Crisis Intervention Models
As you learned in Week 1, crisis is a broad term that applies to a collection of disruptive, traumatic, and/or life-altering events. Moreover, a crisis may affect individuals, families, or, even in some cases, entire populations of a given region or country. Just as there is extreme variability in the nature and scope of crises, so too is there an assortment of crisis intervention models designed to help human services professionals effectively respond to specific situations. A model is like a map that plots concrete steps for otherwise abstract processes. Intervention models thus provide human services professionals with a practical sequence of activities and techniques that they can implement quickly when faced with a crisis. Models allow human services professionals to organize, prioritize, and structure what they need to do in order to provide the best care for their clients.
There are many different models for crisis intervention, with each variation emphasizing different techniques and procedures, depending on the nature of the crisis. Some models, such as the six-step model described in Chapter 3 and 4 of your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies, are relatively general and can be applied to many different crisis situations. Other models, however, are aimed at specific situations, such as natural disasters or rape, and/or employ a particular psychological approach or have a particular philosophical foundation. Different models may overlap with one another in certain aspects–most lay out a process for assessing client needs, for example—but may contrast significantly in other aspects, such as the recommended sequence of actions or the techniques prescribed to carry them out.
Crisis intervention models originate from a variety of sources. The six-step model, for example, was created by the author of your course text, Richard K. James, and his colleague, Burl E. Gilliland, both of whom are professors and practitioners in the area of counseling psychology. Scholars and experts in the field of crisis counseling and social work often develop intervention models as part of independent research projects within their particular specialties. In addition, models are also created at the organizational and agency level. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for instance, established the crisis counseling program (CCP) model for use in its disaster relief efforts, while the critical incident stress management (CISM) model can be traced to the efforts of both emergency services agencies and the U.S. military in the 1960s and 1970s. Additionally, local crisis centers or hotlines may employ their own model (or a modification of an existing model) to best address their clients’ needs.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review Chapter 6 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies, paying particular attention to the strategies involved in effective telephone crisis counseling.
- Review the video program, “Crisis Line,” noticing how the human services professional applies the telephone crisis counseling model when speaking with her client. (Note: Please keep in mind that the strategies described on pp. 121–134 of the course text comprise what will be referred to here as the telephone crisis counseling model.)
- Review the article, “Comparative Analysis of Three Crisis Intervention Models Applied to Law Enforcement First Responders During 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.” Focus on the characteristics and applications of the PFA, CCP, and CISM models of crisis intervention.
- Select at least one of the four articles presented as options in the Learning Resources for this week. As you read, pay attention to the characteristics and applications of the model or approach discussed in the article.
- Consider the features and contexts for the use of each of the crisis intervention models you have encountered this week: telephone crisis counseling, PFA, CISM, CCP, mutual aid, critical incident debriefing, the empowerment approach, and/or SMART. Reflect on which models resonate most with you. Choose two of the models that have made a significant impression on you and on how you might conduct work in the area of crisis intervention.
- Reflect on the strengths of these two models. Then, consider the limitations of each of the models you selected.
With these thoughts in mind:
Do a brief description of the two crisis intervention models you selected. Explain why each one resonates with you, specifically in terms of how you might conduct work in the area of crisis intervention. Then explain two strengths and two limitations of each model. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your points.
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