When facing with crises, many people may feel the need to seek therapy. During a time of crisis, individuals may experience a wide range of intense and disturbing emotions. Psychotherapy can be an effective way to help individuals manage these feelings and cope with the crisis. Therapists can provide support and guidance during this difficult time. They can also help individuals understand and cope with any underlying issues that may have led to the crisis. If you are experiencing a crisis, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can assist you in managing your emotions and helping you through this difficult time.
What Are Crises?
A crisis is a moment of profound and suddenly accentuated distress. It’s an unstable period of time during which we feel threatened by psychological, social, and/or economic fluctuations that exceed one’s ability to cope.
People often need to find relief from crises as quickly as possible. By engaging in behavior such as eating unhealthy foods for comfort, people prolong the negative effect those events have on their mood instead of reaping mental health benefits.
Crises are the perception or experience of an event or situation as an enduring difficulty that exceeds one’s available coping resources.
There are the following five criteria in a person experiencing a mental crisis.
• The person perceives the event as meaningful, important and threatening for him.
• A person cannot alter and mitigate events or the effects of events with classical defense methods.
• There is increased fear, tension and confusion.
• The person shows a high subjective disturbance.
• Psychological balance rapidly deteriorates.
Are crises dangerous?
Yes, crises can be dangerous in psychology. A crisis is a time of great danger or difficulty, and it can be very stressful for a person. If a person is already dealing with mental health issues, a crisis can make those issues worse. Additionally, if a person does not have access to appropriate mental health care during a crisis, they may experience dangerous or harmful symptoms.
Three different psychotherapy approaches have been modeled in crisis intervention.
- Balance or intrapsychic model: The priority here is to determine the internal coping mechanisms of the person experiencing a crisis and to what extent the crisis affects the balance of the individual. The client is assisted in achieving pre-crisis balance quickly. Many therapists believe that early intervention works best when a person is out of control, confused, and unable to make appropriate choices.
- Cognitive model: Many people cannot endure the extreme tension and psychological imbalance of the crisis for more than a few weeks. The crisis is conceptualized as an erroneous perception of events in a person’s life. The three dimensions of the crisis are the accelerating event, the individual’s perception of this event in a way that turns into a subjective disturbance, and the failure of general coping methods against the individual’s perception.
- Psychosocial change model: According to this model, which argues that the person’s personality, environment, and behaviors predispose to problem behavior, the person does not learn anything from previous crisis experiences, and new crises validate the individual’s personal perception.
In severe psychological crises, patients can hurt themselves and other people. In addition to this, emotional pain, a strong feeling of remorse and depression are the most common symptoms.
In mental crises, the psychiatrist/psychotherapist who will intervene in the crisis is important. The main concern of the client is to regain the level of security that the crisis lowered. The psychotherapist will assist the client in finding ways to restore this personal security. First, the current threat or obstacle to the balance of the client should be identified and the conditions that will help neutralize or control it should be determined. The therapist who can establish an empathic relationship with the client will take the biggest step.
The second step in crisis psychotherapy is defining the problem. In addition to determining the strengths and weaknesses of the client, the investigation of the conditions causing the crisis will be discussed at this stage. Meanwhile, the client is helped to think correctly.
The third step of psychotherapy in resolving the crisis is providing support and determining alternatives. The feeling of vulnerability is the main feature of the client in crisis. Believing that the conditions are out of control, the patient is in doubt that he/she will re-balance these conditions. The revival of old feelings of inadequacy or failure will magnify the problem. Emotional and situational support to be given to the client so that he/she does not feel alone during the crisis is one of the important goals of psychotherapy.
In the last phase of psychotherapy, the client is assisted in change. Taking an active role, the therapist will focus on changing the client’s own failed coping mechanisms and finding alternative valid ways.
The criteria to be taken into account when planning psychotherapy in psychological crises are the age of the client, the severity of the crisis, the coping level of the client, and the availability of external resources. In mental crises of children and adolescents, the support of teachers and other adults, especially parents, is very important in treatment.
In mental crises, the solution can sometimes take place in a single session, or it can be as long as the crisis itself.
Natural disasters, exposure to violence, sexual abuse, death, divorce, moving, job change, unemployment, military service, chronic illness, adolescence, aging are the most common factors that cause intense mental crises. Getting psychiatrist/psychotherapist support before the crisis deepens can solve the problem in a short time.