Crisis Intervention, Using Biblical Intervention Techniques ThereResearch Paper

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Crisis Intervention, Using Biblical Intervention Techniques

There are numerous ways to define a crisis. It may occur on an individual level, a community level, a societal level, or in the worst cases in a regional or country level, even on the global level, although thankfully rare. It may be instability in political, economic, social, or military issues; it may be environmentally related (e.g. weather or event). Regardless of the contributing factor though, it is a term that has come to mean "a time of testing" or "an emergency or vital situation." There are, however, five defining characteristics that make up a crisis and explain the manner in which humans react to such defining events. A crisis is a specific, (1) unexpected, and (2) non-routine series of events that create (3) anxiety, (4) uncertainty, and (5) perceived threats to either the status quo, important goals, or tangible assets (Seeger, et.al., 2006). Others see crisis as a need for change -- usually socially or culturally oriented, something that needs to occur so the individual organism (self) or group (society) can evolve into something more positive and/or productive (Lundgren and McMakin, 2009).

For the purposes of this essay, however, we will concentrate on those crisis situations that are not predetermined by weather, natural disasters, or even something such as the regulatory failures of business policy in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Instead, we will concentrate on what may be termed a "personal crisis." This type of crisis, of course, may occur in reaction to one of the natural disasters, etc. (extreme weather or medical emergency), but for our purposes focused on those that are related to change in everyday events -- loss of a job, fiscal hardship, substance abuse, addiction, marital or relationship issues, children, job stress, etc. -- anything that causes hardship and consternation from daily life. Of course, there is a wide range within this paradigm -- from a minor behavioral issue with a child to something far more serious; death or serious illness of a loved one ("Coping With Crisis," 2009).

Crisis Intervention- Generically, crisis intervention may occur as an orchestrated attempt by anyone to convince an individual to seek professional help in a situation that is crisis oriented (addiction, trauma, etc.). Intervention usually applies to a situation in which the individual is unwilling or unable to seek appropriate resources for themselves, or perhaps does not acknowledge the damage the particular behavior is having upon their lives (drug abuse, compulsions, and destructive personal habits). This, of course, is quite dependent upon the personal views of the counselor, family member, or person who is instituting the intervention.

My personal view, which will be part of this essay as alternatives for crisis intervention, is the use of the Bible and a Christian approach to intervention. The basis for this comes from the New Testament, and the ways one can turn to the Bible to help understand crisis, and to offer comfort to those experiencing trauma. Many Christian counselors describe the very nature of the Christian life as a means of attainting grace through compassion and the reaching out to help others. By using the Bible as a guide to the way of living, one can reach into contact with God's grace and power that help us inwardly have the courage and restitution to be enabled to do outwardly what we cannot do on our own. Using the Bible and the Christian worldview to help individuals, however, does not imply that the counselor has all the answers. Rather, it is the strategy that the vision of the individual will improve through open communication with God -- one can ask how Jesus might have responded to the crisis, or, if there are words of comfort that might offer a solution to the situation at hand (Gaultiere, 2005).

In utilizing the Biblical view of counseling, we must remember that it focuses on how to live faithfully, act justly, love mercy, and use the basic principles of the New Testament to pattern a good life (Monroe, 2007). Many Biblical counselors are reminded that the Christian view is that humans sinned, and that the nature of humanity is to rise above sin and reestablish their nature of a union with God. Suffering is a very real, and as most counselors know, palpable experience. Intervention's goal is to minimize this pain and establish a manner of personal growth -- hopefully combining spirituality -- but nevertheless the predominant goal of easing the pain (Barbanel and Sternberg, 2006).

Direct and Indirect Interventions -- Interventions are either direct -- involving an confrontational meeting with the individual, or indirect, working with a family or spouse to encourage them to be more direct with the person at risk. The process of psychological intervention, in fact, originated in the 1960s with Dr. Vernon Johnson. In the contemporary world, though, the Johnson model is often criticized because it involves a level of "ambushing" -- seen as necessary at the time in order for the intervention to even occur (Johnson, 1986).

The two major paradigms of intervention used in the contemporary counseling model are the a.R.I.S.E. And Systemic models of intervention. Both use an invitational, non-confrontational approach and rely heavily on family or peer group to mitigate and help enter a process of recovery. This often helps take th4e focus off the addicted person and acknowledges the need for the entire peer unit to change in order for health to occur. Both models also emphasize that it is imperative to treat the individual with love, dignity, and respect -- not to allow them to see their addiction as shameful or something degrading or in need of hiding (Heymann, 2006).

The ARISE model uses a three-phase process to allow the individual to find appropriate treatment. The addicted or individual in crisis is invited upfront with no surprises, coercion, and with absolute respect for their privacy and individual needs. The first step is getting the individual into treatment without harm or trauma. Step 2 focuses on external peer and familial support, Step 3 only if necessary and only if Step 2 does not work. Step 3 supplies consequences toward the individual if treatment is not sought voluntarily ("Arise Intervention," 2003). Similarly, the Systemic Model is invitational, everyone is invited to the event -- leading to recovery rather than pushing. It is systemic in that the original 2 day series requires the peers or family to attend, and sees the personal universe of the addicted as tied to the manner in which family dynamic models work in tandem to create a world view -- either of addiction, enabling addition, or support ("Intervention Models," 2006).

Biblical counseling and intervention are unique when compared to more secular theological methods. Just as each individual is unique in their quest for therapy, the differences of Bible-based therapy allow the counselor to go beyond some of the psychological issues of the patient and address the spiritual basis for behavior. One basic principle is that in Biblical intervention, a client can be returned to pre-crisis coping levels and be healed within a continuum; but the reestablishment of a relationship with God as a prevalent goal is not always tangible, and must often be seen as a long-term, almost life-long issue (Reiner, 2005).

Crisis Paradigms and Treatment Goals -- There are a number of stressors in contemporary society. These complex issues act to cause stress, crisis, and trauma -- although the terms themselves are difficult to precisely define since they are individual interpretations of events by their very nature. For example, many report that stress helps them work more productively -- indeed, the reason for stress from a biological point-of-view is to heighten senses to get the body through an event. Crisis, too, can mean many things to many people. Individuals do not respond to stress in the same manner. The individual is unique, and often what causes a crisis for one person may be a minor difficulty with others. It is important to understand then, that there is no generic rule for crisis -- no absolute for understanding how an event or series of events might cause a reaction in an individual. This, by its very nature, then is the real issue with crisis intervention -- one can develop some basic skills and tools (e.g. listening, guidance, etc.) but each and every intervention is unique, and must be treated in that manner (Seaward, 2008).

Most clients have two main needs when they are in distress: to communicate their unresolved pain and to be assured they are still, somehow connected to the human race. In Biblical counseling, this connection is crucial -- providing the spiritual guidance that the individual is a child of God and therefore, connected to humanity and to the nature of God. There is, of course, not one way of accomplishing this, rather, "it is important to reestablish the faith of the individual. If the individual is not a person of faith, or has since lost their faith in God, the crisis,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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