Trainer David Williams, MA

Trainer David Williams, MA
Interactive training in peer support

Mental Health First Aid following Trauma

Following a traumatic incident, people's ability to emotionally recover is dependent on a variety of factors. Without assistance, a significant number of people will experience unnecessary distress. As many as 15-30% of first responders suffer from symptoms related to a their exposure to a critical incident. With assistance, some symptoms can be reduced and emotional healing can be accelerated.

That response is Critical Incident Stress Management.

There are at least 10 distinctive tools for care in CISM, which can be learned and offered by ordinary individuals. In fact, CISM is often best received by peers and others with whom the affected have a prior relationship.

David Williams, MA, has been offering care at times of trauma to law enforcement and the general public since 1987. That care became more formalized earlier this decade as he adopted the CISM model taught by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. In addition to being a member of two CISM teams, Williams is a trainer, helping a variety of individuals learn CISM that they might be able to assist those close who have been traumatized by a critical incident. He is a Board Certified Crisis Chaplain with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. He has trained law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical responders, mental health professionals, clergy, health providers, corporate employees, school officials and other community members.

David Williams offers certification in five CISM courses ...


The CISM: Group Crisis Intervention training program is designed to present the core elements of a comprehensive, systematic and multicomponent crisis intervention curriculum. The two day course prepares participants to understand a wide range of crisis intervention services including pre and post incident crisis education, significant other support services, on-scene support services, crisis intervention for individuals, demobilizations after large scale traumatic incidents, small group defusings and the group intervention known as Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD). The CISM: Group Crisis Intervention course specifically prepares participants to provide several of these interventions, specifically demobilizations, defusings and the CISD. The need for appropriate follow up services and referrals when necessary is also described. Considerable evidence gathered to date strongly supports the multicomponent crisis intervention strategy, which is discussed in this course. The CISM: Group Crisis Intervention course is designed to specifically teach crisis intervention and Emergency Mental Health skills such as demobilizations, defusing, and CISD. At the completion of this course, participants will be able to : Define stress, CIS, and PTSD; List the 10 basic interventions of CISM; and Define and describe in detail the CISM group processes of Demobilizations, Defusings, and Debriefings.

(14 Contact Hours; 14 CE Credits for Psychologists; 14 PDHs for EAPs; 14 CE Hours for Calif. MFTs & LCSWs; OR 1.4 general CEUs from UMBC)* Completion of The CISM: Group Crisis Intervention class and receipt of a certificate indicating full attendance (14 Contact Hours) qualifies as a CORE class in ICISF’s Certificate of Specialized Training Program.


The Advanced Group Crisis Intervention training program has been designed to provide participants with the latest information on critical incident stress management techniques and post-trauma syndromes. The program emphasizes a broadening of the knowledge base concerning critical incident stress interventions as well as Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder which was established in the basic program and/or in publications. At the conclusion of this educational program the participants will have been exposed to specific, proven strategies to intervene with those suffering the ill effects of their exposure to trauma. The emphasis will be on advanced defusings and debriefings in complex situations.

The Advanced Group Crisis Intervention training has been developed for EAP, human resources and public safety personnel, mental health professionals, chaplains, paramedics, firefighters, physicians, police officers, nurses, dispatchers, airline personnel and disaster workers who are already trained in the critical incident stress debriefing format. It will also be useful for those who are working extensively with traumatized victims from various walks of life.



Crisis intervention is NOT psychotherapy, rather it is a specialized acute emergency mental health intervention which requires specialized training. As physical first-aid is to surgery, crisis intervention is to psychotherapy. Thus, crisis intervention is sometimes called "emotional first-aid." Crisis interventions are typically done individually (one-on-one) or in groups. This program is designed to teach participants the fundamentals of, and a specific protocol for, individual intervention. The audience for this class includes both emergency services, military, and business/industrial peer support personnel without formal training in mental health, as well as mental health professionals, who desire to increase their knowledge of individual (one-on-one) crisis intervention techniques.(13 Contact Hours)

Please note that this is a two day class. The topics listed below will be covered over the course of two days.

The concept of CISM as a comprehensive crisis intervention program

  • The role of the individual crisis intervention in the comprehensive CISM program

  • Terms and concepts relevant to the study of crisis, traumatic stress and crisis intervention

  • Differential utilities of selected crisis communication techniques

  • Demonstration of selected crisis communication techniques

  • Psychological reactions to crisis and trauma

  • SAFER protocol for individual crisis intervention and it's role in comprehensive CISM

  • Demonstration of the us of SAFER protocol for individual crisis intervention

  • Review of common problems encountered while working with individuals in crisis


In times of crisis, people often confer with their spiritual advisers as immediate help. Following disasters, the general population often gravitates toward houses of worship. Pastors are trained in pastoral counseling, but few have received the unique tools of Criticial Incident Stress Management. In this two-day course, students will learn about the tools of CISM, develop the skills to offer one-to-one crisis intervention, become aware of the unique religious and spiritual concerns in trauma and respond to the emotional, physical and spiritual crises of critical incident stress. Students completing this course will receive CISM certification with ICISF, Inc. and CEUs with the University of Maryland.


Stress in law enforcement is unique to most other professions. There are the daily pressures of the job, a law enforcement culture which fosters some other pressures, deadly situations leading to criticial incident stress and social pressures of family and community. This two-day course is to educate students on the unique culture of law enforcement and its stresses. This course will examine the law enforcement culture, identify predictable stressors, highlight the personality of many peace officers and give tools for helping law enforcement recover from critical incidents. Those who would benefit from this training include law enforcement officers, family and friends of peace officers, chaplains and mental health professionals who often interface with law enforcement, media who wants to accurately understand law enforcement and others in the general public who want to further understand law enforcement. Students of this two-day course will receive certification with the ICISF, Inc. and CEUs from the Univerisity of Maryland.

David ordinarily trains in the Central Valley of Northern California

but he may be available to training in other regions based on calendar.


Group and Individual Basic (GRIN)
June 19-21
Turlock, CA

A more detailed explanation of continuing education units can be found here:

You may contact him by email and ask for a registration form at CISMTRAINER@HOTMAIL.COM
or by phone at 209-247-0438.

The Value of Critical Incident Stress Management

Mental Health first aid matters -- it really helps.
First responders are exposed to particularly stressful situations, even matters of life and death, much more frequently than the general public. Such exposure can result in the erosion of physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. Through proactive efforts of Critical Incident Stress Management, first responders, mental health professionals, faith-based workers, school personnel, and others are learning to care for one another in the first waves following a crisis. In addition, they are learning that private suffering does not have to be part of the job.

Tried and Tested Curriculum

Through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc., David Williams has trained hundreds of first responders, mental health professionals, health care providers, clergy and educators in the Central Valley and Foothill regions of Northern California for the past few years. As a provider of CISM and with two decades as a communicator, David is able to bring together groups from different disciplines and various levels of training, to learn from one another and to use the tools of CISM in a fun and productive learning environment.

David regularly travels to host agencies for a per-student fee, provides the two day training and the Certificates of Completion from ICISF. He is qualified as a trainer of six ICISF courses, explained below. They are Group Crisis Intervention (Basic), Group Crisis Intervention (Advanced), Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support, A Three-Day Course that combines Group Crisis Intervention and Individual Crisis Intervention, Managing School Crises: From Theory to Application, Pastoral Crisis Intervention and Law Enforcement Perspectives.

David has worked alongside law enforcement since 1987. He has provided support and crisis intervention, integrating CISM since the early 2000s. He worked in newspaper publishing for eight years, worked in the local church pastorate for 20 years and currently serves as administrative chaplain for three public agencies and corporate chaplain for a global food manufacturer, in addition to being an active trainer. David's education includes undergraduate work in journalism, a Bachelor of Arts degree in pastoral ministries and a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Management. He is a Board Certified Crisis Chaplain with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, a certified grief recovery specialist with the Grief Recovery Institute, and has earned the ICISF Certificate of Specialized Training in Emergency Services.
He brings unique tools for crisis intervention into the classroom setting, based on his training, education and personal experience.

To speak with David regarding upcoming trainings or to have him assist your agency, call 209-247-0438 or email