This research identifies important themes in critical incident stress management from a social work perspective. Fifteen social workers responded to an advertisement in the national professional newsletter asking about social workers' recent experiences of critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) as an intervention. Their preferred models of critical incident stress management (CISM) were then discussed. Thirteen participants were interviewed, ten of whom had the dual experience as a debriefer and as a social worker who had been debriefed following a "critical event." Those who had dual experience of facilitating debriefings and being debriefed, commented from both sets of experience. There was overwhelming support for Mitchell's model of CISM. The social workers interviewed thought Mitchell's seven staged model of CISD as an intervention needed to be offered within an integrated CISM policy that could be adapted to the specific field of social work in which the participant was working. Strengths-based principles were considered important to build into a CISM policy with debriefing being an option rather than a compulsory organizational support. The role of individual ongoing clinical supervision was seen as an essential part of an integrated CISM policy complementing the provision of CISD through an ongoing relationship. � 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.