View Full Essay
WHAT IS A CRISIS?
A crisis is generally considered to be state of disorganization and confusion in which the client faces frustration and profound disruption of his or her life. It is an immediate situation or short-term time period during which a client experiences many emotions, including feeling extremely uncertain, frustrated and scared. People in crisis also frequently experience a profound sense of loss and grief.
A crisis is temporary (short-lived) and can result in distress and dysfunctional behavior. If not resolved, the damage can be long lasting. When working with a client in crisis, keep in mind that crisis refers to the client’s feelings about the disruption and not their disruption itself. A client in crisis may feel many different emotions such as fear, shock, distress, anger and sadness.
People in crisis are said to be at a turning point because they are facing a problem they do not know how to solve. The coping mechanisms that worked for them in the past are not working for them in this situation. Because of this, a person’s tension and anxiety may increase, making it even harder to find a solution. People in this state typically feel helpless and lost and are unable to act on their own to solve the problem. Their ”equilibrium” or stability is upset –the coping skills that helped them get through a hard situation in the past are not working now, and they become distressed and dysfunctional because they don’t know what to do. For clients in recovery, a crisis can cause them to turn back to old behaviors (alcohol or drug use) for relief. People may relapse despite knowing that taking a substance will not help them solve their problem.
What causes a crisis?
When a person is in crisis, it usually stems from one of three broad categories- external factors, internal distress or being in a transitional state. Let’s look at each of these conditions more closely.