VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – As Newtown comes to grips with last Friday’s massacre that left 26 people dead, including 20 kids, police continue to investigate what and why it happened.

News1130 is speaking with a local police psychologist about how those first responders will get over such a tragedy.

Dr. Mike Webster believes post-traumatic stress disorder is a myth. He says a small group may need therapy, but most just rely on their social support network.

“Eighty per cent of people who are exposed to these types of incidents are going to work through them. There will maybe be a few bumps in the beginning… [but] they can do so on their own, without the help of a mental health professional,” he tells us.

“Post-traumatic responses — the one you hear talked about most of the media today — is post traumatic stress disorder, is really a myth that doesn’t exist. Human beings are very, very resilient organisms,” he adds.

“The state police will have their own trauma response; they’ll have peer counsellors… and psychologists there. These people would be dispatched to look after those who had been exposed to the traumatic stimuli,” says Webster.

He adds psycohological briefings with workers used to be common, but that is changing.

“An accumulation of research suggests those debriefings do more harm to people than good… What’s most necessary at a scene like in Newtown is a psycho-educational intervention where you would sit down with the group and educate them about what they might experience. You would talk to them about resiliency and they don’t have to be afraid about getting sick as a result of the exposure.”