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Triology of a Crisis

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Definition of a crisis

Crisis in health dimension can be defined as the climax of a disease when a critical change takes place indicating death or recovery.

Ways for evaluating the process of crisis formation

An event occurs

Perception of the event leads to a biased distress

Biased distress leads to malfunctioning

survival skills unable to improve functioning

Ways of increasing functioning

Change perception of the participating event and try to offer helping strategies

biased distress will be decreased

Functioning level will be increased

How a crisis can be both an opportunity and a danger

Opportunity

With the help of counseling and intervention, the individual will cope with the crisis combined with increased survival skills, emotional growth and resources which will help him to deal with future stressors (familydoctor.org, 2008).

Danger

Without help, the individual may go back to a low level of functioning by use the ego defense mechanisms or remain nonfunctional via suicide, homicide or psychosis

How someone becomes crisis prone (familydoctor.org, 2010)

Experiences a stressor perceived as threatening which leads to subjective distress and impairment in functioning. Coping methods fail.

State of disequilibrium ensues for 4-6 weeks
No intervention or help is sought
Individual uses ego strength to deny, repress, dissociate from the meaning of the precipitating event and subjective distress and functions at a lowered level.

Individual not prepared emotionally to deal with future stressors and this may easily lead into crisis states when faced with potential precipitating events.

Factors which can lead to a crisis

Material resources such as transportation, money, food, clothing and shelter

Personal resources such as personality traits, intelligence, education, ego strength and physical well-being

Social resources which include family, co-workers, friends, clubs and church

Types of crisis

Developmental – these are normal, expected, transitional phases as people move from one stage of life to another. People often are unable to cope with evolving needs of family members.

Situational- these are uncommon, extraordinary events. There is no way of forecasting or controlling them.

Curvilinear model of anxiety (family doctor.org, 2007)

A lot anxiety is overwhelming and paralyzing

Too little anxiety leaves very little motivation to change or accept interventions

Moderate anxiety is optimal in motivating people to change and allowing them to utilize personal resources

Sometimes an individual needs medication to reduce anxiety to the point where a person can respond to intervention

Other times anxiety is encouraged to increase motivation

Caplan’s seven characteristics of effective coping behavior

Actively looking for reality issues and finding for information

Expressing freely both negative and positive feeling and bearing frustration

Actively looking for assistance from others

Dividing problems into manageable parts and going through them one part at a time

Ready to cope with fatigue and pacing assisting efforts while keeping control in as many areas of functioning as possible

Understanding feelings where possible and being flexible and willing to adapt

Trusting in one self and others and having positive mind about the outcome

Multicultural perspectives in crisis intervention

To understand the person’s world view we need to address culturally biases assumptions

Culturally biased assumptions

Assumption that all people share a common measure of normal behavior

Assumption that crisis is primarily individual rather than part of a larger group such as friends, family, society etc

Assumption that the definition of problems can be limited by academic boundaries

Assumption that others will understand abstraction the same

The assumption that independence is valuable, and dependencies are undesirable. We should not depend on others or allow them to depend upon us

The assumption that people would prefer counseling rather than support of family, friends, peers etc

Assumption of good or bad is transferable

Assumption that human service worker, crisis workers know all their assumptions

Assumptions that the client’s history has nothing or limited relevance

Guidelines to assist the crisis intervener’s multicultural awareness

Attempt to understand your own cultural biases

Where possible, make an effort to learn the language of those into crisis you may need to intercede. Find a well trained translator where necessary

Ask for further clarification if you are not sure what the victim said

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