DEFINING AND IDENTIFYING CRISIS
Once a situation is identified as being of a crisis nature, the intervener is faced with the task of effectively dealing with it. Crisis situations have certain important similarities. First, one or more highly emotional persons are likely to be involved, although the particular emotions expressed will vary according to the type of crisis and the personalities and cultural diversity of the persons involved. In order for the intervener to deal effectively with highly emotional people, the next important step will be to calm them down. Calming an aggressive, confused, or hysterical person is often a difficult task. Such persons, however, must be calmed, not only for their own comfort, but also to permit the intervener to get on with the job of resolving the crisis and restoring order. Once they are calmed, the important task of gathering relevant information can be started so that appropriate action can be taken. In the second part of this chapter a behavioral analysis chart is presented that illustrates the kinds of behavior precipitated by the stress of the crisis situation. Analyzed and presented are the five variables that can be used to make a quick diagnosis of behavior exhibited in a crisis call: tone of voice, verbal expression, physical movement, decision-making abilities, and display of confidence. These are easily discernible behaviors that the crisis intervener will have little problem identifying.
Understanding the primary behavioral principles in crisis situations and utilizing the procedures of the crisis intervention technique aid effective intervention. The steps of this technique are as follows: