When discussing “crisis intervention”. a counselor needs to define crisis. A crisis can mean an uncontrolled drug or alcohol problem, depression or bipolar episodes or any number of issues in which a vulnerable person is out of control or cannot comprehend possible periods of imminent danger. A therapeutic crisis intervention can save a person’s life if they are willing to receive the help that is being offered to them.
What Is Crisis Intervention
Most crisis interventions are designed to provide short term relief. An intervention is often requested when the friends and family members have tried everything they know to get the person in question to realize how self-destructive their actions have become. Normally, situations have gotten so bad that people may fear for, not only the person’s safety, but their lives as well.
A crisis intervention is often a last ditch resort to convince the person just how badly they are faring. The type of crisis a person is experiencing will determine the kind of crisis intervention techniques that are used. No matter what techniques and strategies are used, the goal is to help the person realize the need for immediate help. The key is to bring them to the point where they admit they have a problem and will accept the help that is being offered.
Examples of a crisis situation in which an intervention may be called for include mental illness, suicide, drug abuse, severe alcoholic tendencies and any other situation that can result in a dangerous outcome for the person in question.
Crisis Intervention Strategies
An intervention is rarely something that a person just randomly agrees to experience. Most friends and family members look to intervention counselors to find a way to shock their loved ones into accepting the help that is being offered. Many times, the friends and loved ones will arrange for a meeting to take place unbeknownst to the person experiencing the crisis.
When the person arrives, they are immediately confronted by the people who are most concerned about their well being. A counselor is also present and will immediately begin to outline the person’s patterns of addiction or self-destructive behaviors. In some cases, friends and loved ones may choose to let the individual know what they are feeling and how their actions are affecting them.
Once everyone has had a chance to speak to the person, the counselor describes in great detail what type of program is being offered to them. In situations that have reached this level of severity, an inhouse treatment program is recommended. Outpatient treatment programs are normally offered before a situation becomes so severe that an actual intervention is needed.
An important strategy that is often used in a crisis intervention has to do with removing their support system. By forcing the person to take care of their own specific situations, individuals stop enabling the person with the addictive personality. This prevents them from running back home when situations become more difficult and they have no where else to turn. It also forces them to make a conscious choice between their addictive behavior and members of their own family.
Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
A non violent crisis intervention is often performed before the situation gets out of control. In this type of scenario, the triggers of a situation are dealt with prior to their becoming so severe that the person becomes combative. Part of the job of the counselor that works with intervention programs is to discuss each person’s problems with the family members and friends that know them the best. By discussing a person’s behavior with the individuals who know them best, a counselor is able to determine what strategy should be used and in what situation.
Uncovering a person’s triggers also helps the counselor learn what strategies will work best and which ones should be avoided. Individuals who are prime candidates for any type of crisis intervention must be treated with great care due to the severity of their fragile mental and emotional state. Counselors must be able to recognize the fine line between getting the person’s undivided attention and pushing them past their breaking point.
When it has come to the point where an intervention is needed, a person’s mental and emotional state can be extremely perilous. One misguided attempt to offer help can spell disaster causing the person to turn away from those who are trying their hardest to offer help. Tough love is often used by family members who have been their to support their loved ones during the roughest of times. By withdrawing their support, both financially and emotionally, they draw a line in the sand forcing the person to choose which path they will take. If they choose to continue with their dangerous practices, the family members must stick by their decision and offer no aid whatsoever.
It is extremely difficult for family members and loved ones to watch their loved ones struggle and falter, but by keeping their distance, they make it extremely difficult for the person to resolve their issues. The important thing to remember during the period in which the crisis prevention intervention is taking place is that by giving in to their demands, not only stalls the process but can actually cause traumatic damage to any goals that have been accomplished along the way.
Crisis Intervention Training
Crisis intervention training provides counselors with the necessary tools. During training, they learn several techniques and strategies for diffusing difficult situations. Because of the sensitivity of many situations, counselors must be able to retain their composure at all times. When an intervention is taking place, emotions can run high. The person for which the intervention is being held can respond in any number of ways. The fact that they sometimes feel as if they are being ambushed can lead to an angry and sometimes violent outburst.
With the proper training, a counselor or psychologist who oversees an intervention is able to observe and effectively control the actions and reactions of individuals who are involved. They can also take appropriate steps to make sure a person understands exactly what has brought them to the point where the intervention was necessary. Many people involved in drugs and alcohol have no clue to the extent to which they are harming themselves and those around them. The use of specific strategies and training helps the counselor to adequately convey the seriousness of the situation, while providing the person with support they need to feel comfortable accepting the offer of help.
Crisis Prevention Intervention
Crisis prevention intervention is a proactive tool that involves diffusing a situation prior to the actual need of an intervention. Family and friends can often tell the changes in a person’s behavior long before an intervention is needed. When the signs begin to appear, it is important to address the situation in a timely manner to prevent the person from spiraling out of control.
The goal is to gain control of a situation before a person actually enters into a “crisis”. Family members will often seek the services of a counselor before the crisis begins, but the person will often deny the problem exists until it is too late. During a crisis prevention intervention, it is important to remember that just because the crisis has not occurred, it does not mean that it won’t. Taking the necessary steps to stop a person’s downward progress can be difficult for a family. Their loved one may lash out and say extremely hurtful things.
Crisis intervention training helps counselors offer support to the family members who may bear the brunt of the patients’ aggression. When a person has reached the point where an intervention is necessary, they are not in control of themselves. They may act irrationally, taking unnecessary risks and exhibiting little care for themselves and those they care about. Identifying these behaviors and taking the necessary steps to prevent them from leading to a crisis is one of the most important things a counselor must be able to do.
Whether a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol or is experiencing issues that stem from depression and other forms of mental illness, the use of crisis intervention tools can help a family regain a loved one. When a person reaches the point where they are in a crisis situation, it can take drastic measures to bring them back to edge of sanity. Crisis intervention techniques provide the tools and support a person needs to overcome many of the negative effects caused by drug and alcohol abuse. When the issue revolves around mental illness and depression, an intervention may provide insight as to how a person can better handle themselves during difficult situations.