Crisis Intervention Theories and Stages

  1. What is a "crisis"
    Crisis is an acute disruption of psychological homeostasis in which client's usual coping mechanisms fail and there is evidence of distress and functional impairment.
  2. Stage 1
    1. Plan and conduct a thorough biopsychosocial-spiritual-cultural and lethality/imminent danger assessment. 

    This covers environmental supports ans stressors, medical needs and medications, current use of drugs and alcohol, and internal and external coping methods and resources. Assessing lethality is first and foremost.
  3. Stage 2
    2. Make psychological conact and rapidly establish the collaborative relationship 

    In a crisis, a social worker must do this quickly, generally as part of assessment.
  4. Stage 3
    3. Identify the major problems, including crisis precipitants. 

    Determine from client "why things have come to a head."  "the last straw." and what other problems the client is concerned about.
  5. Stage 4
    4) Encourage an exploration of feelings and emotions. 

    • SW validate client's feelings and emotions and let him or her vent about the crisis. Essential: use of active listening, paraphrasing and probing questions. 
    • SW should also challenge maladaptive beliefs
  6. Stage 5
    Generate and explore alternatives and new coping strategies

    SW and client come up w/a plan for what will help improve the situation; brainstorm possibilities and discover what was helpful in the past. This is critical 
  7. Stage 6
    Restore functioning through implementation of action plan 

    A shift from crisis to a resolution. client and SW begin to take steps negotiated in the previous stage. Client begin to make meaning of the crisis event.
  8. Stage 7
    Plan Follow-up 

    Follow-up - many forms: phone or in-person at specific intervals. Post crisis eval may look at client's current functioning and assess a client's progress.
  9. Stages of Crisis Intervention
    1. Plan and conduct biopsychosocial 

    • 2. Establish report rapidly 
    • 3. Identify major problem including crisis precipitants 
    • 4. exploration of feelings and emotions 
    • 5. Generate and explore alternative and new coping strategies 
    • 6. Restore functioning through implementation of action plan 
    • 7. Plan Follow-up
Card Set
Crisis Intervention Theories and Stages
LCSW Study Cards Crisis Intervention