Recent literature in the area of trauma has highlighted the potential for interventions to exacerbate the trauma reaction. The general rule of 'do no harm' should apply not only to professionals but volunteers alike. This paper reviews the literature on brief interventions for people who have been exposed to trauma at varying levels. The parameters of a single session intervention and the skill of volunteers are considered in recommending a protocol for intervention. We propose an 'orienting' framework to intervention that emphasizes support, normalization and self-help strategies.