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Crisis counseling

Lorelei R. Vinluan UP College of Education





The perception or experiencing of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds the resources and coping mechanisms of the person, and unless the person gains relief the crisis has the potential to cause severe affective, cognitive, and behavioral malfunctioning.

Types of crisis
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Developmental crisis Situational crisis Existential crisis Systemic crisis

Developmental crisis: Occurs when events in the crisis: normal flow of human growth are disrupted by a dramatic shift that precipitates a change in the way people function. Examples: birth of a child, retirement, college graduation, career changes Situational crisis: Emerges with the advent of crisis: unexpected events that lie outside the realm of normal functioning; individuals neither anticipate nor have a way of controlling situational crises. Examples: automobile accidents, sexual assault, sudden illness, job loss.

Existential crisis: Occurs when individuals become crisis: aware that an important intrapersonal aspect of their lives may never be fulfilled. This, in turn, has an impact on self-purpose and self-worth. Examples: failure to selfselffulfill a lifelong dream, intrapersonal conflicts about a lack of meaning in ones life, realization that one has not formed significant relationships. Systemic crisis: Occurs when an identifiable event crisis: ripples out into large segments of the population and the environment and has a psychological impact not only on the immediate victims, but on people throughout the world. Examples: natural disasters, hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, terrorist attacks, school shootings.

Components of a crisis
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a hazardous or traumatic event a vulnerable state a precipitating factor an active crisis state the resolution of the crisis

Dealing with crisis

recognize how you are feeling  work out what areas of your life you can control and do so  don't be too hard on yourself  get support for yourself from friends or relatives, or get professional help  anticipate problems coming and make plans

Crisis counseling

refers to a counselor entering into the life situation of an individual or family to alleviate the impact of a crisis to help mobilize the resources of those directly affected

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

immediacy proximity expectancy brevity simplicity


immediacy early intervention proximity intervention within close physical proximity to the acute crisis manifestation expectancy the expectation of the recipient is that of an acute problemproblemfocused intervention

brevity the intervention will be short in the totality of its duration often lasting only one to three contacts simplicity simple, directive interventions seem to be the most useful, whereas complex interventions which require the interpretation of unconscious motives, paradoxical intention, or confrontation should usually be avoided.

Crisis counseling goals

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Establish the meaning and understand the personal significance of the situation. Confront reality and respond to the requirements of the external situation. Sustain relationships with family members and friends as well as with other individuals who may be helpful in resolving the crisis and its aftermath.

Crisis counseling goals



Preserve a reasonable emotional balance by managing upsetting feelings aroused by the situation. Preserve a satisfactory self-image and selfachieve a sense of competence and mastery.

The effective crisis counselor

poise  flexibility  creativity  resilience

Generic counseling principles

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Begin counseling immediately. Be concerned and competent. Listen to the facts of the situation. Reflect the individuals feelings.

Generic counseling principles


6. 7. 8.

Help the individual realize that the crisis event has occurred. Do not encourage or support blaming. Do not give false reassurance. Recognize the primacy of taking action.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Encouraging victim response Responding Acknowledgment of feelings FollowFollow-up service Handling stress