Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Creating Excellence in Crisis Care: A Guide to Effective Training and Program Designs

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Creating Excellence in Crisis Care: A Guide to Effective Training and Program Designs

Article excerpt

LEE ANN HOFF AND KAZIMIERA ADAMOWSKI: Creating Excellence in Crisis Care: A Guide to Effective Training and Program Designs. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. 1998, 256 pp., $25.00, ISBN 0-7879-4071-2.

This is a book about the organization of crisis-care services, not a textbook on how to do crisis therapy. It is written by two well-known experts, especially Lee Ann Hoff whose many publications are cited throughout the book. It focuses on the importance of crisis programs for all human service organizations, not just mental health care. The authors argue that Crisis Intervention (CI) and prevention is everybody's business, not the specialty of a particular discipline. They frequently cite the difference between their definitions of CI and psychotherapy rather than viewing CI as a type of psychotherapy. The human services workers who should be trained in CI include child-protection workers, clergy, law-enforcement officers, and gatekeepers, such as teachers, bartenders, and phone operators.

CI is a field only a few decades old. In the past 30 years at least a hundred books and thousands of journal articles have been published. The goal of this book is to convince all types of human-services organizations about the importance of CI and how to feature it. They argue that every person (professional, paraprofessional or volunteer) in such organizations should understand the basic concepts and practice of crisis models and that the clients (patients) of these organizations have a right to accessible and available services when in crisis. The objective should be to provide 24-hour responsiveness. They admit that there is overlap between a psychiatric emergency and a crisis. Crisis workers who practice some CI techniques are psychotherapists, but need to differentiate their crisis work from formal psychotherapy. Service programs now include rape crisis and battered-women centers, homeless shelters, and suicide-prevention centers. The service must include face-to-face, as well as telephone services.

Hoff and Adamowski describe four essential steps in CI: psychosocial assessment; development of a plan to resolve the crisis; implementation of the plan; and follow-up/evaluation of the service plan. …

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