Discussion 3.1

 
Strategies for Individual, Couple, and Family Crisis Intervention

Human services professionals often find themselves enmeshed in the most personal and intimate details of their clients’ lives, perhaps even only a few minutes after meeting them. Such is the nature of individual, couple, and family crisis intervention. As a result, human services professionals must be especially attuned to the nuances of different types of individual, couple, and family crises in order to handle these situations with sensitivity, compassion, and composure. Moreover, human services professionals must enter these situations prepared to use whichever strategies seem most appropriate and necessary in order to secure the safety and well-being of their clients. The selection of these strategies is dictated by the type and nature of the crisis at hand. An individual who seeks help from a human services professional as a result of suicide ideation for example, has far different needs than a woman who has recently left an abusive relationship. Similarly, the intervention strategies used to help a sexual assault survivor will vary considerably from those used to assist a grieving child.

As suggested by this week’s Learning Resources, a comprehensive body of empirical research exists about which intervention strategies are best suited for particular types of individual, couple, and family crisis interventions. Human services professionals carry knowledge of this collective body of strategies into every situation they encounter. Determining the most appropriate strategy to use during an individual, couple, or family crisis intervention is an ongoing process for human services professionals. If one strategy does not work, they must be prepared to try a different approach. Thus, it is essential that human services professionals possess an expansive knowledge of crisis intervention strategies for all types of individual, couple, and family crises in order to optimize their abilities to provide effective care for their clients.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review Chapters 8, 9, and 10 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies. As you read, focus on specific crisis intervention strategies that might be used with individuals, couples, and/or families dealing with crises of lethality, sexual assault, and/or partner violence.
Review the articles, “Optimistic Explanatory Style as a Moderator of the Association Between Negative Life Events and Suicide Ideation” and “Best Practices for Working With Rape Crisis Centers to Address Elder Sexual Abuse.” Focus on how the implications of the findings discussed in each article, especially specific crisis intervention strategies, may be applied when handling cases involving individual, couple, and/or family crisis situations.
Select two of the three types of individual, couple, and family crisis situations you have examined in-depth this week: crisis of lethality, sexual assault, and/or partner violence. Reflect on which intervention strategies might be best suited for situations stemming from these two types of crises, and why.

With these thoughts in mind:
Do a brief description of each of the two individual, couple, and/or family crisis situations you selected. Then explain what intervention strategies you might apply to each situation and why. Use specific examples to illustrate your points.

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