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Presenters Professor Robert Stevenson, Ed.D. Professor Arthur McCann, Ph.D. Mercy College School of Behavioral and Social Sciences Graduate Counseling.

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Presentation on theme: "Presenters Professor Robert Stevenson, Ed.D. Professor Arthur McCann, Ph.D. Mercy College School of Behavioral and Social Sciences Graduate Counseling."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Presenters Professor Robert Stevenson, Ed.D. Professor Arthur McCann, Ph.D. Mercy College School of Behavioral and Social Sciences Graduate Counseling Programs

3  Define a crisis  Contrast personal and group crisis  Review the lifecycle of a crisis  Identifying the counselor’s role in assisting those dealing with personal crises

4  A crisis is a turning point.  It is often marked with instability or danger and can lead to a decisive future change  That change can be for better or for worse.  It can also be a dramatic upheaval in a person’s life.  It is seen by those involved as serious – needing an immediate decision or action.

5  PERSONAL – A perception or experiencing of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds the person’s current resources and coping mechanisms.  GROUP – A situation that holds the potential for either disaster or opportunity.

6 Individuals facing a crisis may:  Cope by themselves and grow stronger from the experience  Survive the immediate crisis, but block it from consciousness, possibly leading to future problems  Break down from the crisis – putting life on hold unless they receive immediate assistance

7 PrepareRespondRecoverMitigate

8  Every crisis is complicated  The disequilibrium of crisis provides impetus for change (+/-)  Brief therapy can help – and is appropriate in school, but it treats symptoms, not the cause(s)  Choice is essential  Crisis is “universal” because no one is immune.  Crisis is time limited (6-8 weeks).

9  Be prepared to ask the right questions (what, where, when, how and, in some cases, why)  Identify the precipitating event(s)  Establish goals and operational definitions  Create a crisis response plan with clearly identified steps  Create and implement response protocols  Begin ongoing evaluation and mitigation A

10 It is important for a counselor to understand the meaning a person assigns to an event or an emotion. These meanings may be seen as any of the following: A Challenge – to be overcome A Loss – making change difficult or impossible A Gain – a sign that one is working to maximum ability A Punishment – penance for not doing something right (or for doing something wrong) in the past A Reality – to be assessed and dealt with so that it can be reduced to an acceptable level A

11  Affect – abnormal or impaired affect is a sign of disequilibrium  Behavior – immobility impairs behavior so doing something concrete helps forward movement  Cognitive state – has the crisis been made worse by rationalizing, exaggerating or faulty belief(s)

12  Affect: Anger/Hostility Fear/Anxiety Sadness/Melancholy  Behavior: Approach Avoidance Immobility  Cognition: Transgression (present) Threat (future) Loss (past)

13 The chosen model needs to assess and address:  Equilibrium – disequilibrium creates a need to regain stability  Cognition – faulty thinking may need to be changed  Psychosocial Transition – internal and social change may create a need for new internal coping mechanisms that are adequate to the demands of the crisis

14  Assessing (done throughout counseling)  Listening 1. Define the problem and set goals 2. Ensure client safety 3. Provide support  Acting 4. Examine alternatives 5. Make plans 6. Obtain commitment and take action A

15  Open-ended questions  Closed-ended questions  Statements showing owning feelings  Disowned statements  Statements conveying understanding  Value judgments  Positive reinforcement  Empathy, genuineness, acceptance A

16  See individual differences  Assess yourself  Acknowledge client safety  Provide client support  Define the problem and set goal(s)  Consider alternatives  Plan action steps  Use client coping strengths  Attend to client’s immediate needs  Use referrals (when appropriate)  Develop and use networks  Get a commitment to action from the client A

17  Listen to concerns  Assess safety needs of the client  Make owning and assertive statements about your role  Deal with current client functioning concretely and objectively  Speak clearly, in the present, about the problem  Take immediate, direct action to restore mobility and equilibrium

18  Be proactive in providing help.  Encourage student to draw support from friends and family.  Encourage self-care (exercise, rest and healthy diet.)  Listen without judging.  Encourage talking about loss, while being mindful of the stages of grief (denial or shock, fear, anger, guilt, depression or sadness, and acceptance.)  Invite sharing of memories.  Encourage talking about loss. (Externalizing inner “pressure.”)  Invite sharing of memories.  Encourage resumption of normal activities. (Source: List 7.18 Dealing with Grief and Loss in The School Counselor’s Book of Lists, second edition )

19  When speaking with bereaved parents, be supportive, only give suggestions when requested, ask what they would like shared with other students.  Offer to visit class to tell the students what happened.  Prepare the teacher (or offer to collaborate) to tell classmates.  Match information with the students’ developmental ability to understand.  Always give the message that life is precious and precarious.  If death is by suicide, do not glorify and do not try to explain why it happened.  Be truthful, honest and accepting.  Coordinate follow up steps with teacher and administrator.  Inform the faculty in the way the parent(s) or guardian(s) desires [if possible].  Pay special attention to siblings and special friends of the deceased child. (Source: List 7.20 Dealing with Grief and Loss in The School Counselor’s Book of Lists, second edition )

20 Help the student to:  Accept the loss(es).  Be aware of feelings  Externalize emotions.  Draw on personal beliefs.  Understand negative coping  Utilize every resource (because there is seldom one correct answer to most of the questions that arise)

21  The most recent edition of School Counselor (September/October, 2011, Vol. 49, No. 1) entitled: Crisis in the Schools: Natural Disasters, Terrorism, Violence and Death – Help Students Prepare, Adjust and Move on.  This issue contains five articles that identify practical and worthwhile steps that School Counselors can take to help in times of crisis. A

22  Help students learn to address and deal with traumatic incidents with a few key actions.  1. Initiate the Conversation.  2.Validate Feelings and Experiences.  3. Answer Questions and Correct Misinformation and Misattributions.  4. Educate Students and Caregivers about Common Reactions.  5. Help Students Identify Positive Coping Strategies.  6. Identify Triggers or Reminders.  7. Encourage return to Extracurricular Activities They enjoyed before the trauma.  8. Encourage Activities That Promote help and Healing  9. Maintain Regular Communication with the student’s Teachers and Caregivers.  10. Be Available for the Immediate, Short-, and Long-Term after a Trauma or Loss. A

23  Kids Supporting Kids by Kathleen S. Tillman, Ph.D. and Jonathan P. Rust – Learn to implement a 10-stage model for running grief and loss groups in your school.  Youth in Crisis by Jeannine R. Studer, Ed.D. – By using a problem-solving model, you can help students move on from the traumatic incidents in their lives and learn to effectively cope with any that may come down the road.  Childhood Observers of Domestic Violence by Kenneth W. Elliott, LMFT, CCDVC and Judith Elliott, LCSW, ACSW – Children exposed to domestic violence often exhibit reactions similar to physically abused children. Discover guidelines for helping these children to cope.  Five Steps to Prepare – by Cheri Lovre - Everyone in the building has a role to play in the event of an emergency. Make sure you’ve done your part to ensure your school building and students are ready for emergency responses. A

24  Compassion - A “feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by suffering or misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the pain or remove its cause.” (Webster’s, 1989, p.229).  Compassion Fatigue - (aka, secondary traumatic stress, nearly identical to PTSD, vicarious traumatization) - This is similar to emotional contagion, “…defined as an affective process in which an individual observing another person experiences emotional responses parallel to that person’s actual or anticipated emotions.” ( Figley, 2002)  Compassion Satisfaction – Stamm (2002) has identified this as a protective factor, a positive side of compassion that counterbalances the negative. She developed a Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue (CSF)Test to help estimate risk of burn out and compassion fatigue. A

25  Develop our capacity for humor.  Gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction from setting achievable work standards.  Acquire adequate rest and relaxation.  Develop and regularly incorporate an array of stress reduction methods into our repertoire.  Let go of work.  Apply Critical incident stress debriefings and stress management (CISD/M ) plans and actions as needed when crises arise. (Source: Treating Compassion Fatigue edited by Charles R. Figley, 2002) A

26 Blum, D.J. and Davis, T.E. (2010). The School Counselor’s Book of Lists, 2 nd edition, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Figley, C.R., ed. (2002). Treating Compassion Fatigue, New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge. James, R. K. and Gilliland, B. K. (2004). Crisis Intervention Strategies 5 th edition, Brooks/Cole. Stevenson, R. G., ed. (2002).What will we do? Preparing the school community to cope with crises, 2 nd edition, Baywood Publishing. Stevenson, R.G. and Cox, G. ed. (2007). Perspectives on Violence and Violent Death Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing.

27  AMULET – an object (such as a horseshoe) that wards off evil.  TALISMAN- an object that enables the one who possesses it to accomplish great deeds. In some cases, one object may serve as both amulet and talisman.

28 Explaining “change”A Lens Overcoming obstaclesLevitation Dealing with feelingsBulletin Board / Tennis Coping with stressA Worry Stone Creating a Safe PlaceErnie, Bert & Theodore Overcoming HelplessnessCandy Bear Words as TalismanQuotation Posters Giving form to fear and copingHow Big Is Your Dragon?

29  CRISIS – a serious or decisive state where an action will have positive or negative consequences.  CRISIS COUNSELING – a process that has as its focus the emotional ramifications of a crisis.  CRISIS INTERVENTION – steps to address the immediate problem using a variety of resources.

30  CRISIS PREVENTION – a process for reducing acute, emotional upset. This may involve examination of coping behaviors, resources and developing assessment skills.  CRISIS PREPARATION – A plan of development and training that develops positive attitudes and skills among all members of a school community.  CRISIS POSTVENTION – process for “damage” assessment and recovery.


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