Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS) is an intervention originally developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for supporting law enforcement officers who have faced critical incidents (CIs) at work. In Finland, police forces have arranged modified PCIS regularly since 2012, but the first PCIS for emergency service personnel was organized in 2020. PCIS consists of psychoeducation, peer support, and mental health professional support/Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Previous international studies of PCIS are scarce. Our research question was this: After 6 months, how do emergency service personnel who have participated in the PCIS describe the impacts of PCIS on experiences and psychological state evoked by the CI that was the reason to apply for it?
The data consisted of individual interviews 6 months after attending the PCIS. The number of participants in this study was 15 (94%). The data was analyzed qualitatively with inductive content analysis.
The impacts of PCIS on incident-related experiences and state 6 months afterward were divided into five main categories: social changes, new perspectives and sensations, incident-related components, future-oriented processes, and new abilities and actions.
PCIS can have multilevel impacts on the experiences and psychological state caused by a CI. These impacts are reflected, for example, in their inner experience, choices, emotions, actions, and relationships with others in different areas of life. As a result of PCIS, the emergency service personnel’s relationship with CIs in the past and the ability to function in the future can change. Further study is needed to investigate the long-term impacts of the PCIS.