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Chapter 10 Intervening in Crises by Mind Map: Chapter 10 Intervening in Crises
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Chapter 10 Intervening in Crises


1. Crisis occurs in all individuals at one time or another and is not necessarily equated with psychopathology.

2. Crises are precipitated by specific identifiable events.

3. Crises are personal by nature.

4. Crises are acute, not chronic, and will be resolved in one way or another within a brief period.

5. A crisis situation contains the potential for psychological growth or deterioration.


Dispositional crises are acute responses to external situational stressors.

Crises of anticipated life transitions occur with normal life-cycle transitions that may be anticipated but over which the individual may feel a lack of control.

Crises resulting from traumatic stress are those that are precipitated by an unexpected, external stressor over which the individual has little or no control and from which he or she feels emotionally overwhelmed and defeated.

Maturational or developmental crises occur in response to situations that trigger emotions related to unresolved conflicts in one’s life.

Crisis reflecting psychopathology is one in which preexisting psychopathology has been instrumental in precipitating the crisis or in which psychopathology significantly impairs or complicates adaptive resolution.

Psychiatric emergencies are crisis situations in which general functioning has been severely impaired and the individual rendered incompetent or unable to assume personal responsibility.


a sudden event in one’s life that disturbs homeostasis, during which usual coping mechanisms cannot resolve the problem.


Phase 1: The individual is exposed to a precipitating stressor. Major disorganization of the individual with drastic results often occurs. Whether or not an individual experiences a crisis in response to a stressful situation depends on:

Phase 2: When previous problem-solving techniques do not relieve the stressor, anxiety increases further.

Phase 3: All possible resources, both internal and external, are called on to resolve the problem and relieve the discomfort.

Phase 4: If resolution does not occur in previous phases, the tension mounts beyond a further threshold or its burden increases over time to a breaking point.

Major disorganization of the individual with drastic results often occurs. Whether or not an individual experiences a crisis in response to a stressful situation depends on:

Crisis Intervention

The minimum therapeutic goal of crisis intervention is psychological resolution of the individual’s immediate crisis and restoration to at least the level of functioning that existed before the crisis period.

A maximum goal is improvement in functioning above the precrisis level.

Phases of Crisis Intervention: The Role of the Nurse

Assessment. Information is gathered regarding the precipitating stressor and the resulting crisis that prompted the individual to seek professional help.

Planning of Therapeutic Intervention. From the assessment data, the nurse selects appropriate nursing diagnoses that reflect the immediacy of the crisis situation. Desired outcome criteria are established. Appropriate nursing actions are selected taking into consideration the type of crisis, as well as the individual’s strengths and available resources for support.

Intervention. The actions identified in the planning phase are implemented. A reality-oriented approach is used. A rapid working relationship is established by showing unconditional acceptance, by active listening, and by attending to immediate needs. A problemsolving model becomes the basis for change.

Evaluation of Crisis Resolution and Anticipatory Planning. A reassessment is conducted to determine if the stated objectives were achieved. A plan of action is developed for the individual to deal with the stressor should it recur.

Crisis on the Inpatient Unit



Assessing Risk Factors

Diagnosis/Outcome Identification


overwhelms local resources and threaten the function and safety of the community.

leaves victims with a damaged sense of safety and well-being and varying degrees of emotional trauma