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Would YOU be capable of handling a real crisis on the phone? I’m not so sure, with all of my education, experience in dealing with patients, clients and victims/survivors, whether my knowledge and common sense would effectively apply in all situations.
Could I do it? Could you??
According to the (Albert R Robert’s, Ph.D.) Seven Stage Crisis Intervention Model, one must:
1) Plan and conduct crisis and biopsychosocial assessment (including lethality measures);
2) Establish rapport and rapidly establish collaborative relationship;
3) Identify dimensions presenting problems(including the “last straw” or crisis precipitants;
4) Explore feelings and emotions (including active listening and validation);
5) Generate and explore alternatives (untapped resources and coping skills);
6) Develop and formulate an action plan;
7) Follow-up plan and agreement (Point of crisis resolution). It appears that these assessment steps must be completed relatively quickly and skillfully.
Psychologist, Barry Greenwald, PhD of Oak Park, Illinois describes a crisis as: “Any event can be a crisis if it wipes out our ability to make sense out of what is happening. We become bereft of means for exercising some form of control on our lives. We feel helpless; the victim of events beyond reason and certainly beyond our control. It is only after we regain some sense of understanding and some sense of control that the crisis is reduced to something manageable.”
Do you feel re-assured yet? If not, how much training is really needed?
An internet search revealed a range of 55 to 200 minimum hours. One resource offering accreditation, training conferences etc. is Contact USA, (a network of crisis intervention centers across the nation.) Conceived in 1967 as a response to the growing social issues of a changing nation, CONTACT has grown and evolved into a network of over 50 centers in 20 states, exploring new ways in which to serve their individual communities.
Anyone who volunteers in a crisis situation is a VERY SPECIAL PERSON in my book!