Although not everyone that comes across a stressor in life will experience a crisis, some are unable to cope with the stressor in a healthy manner and eventually succumb to a crisis. If this person does not receive the adequate crisis intervention during this state, he or she is likely to be unable to function at the level he or she had been functioning before the crisis.
This will inevitably lead to additional crisis scenarios for every stressor they must face in life. This pattern can go on for many years until the person’s ego is completely drained of its capacity to deal with reality; often such people commit suicide, kill someone, or have a psychotic breakdown. ” (Kanel, K. 2007). In order to be able to help the client to the best of the counselor’s abilities, the ABC Model of Crisis Intervention provides a useful guideline to learn about crisis intervention.In our textbook, Kanel states that “The three aspects of a crisis are (1) A precipitating event occurs; (2) the perception of this event leads to subjective distress; and (3) usual coping methods fail, leading the person experiencing the event to function psychologically, emotionally, or behaviorally at a lower level than before the precipitating event occurred. ” In order to successfully help a client cope with a crisis, these three components must be recognized so that the counselor can help the client identify and overcome the crisis.
The perception of the event is by far the most crucial to identify, as this is the one that can help the counselor select the best treatment for the client. In order to be a successful crisis intervention counselor, the most important skills needed are listening to the client with a compassionate and empathetic ear. According to our textbook, the most basic skill of helping is listening. “Good eye contact, attentive body language, expressive vocal style, and verbal following are valuable listening tools. ” (Kanel, K. 2007).This implies that by listening to your client and demonstrating genuine care, sympathy and interest, you can build a trusting rapport with your client and enable them to truly open up to you.
If you are unable to build this rapport, you will go nowhere with a client that is either too embarrassed or not confident enough in your ability to help them. It is critical to identify the client’s perception of the event in order to help them. This is what will tell you what the problem at hand truly is. By doing so, the counselor can help the client identify the problem and overcome their issues.I like to use the Cognitive Tree as a metaphor rather than as a guideline of sorts. You need to get to the root of the problem in order to determine how to fix it. If your roots are healthy, your branches will blossom.
But if your roots are damaged and aren’t dealt with in a constructive and healthy manner, your branches will wither and perish. I would identify the precipitating event by directly asking the client why they came to see me. After this initial question, I would follow with several open ended questions in order to allow the client to not only describe what the problem is, but also how they perceive the problem to be.Questions like “What does this mean to you? ” or “”What emotions are going on inside you? ” can allow them to express in detail their perception, without making any assumptions for them. As with any patient/client relationships, there are several ethical considerations that should be paid special attention, and if any are present, should be reported immediately. These include any suicidal or homicidal thoughts or intents made clear by the patient. If it is a possibility that they may endanger their life or someone else’s life, this must be reported.
Any forms of abuse are also not to be allowed or tolerated, much less encouraged.This includes child abuse, elder abuse and even spousal abuse. Whether the abuse is happening to them, someone else in their household or they are the abuser themselves, this is not to be taken lightly and would need to reported and fully investigated to ensure the best interests of the client as well as their immediate family. Substance-abuse issues also need to be addressed and in that case, adequate treatment would include detox and/or rehab services. Finally any medical concerns that may have arisen are also of concern and should be dealt with immediately.For instance, if since the event the client has become a hoarder or compulsive sex addict, these issues must also be dealt with appropriately. There are many methods of coping treatments available to your clients in today’s day and age.
Most traditional forms of coping treatments are those such as support groups or 12-step groups, individual or family therapy, legal aid, or even reading self-help books. Preventative techniques of coping help the client prepare for future stressors in their lives and thus help them to be more able to cope with these stressors in a normal and healthy manner.I would most likely recommend the client to meditate daily in order to remain calm. I would also tell them to envision any stressors that can ever possibly arise and to already plan how they would react to it. For instance, if a client is scared that their husband may need to have a surgery performed, I would tell them to decide how they would deal with it if it does happen. By doing so, they will already begin to face their demons and it will not appear as scary as it did.So when it does happen, it lost all of the unexpected surprise element and can be easier to deal with.
The most important thing I must keep in mind as I try to help patients cope with their crisis is that they can be the best counselor to themselves by pretending a friend of theirs was going through a similar situation. What advice would they give their friend? Odds are that is the best advice anyone can give them, so they might as well listen to their own advice.References Kanel, Kristi (2007). A Guide to Crisis Intervention. Belmont, CA; Cengage Learning.
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