A Personal Debrief at Compass Ministries is a two-day process beginning with structured exercises to help an individual reflect on their experiences of the recent past, and concluding with an opportunity for the individual to tell their story to someone who will listen carefully, confidentially, and without judgment. The goal is for the individual to integrate the various aspects of their experience into a cohesive whole, and to see God’s hand at work in that experience. Debriefing is useful in preventing burnout, reducing stress, and in promoting growth and self-understanding. It is an opportunity for a busy servant of God to step back, reflect, and allow God to speak meaning into the sometimes confusing and fragmented experiences that come with cross-cultural ministry.
A Family Debrief is similar to a Personal Debrief except that developmentally appropriate activities are included to help children understand the process of transition and to reflect upon their own experiences. After each individual completes their personal debriefing, the entire family then has an opportunity to tell their collective story to the debriefer. Often a deeper understanding of other family members’ unique perspectives and experience is the result. It also gives the children in the family an opportunity for reflection and validation of their unique experiences.