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Crisis Intervention: A Social Interaction Approach (3)

Chapter 3 – The Crisis State

Initially, it may be difficult to make the conceptual transition from “conflict” to “crisis.” If so, the difficulty probably lies in a tendency to think about crisis and then trying to understand the crisis state. If someone is extremely upset, angry, or depressed, we are first aware of the intensity of his emotional state. In late chapters, we will talk about crisis communication, and we will see that crisis intervention responds first to these intense emotions. Nonetheless, our ability to help the individual in crisis depends on our sensitivity to and awareness of crisis itself. Just as conflict exists within the interaction between the individual and his situation, crisis is also a product of that same interaction. The individual is in crisis; the crisis is not in the individual. He is caught up in “the crisis state.” What is the crisis state? It is nothing more or less than a limited and special instance of the conflict state. As we will see, the interaction between the individual and his total situation has become so conflicted that it has temporarily gotten out of hand. Why did the conflict get out of hand? What happened that intervention is now required? …