Understanding and implementing the process of Debriefing
While they are always rewarding and life changing, cross cultural GO Team experiences in Third World environments can be confusing and disorienting to some. People very often are shocked at what they experience in the host country and then shocked again when they return to their same life as different people. Debriefing is the process of helping people understand what they experienced, re-enter the life they left a few weeks prior and then answer the question, "Now What?" We believe that the process of debriefing is vital for every team member so we provide guidance and materials to help with this process. There are 3 phases of debriefing which take place during the trip, soon after arrival home and continuing on for some time after returning home.
During the trip
People need to process the shock of entering a foreign culture almost immediately and regularly. We involve team members in discussions after each day's activities and more deeply at the end of the trip. Materials, such as reflection questions, are provided at the end of the trip and before the team separates, to help team members begin this process.
After arriving home
Team members often experience what is called "reverse culture shock" when they return home. This is due to many factors. The important thing here is to understand this reality and help people work through it. Some of the materials Horizon provides will help with this but we also suggest that the team meet together soon after their return to continue the process of "re-entry."
Continuing the process
Letting team members tell their story, gathering them regularly to pray and remember what happened and encouraging them to keep in touch with the friends they made both on the team and in the new country are all excellent ways to leverage the STMT experience for the good of the team member, the sending organization and the host country. Horizon staff is available for other sourcing and ideas to facilitate this process.
For more information regarding Team Mobilization, Team Building, Building a Support Network, or other related questions contact Doug Ehrgott at: