In this assignment I shall be defining the topic surrounding crisis throughout the field of mental health. I will be attempting to do this by using a various range of literature and theories of that can help us create a greater understanding and knowledge base of what a crisis is, why it occurs and how we can potentially prevent a crisis from occurring. I shall then be discussing how I would engage those individuals that are in crisis, exploring the engagement process and showing the skills that are necessary to provide support to the person in crisis. I will then be discussing what challenges we meet as both professionals and the individual that is in crisis and what tools and strategies are placed in order to conquer these challenges. I will then move on to discuss risk management and how this could potentially help the person/client in crisis. Throughout this assignment I shall be using scenarios from my practice setting to use as examples to create a more personal setting of a person in crisis. To comply with the Nursing & Midwifery Code (NMC, 2008), I shall be changing all names used in order to maintain confidentiality. What is a crisis?
A psychological crisis refers to an individual's inability to solve a problem. We all exist in a state of emotional equilibrium, a state of balance, or homeostasis (Aguilera,1998). This theory states that a crisis is unique to every individual, although our crisis may seem similar of that of another individual, the way we interpret and deal with our crisis is very much different. Aguilera states that we all at some point in our lives will find an inability that denies us from solving a problem. Aguilera describes crisis as the state of our psychological equilibrium being continuously threatened by stressors. The better that people come through each crisis, the better they will tend to deal with what lies ahead, but this is not to say that all is lost and never to be recovered if a person has had a negative experience during any particular crisis stage. (Erikson,1982). There are 8 stages in Erikson’s psychosocial development theory of which he describes the impact of social experience across the whole lifespan. In each of these stages, Erikson believed people experience a conflict that serves as a turning point in development. In Erikson’s view, these conflicts are centered on either developing a psychological quality or failing to develop that quality. During these times, the potential for personal growth is high, but so is the potential for failure. Throughout different points in our life we all experience some sort of crisis, but it’s how we deal with these and what coping mechanisms and strategies we use that differentiate us all from one another. The term crisis is defined by Kanel (2008) as a trilogy definition that is separated into three parts. These being; a precipitating event; a perception of the event that causes subjective distress; and the failure of an individual’s usual coping methods, that causes a person experiencing the precipitating event to function at a lower level than before the event. So, the precipitating event would be the situation of that has led the individual into a crisis stage, the perception of the event is how we perceive it, leading onto whether it is a situation of that one can cope with or cannot, and the failure of an individual’s coping methods, being the way in that we will deal with the situation that has arisen. This theory states that it is the individual’s perception of the crisis that is the influence on how we react and cope with it, rather than solely looking at the event itself. Gilliland and James (2001), who define the term crisis as the perception of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds the resources and coping mechanisms of the person. This again presents the theory that although it is important to focus on the event of crisis itself, it is strongly viewed that it is the individuals...
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