Defining Crisis Intervention

Generally speaking, crisis intervention covers the medical, psychological and sociological procedures used to assist those who are going through severe physical, emotional, mental or behavioral distress. These methods are always short-term, aiming at giving an individual the tools that they need to immediately cope with any trauma or problems that they may be having. In these situations, an individual loses their ability to solve their own problems and deal with life’s dilemmas. Hence, they require some external assistance to return to a normal frame of mind and a balanced lifestyle.

Counseling such as this is always short-term and usually lasts no more than three months. This is because it purely focuses on one or more events which the individual finds overwhelming or traumatic. Crisis intervention aims at resolving these problems quickly and efficiently so that they do not develop into a more serious mental or emotional disorder later on. It is a short-term solution to solve the more distressing issues in someone’s life. These situations can be anything from coping with the loss of a loved one to helping an individual who is ruining their lives because of drugs and/or alcohol. Since crisis intervention occurs over the span of a few months, however, it cannot be used as an alternative therapy for those with longer-term psychiatric problems.

Crisis Intervention and Substance Abuse

When it comes to those individuals addicted to drugs and alcohol, crisis intervention is often required if these activities are drastically harming both that person’s life and the lives of those around them. This type of intervention is typically performed by a qualified specialist and aims to highlight the different consequences that substance abuse has had on the individual and those who care about them. Serious issues which may create the need for this sort of counseling can range from relationship problems to medical issues to legal crises. The difference between those who are using drugs and alcohol and those who are suffering from more traditional forms of trauma (such as sexual assault or thoughts of suicide) is that an individual who abuses harmful substances such as these will often not realize that they are in need of assistance. In this case, crisis intervention is certainly still an option. Professional help will be required, however, so that the individual in question can then be convinced of the direct link between their actions and the issues surrounding them. Once this is achieved, that person will then be ready for treatment.

Since crisis intervention typically only lasts for a few months, it is a specific form of brief intervention which deals with situations in which an individual is drastically harming themselves and/or those around them without their full knowledge of the situation. These short-term procedures are best suited to treat those who are indulging in dangerous levels of alcohol and drugs but who are not dependent on these substances. If implemented at the early stages of abuse, this sort of intervention can be highly effective at convincing the person involved that their actions are dangerous to both themselves and those around them. Thus, it is an important tool which can be put to good use in the hands of a professional drug and alcohol counselor or therapist.

Procedures for Crisis Intervention

While crisis intervention can be used to assist a number of different cases, there are a few simple factors which can be found within each treatment regardless of the individual involved. These are listed below:

* Education: Informing an individual of their ability to confront a crisis successfully and the different methods which can be used to push past the incident and return to a normal life.
* Observation and Awareness: Helping a patient recognize their own contribution to their current situation so that they can see how to break free from their emotional trauma.
* Unlocking Inner Potential: Allowing someone to realize that they have the power to get through any sort of crises, by letting them make decisions and take action to better their lives.
* Understanding the Problem: Delving deep into a patient’s mind to help them discover the root causes for their current situation, allowing them to better understand how to break free.
* Creating a Solid Structure: Forming a lifestyle which provides support and comfort so that the patient does not fall back into their prior harmful frame of mind.
* Challenging Problematic Beliefs and Expectations: Forcing a person to look at their thoughts and actions and objectively evaluate and assess whether they are doing the right thing.
* Breaking Harmful Cycles: Freeing someone from any harmful habits, such as excessive drug and alcohol use, which they are currently using to escape from a distressing past event.
* Forming Short-term Dependencies: Creating positive bonds between the patient and the counselor as well as those who care about them in order to build support and a positive lifestyle.
* Confronting Fear and Pain: Giving someone the strength to face their inner demons, allowing them to overcome the negative emotions which are running their lives.

Crisis Intervention Professionals

When it comes to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, patients can often be irrational, unstable and difficult to treat. By adding a crisis, such as a broken relationship or excessive legal fees, into the picture, an individual who abuses drugs or alcohol can become even more erratic. For this reason, it is important to contact a qualified crisis intervention professional who can deal with the situation in a safe, efficient manner. Those who know someone who is currently indulging in a dangerous level of drug and/or alcohol use should get in touch with a competent therapist as soon as possible. Key skills and qualifications to look out for in a crisis intervention specialist are as follows:

* Has conducted training specifically aimed at crisis intervention
* Is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
* Is flexible with their appointment schedules and times
* Has experience in a range of settings and with a number of different services
* Has knowledge of medications, their use and side effects
* Has the proper license for medicine, social work or psychology