences. The impact can be devastating. Unaddressed, critical incidents disrupt individual functioning and devastate team morale, which leads to poor outcomes for clients.

Wayne Scott Favicon blueHistorical ideas about critical incident debriefing emphasized cognitively-based, protocol-driven models. New research on interpersonal neurobiology suggests that these carefully structured procedures can inadvertently create dynamics that re-traumatize and interfere with long-term integration, recovery, and healing.

This two-day “Train the Facilitator” workshop introduces an innovative, research-based model of critical incident debriefing. The model promotes the creation of healing spaces grounded in trust-building, physical and emotional self-regulation, and increased awareness of physiological responses to extreme stress. These interventions help people to move from the isolation and silence of the trauma into healing community. It is critical that agencies provide this specialized support soon after the critical incident.


BY THE END OF THIS WORKSHOP, participants will be able to:

  1. Grasp the impact of a critical incident on the body, brain, and nervous system of all employees, as well as on team functioning and the group dynamic;
  2. Describe a research-based model, grounded in interpersonal neurobiology, for engaging employees in healing community after a critical incident;
  3. Clarify the role and skills of the facilitator in leading an effective, human-centered debriefing;
  4. Utilize body-centered activities to help employees adapt in the aftermath; and
  5. Facilitate a debriefing with reasonable confidence in the rightness of their decision-making and actions.

Approved for twelve-hours of continuing education through the National Association of Social Workers.  


Andrew R. Laue, LCSW is passionate about creating sustainability for human service professionals through the process of identifying secondary trauma that occurs from the intensity of human service work. A psychotherapist in Missoula, Montana, he consults with many agencies about the delivery and complexity of mental health practice. In 2017, he won a National County Association award for his secondary trauma group work with the Missoula County Attorney’s office.

A leader in the LGBT community in Montana, Andrew has developed cutting-edge interventions for diverse groups including his HIV prevention work with the MSM and IDU population, for which he won the Governor’s Award for HIV Prevention in 2003. A decade ago he was part of the development of the award-winning documentary film, Red Without Blue (2007), which has become a founding document promoting the equitable treatment of transgender people. He resides on the Flathead Reservation in rural Montana and is passionate in his commitment to serve the Native American population in this region.


Since 1989 co-facilitator Wayne Scott, MA, LCSW has worked with youth and adults in outpatient, residential, and hospital settings in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Portland and he currently maintains a private practice in the Buckman neighborhood. He has provided clinical supervision to social workers, family therapists, counselors, and addiction specialists and has taught clinical ethics at Portland State University and Concordia University. His academic articles have appeared in The Art of PsychotherapyDifferential Diagnosis and Treatment in Social Work, and The Psychotherapy Networker. He has a regular yoga practice, which keeps him sane, and writes memoir and personal essays, which have appeared recently in The New York Times, The SunSalonThe Timberline Review, and River Teeth Journal.

Wayne and Andrew both attended The University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.


Per the published policy on the Eventbrite site, we do not offer refunds less than thirty days from the event because of venue, catering, and speaker expenses that have already been paid. However, historically, when participants missed workshops, we have credited the registration fee to a future workshop.

In the event of serious inclement weather, we will consider the guidance from the local public school district, which may include starting one to two hours late. In the event of a major snow event, we will reschedule the workshop for a future date. 

Ultimately, Revolution Hall, our venue, reserves the right to cancel events if they decide not to open the building due to weather conditions, in which case participants’ registration money would be refunded (less the cost of the nominal Eventbrite registration fees).

Any changes to the event will be announced at the top of this page and confirmed by an email to participants.

We appreciate your patience and understanding.