The idea of helping an individual effectively cope with a crisis situation may seem daunting. Where do you begin? What should you say? What challenges might you encounter? How do you introduce order and safety into a chaotic and dangerous situation? Human services professionals must possess a number of key skills to effectively handle these many unknowns and assist clients in crisis. One of these key skills is listening. Human services professionals must be careful, compassionate listeners, able to earn the trust of their clients and accurately interpret both what these clients directly say and what they choose to omit. Human services professionals also must be skilled communicators, knowing what questions to ask, and when to ask them, as well as how to lend support and encouragement to a person in severe distress. Moreover, effective crisis intervention involves action–meaning human services professionals must be adept at facilitating decision making and developing a plan of action with their client(s). Throughout the entire process of crisis intervention, human services professionals must continuously assess the situation and tailor their skills to the specific characteristics of the client and his or her environment.
One important factor to consider is culture–the beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors of a particular society. Every culture has unique customs, norms, and expectations. Human services professionals must work within the cultural context of the individuals with whom they are working, adjusting their crisis intervention strategy accordingly. Examining culturally biased assumptions and being careful to avoid them, as well as analyzing the potential for cultural factors to influence care, are paramount to what textbook author Richard K. James refers to as “culturally effective helping.”
In this Discussion, you revisit the crisis situations you explored in Discussion 1. You consider how you might use the intervention skills introduced this week when assisting individuals coping with these crises. In addition, you reflect on the multicultural implications of these situations.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review Chapter 2 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies, focusing on the importance of multicultural sensitivity in crisis intervention.
Review the article, “Trauma-Informed or Trauma-Denied: Principles and Implementation of Trauma-Informed Services for Women,” focusing on the specific principles that should be employed during trauma-informed intervention.
Review Chapter 3 and 4 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies. Think about some of the practical applications of each of the crisis intervention skills that are described. Bring to mind the three crisis situations you selected for Discussion 1. Then consider how you might approach the intervention for each situation:The specific skills you might use when aiding an individual experiencing each crisis, how you would use these skills, and why their use would be beneficial to the client.
The multicultural issues you might need to take into account when implementing and applying these skills,
How you might ensure that the intervention for each crisis is culturally appropriate and effective
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 a brief description of one specific intervention skill you might use to treat an individual involved in each of the three crisis situations you identified in Discussion 1. Then explain how you would use the skill in each situation, and why it would benefit the client. For at least one of the three situations, describe a multicultural issue you might consider in order to ensure culturally effective helping and explain how you would address the issue so as to be culturally appropriate and effective. Be specific and use examples.