Do I need debriefing?
If you would like the opportunity to talk about all that you have experienced in your time of service overseas and to learn more about how your experiences can be of value to you in your next phase of service, then debriefing is for you. Debriefing can be a very helpful tool to facilitate healthy transition, particularly after an extended period of service in a different cultural context, or following service in a high risk, high pressure situation, or after a traumatic incident. People who serve in these situations sometimes find that the pressures of their work have meant that they have had little opportunity to think about or process the experiences of their time overseas. On return to their passport country, it can be difficult to find people who understand some of the things which they are dealing with in transition. Debriefing gives an opportunity to ‘unpack’ all of the thoughts and feelings associated with your experience and to look at how these may shape your transition to a new period of service. This can help to make sense of what has gone before and apply the things you have learnt into new situations.
What is the difference between debriefing and counseling?
Debriefing differs from counselling in that with debriefing we are focusing on the impact of a particular period of time or event (see What is Debriefing?). Counselling usually takes place within the context of your day to day life and may involve dealing with longer term issues and experiences that affect the way in which you live.
Can I bring my children?
We do not yet have the resources to provide care or debriefing for children and it is not appropriate for children to be present within the debriefing sessions. However some people have brought along a family member to stay in local B&B accommodation and care for the children during the debriefing times.
Will we have any free time?
Yes. Our normal practice is to meet each morning for about 2½ hours leaving participants afternoons and evening free to rest, walk, study, read, pray, shop, climb a mountain etc.
What is the programme?
The week will be very much shaped by your own needs and the things that you would like to talk about. As debriefers we bring knowledge of the kinds of things that can be helpful to people in transition. Our primary aim is to listen to you and your situation and to help you to identify what will be most helpful to you as you make your transition.
Should my spouse come with me?
Generally we find that couples who have served overseas together will benefit from receiving debriefing together.
Will you send a report to my leader?
Debriefing with Refresh International is primarily for your benefit and we maintain strict boundaries of confidentiality, which we will discuss with you at the beginning of our time together. Sometimes people come to us at the request of their organisation and we are asked to provide a report for their leader. If this is the case, we will help you write that report.
Can I bring my dog?
We’re glad you asked! We really like dogs. In fact, the team has a dog. But no, we can’t accommodate dogs while you are with us.
Can I come for less than 5 days?
If you are really short of time, it is sometimes possible to arrange a 3-day debrief. We have found that people experience the greatest benefit by being here for the full five days, however 3 days can also be helpful.
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