The Chinese characters that represent the word “crisis” mean, appropriately, both danger and opportunity. Crisis is a danger because it threatens to overwhelm the individual or his family, and it may result in suicide or a psychotic break. It is also an opportunity because during times of crisis individuals are more receptive to the therapeutic influence. Prompt and skillful intervention may not only prevent the development of a serious longterm disability, but may also allow new coping patterns to emerge that can help the individual function at a higher level of equilibrium than before the crisis.
The outcome of a psychological crisis can be either growth or deterioration; it is a decisive moment. A person in crisis faces a problem that he cannot readily solve by using the coping mechanisms that have worked for him before. As a result, his tension and anxiety increase, and he becomes less able to find a solution. A person in this situation feels helpless; he is caught in a state of great emotional upset, and feels unable to take action on his own to solve his problem.Crisis Intervention can offer the immediate help that a person in a crisis needs in order to reestablish equilibrium. This is an inexpensive, short-term therapy that focuses on solving the immediate problem.
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