Week 5 Discussion
Differentiating Individuals in Crisis
Imagine a hospital emergency room on a busy night. One man has fallen and broken his leg. A child has cut herself badly with a piece of glass. Another man is brought in on a stretcher complaining of chest pains and numbness in his left arm. Sometimes, the symptoms of the most critical emergency conditions are not the most obvious. The man with the broken leg might be crying out in pain, or the child might be bleeding the most. Still, a health professional expert in triage would know that the man with chest pains needs to be cared for first. First aid is administered according to each individual’s needs.
Similarly, human services professionals often are given the task of performing “psychological first aid” when interviewing individuals experiencing crises. Individuals might vary from those experiencing a situational crisis (termed individuals in crisis for the purpose of this course) to those experiencing large-scale disasters or events that affect a number of people (termed crisis survivors for the purpose of this course). An individual’s response to any kind of crisis depends on many factors, including but not limited to physical and emotional factors. As a human services professional, you may need to know effective interviewing strategies for individuals experiencing and responding to a variety of types of crises in different ways.
In this Discussion, you will consider the difference between two categories of individuals undergoing crisis situations: individuals in crisis and crisis survivors. You will explore distinct interview approaches for each of these situations and consider why these approaches would be appropriate.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the information in Chapter 11 in your course text, The Helping Process: Assessment to Termination. Focus on the sections titled “Caregiver,” “Crisis Intervener,” and “Evaluation of Direct Services.”
- Review the articles titled “The Shattered Mask: A Red-Flag Carry-In Interview” and “Crisis Resolution: A Service Response to Mental Distress.”
- Review the information in the report, “Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers,” found in the Learning Resources for this week.
- Explore the distinction between individuals in crisis and crisis survivors.
- Consider how you would conduct effective interviews with individuals in crisis and crisis survivors.
With these thoughts in mind:
- A brief explanation of how characteristics of individuals in crisis differ from those of crisis survivors. Differentiate between possible struggles, strengths, and considerations for both types of individuals. Explain how and why your interview approaches might differ for each type of interviewee. 250 words