1 Omnium rerum principia parva sunt.
The beginnings of all things are small.
A psychological crisis refers to an individual's inability to solve a problem. We all exist in a state of emotional equilibrium, a state of balance, or homeostasis. When something that is different (either positive or negative), a change, or a loss that creates a state of disequilibrium occurs, we strive to regain and maintain our previous level of equilibrium. A person in crisis is at a turning point. He * faces a problem that he cannot readily solve by using the coping mechanisms that have worked 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 the problem.
In a 1959 address John F. Kennedy stated, "When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters—one represents danger and the other represents 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 therapeutic influence. Prompt and skillful intervention may not only prevent the development of a serious long-term 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.
Crisis intervention can offer the immediate help that a person in crisis needs to reestablish equilibrium. It is an inexpensive, short-term therapy that focuses on solving the immediate problem. Increasing awareness of sociocultural factors that could precipitate crisis situations has led to the rapid evolution of crisis intervention methodology.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Crisis Intervention: Theory and Methodology. Edition: 8th. Contributors: Donna C. Aguilera - Author. Publisher: Mosby. Place of publication: Philadelphia. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 1.
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