Why do some people go into a state of crisis and others do not? What factors decide whether an individual will regain a state of equilibrium or enter a state of crisis? There are three factors that seem to make the difference.
The first factor is the “perception of the event.” The therapist asks the individual what the event means to him. How is it going to affect his future? Can he look at the event realistically, or does he distort its meaning? The second factor is termed “situational supports.” In other words, what person in the environment can the client depend upon to help him? Who is available for him to talk to about this stressful event, and give him support? The third factor is called “available coping mechanisms.” What does he usually do when he has a problem? Does he sit down and try to think it out? Does he cry it out? Does he get angry and try to get rid of his feelings of anger and hostility by swearing, kicking a chair, or the cat? Does he get into a verbal battle with a friend? Does he try to sit down and talk it out with someone? Does he need to temporarily withdraw from the situation in order to reassess the problem? These are just a few of the many coping skills people use to relieve their tension and anxiety when faced with a problem.
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