Psychotherapy in Mental Crises

What is Crises?

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 the effects of events or events with classical defense methods.

• There is increased fear, tension and confusion.

• The person shows a high subjective disturbance.

• Psychological balance rapidly deteriorates.

Three different psychotherapy approaches have been modeled in crisis intervention.

Crisis Modals

• 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 loses the balance of the individual. The client is tried to be brought into 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. 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.

Hurt yourself or others can be seen in severe psychological crises, and emotional pain, remorse and depression are the most common ailments.

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 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.

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