Critical Incidents

“Debriefing Critical Incidents, Creating Healing Spaces,” a two-day, in-person workshop, will be offered again on January 18-19, 2024 at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon. Ten CEUs approved through NASW.

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


Historical 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.

Wayne Scott Favicon blueThis two-day, in-person 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.



Participants should have attended at least one continuing education event on trauma-informed practices.

BY THE END OF THIS WEBINAR, 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, with special emphasis on debriefing within virtual environments; and
  4. Utilize body-centered activities to help employees adapt in the aftermath.

Ten hours of continuing education through the National Association of Social Workers.  

BIPOC REPARATIONS DISCOUNT: If you identify as a BIPOC, you are entitled to a 25% discount.

GRADUATE STUDENT DISCOUNT: If you are currently in graduate school in a clinical discipline and wish to register, there is a 25% discount.

Contact Wayne Scott for discount codes.


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 LGBTQ+ 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-sponsor 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 Sun, Huffington Post, Salon, and Poets and Writers.

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