Steps to Crisis Intervention

ABC Model: Steps to Crisis Intervention

A. Achieving Rapport

· Trust

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· Fondness

· Foundation

· Comfortable

· Calamity

Listening Skills: Why should we listen?

1) Client feels heard/ understood/ not judged

2) They hear themselves

3) They get it off their chest

4) You get to understand really well

5) Relationship building + trust = RAPPORT

Why don’t we listen?

1) We want to help (we think we’re the problem solvers)

2) Discomfort (things we hear might not be conventional)

3) Habit (go off topic)

4) They may ask for…



5) They may expect…



Why say no to giving advice?

1) Heard it already

2) Tried it already

3) Discourage disclosure

4) Discourages listening

5) Disqualify you

6) Implies judgement

Purpose of Listening Skills

1) Shows interest

2) Encourages sharing

3) Gain understanding= Empathy (true, deep understanding)


Basic Listening Skills (Invitation Skills)

Attending Skills: present and interested

Following Skills: stay out of the way

Reflecting Skills: heart of therapy


· Attending SkillsBe Aware and Manage

· Eye contact: too much or not enough

· Body position: determines if you care or not

· Silence: can be uncomfortable or powerful tactic

· Voice tone: can escalate or de-escalate the crisis

· Facial expression: can say a lot without saying anything

· Gestures: shows a reaction

· Distance: want to be close enough to see reactions and movement, but far enough to be comfortable

· Touch: (don’t do it) can be okay but can lead to something very bad; allow client to initiate appropriate physical touch

· Following Skills: stay out of the way

· Door opener: “tell me more about that”

· Find something compelling, dig deeper

· Minimal encourager: “Mmm”

· Short simple reactions “Oh”, “I see”, etc.

· Questions: WITH CAUTION! Why caution?

· Distraction from listening

· Interrogation

· Sidetracked

· Implied judgement

· Pressure

· Sets expectations of a Q & A

· “Why?”

· Leading questions: “Do you think that was the right choice?”, “How has that been impacting you?”

· Reflecting Skills: Most important and awkward

Why reflection instead of questions?

· Proves understanding and empathy

· Chance for accuracy check

· Provides mirror for introspection

· Direction with minimal interference

· Simple action on clients open door

· Slows things down, allows emphasis and elaboration

· No question

· Minimal interruption

Types of reflection

Pure: repetition of a key word or phrase

Paraphrase: condensed, non-judgmental version of facts and thoughts

Feeling: focused reflection of the often unspoken or nuclear emotional content.

“Sounds like what you’re describing is…”

Meaning: focused interpretation of themes

Summarizing: broad wrap up of a bulk of client content


B. Therapeutic Interaction

· Validating: letting them know their situation is normal, feelings are normal

· Psychoeducation: giving reasons why they may feel the way they do

· Empowerment: letting clients know that oftentimes they don’t give themselves enough credit, letting them know they have control

· Reframe: turning your negative emotions into something else that can be more positive, different perspective

C. Coping

· What are their current coping mechanisms?

· Use the presented issue to find the end result

· Suggest but don’t advise

· “Why don’t we try to come up with some ways to better help you?” you’re not telling thing what to do, both of you are coming up with ideas together

· Listen to their invitation to help them through their talks

· Suggest progressive actions

· “I’ve heard… works well for some people, are you open to trying this method?”

· Give them the opportunity to have power over their decision

· “You seem safe for now, maybe you can go home, get a shower, some food, and relax.” future planning getting them to get ready for their future, investing in it

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