San Diego fires: post-trauma counseling

| October 28, 2007

We had a reader ask if we could track down any information regarding critical incident stress counseling:

If you’re able to post info about critical incident stress debriefing teams (AKA post traumatic stress debriefing), I believe your audience will pass the word to those who need the help.  Even people who weren’t evacuated, or didn’t lose their houses, or even see flames or smoke can have deep, long-lasting, and seemingly inexplicable responses to these situations.   All kinds and levels of responses are to be expected!

People need to talk about the pictures in their heads that they have no words for, need to talk and emote and vent and then come to peace.

I found (via the Sign On San Diego website) at least one source of such counseling:

Anyone in need of counseling support due to the fires can get free assistance from a group of volunteer mental health professionals.

Fire and Loss Counseling is organized by San Diego marriage and family counselor Aimee Zakrewski. Its members are licensed and pre-licensed psychotherapists and psychologists with experience in bereavement, grief and loss.

Anyone needing help can visit

If anyone else has pointers to such resources, please let us know.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Main, SAN DIEGO EMERGENCIES, San Diego Fires

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

Comments (2)

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  1. CERT teams in your localities have access to trained de-briefers-I know as I was fully trained as a CERT member in the Valley Center/Pauma Valley area after the Paradise Fire of 2003 during which I had to evacuate.
    Contact your local Fire Departments and ask about CERT debriefers/counselors that may be available.

  2. Here is more information on CERT:

    There is a directory on the site that should be helpful.