Analysis and Application:
Crisis Case Handling
September 2, 2012
Unit 3 Homework
You have been called out to a scene in which a 35-year-old woman is experiencing a crisis. Her husband just committed suicide and she is distraught about her circumstances. What information would you want to know before intervening? After finding out the necessary information, how would you handle this case?
I would follow the Six-Step Model of Crisis Intervention to handle this case. I would first assess the crisis situation. It is very important to do this so that you can make sense of the various causes and reason why the crisis has occurred in the first place. In the case the woman is experiencing the crisis because her husband has recently committed suicide and she is distraught about her circumstances. I would then form a partnership with her family which is necessary to form a good trusting relationship with the family members involved. In this case, the woman’s family could provide crucial information that the woman may not be able to process right now, such as what is preventing her from being about to cope with the loss of her husband. I would then examine the contributing factors and further assess the situational factors to allow for a better judgment of handling the crisis. While the obvious contributing factor is her inability to cope with her husband’s death, there may also be underlying factors such as financial worries or her feeling as if she were the “cause” of her husband’s suicide. I would also assess the family strengths and coping strategies. This could lead the woman to a place where she can feel a sense of personal control over her life. This could enable to woman to develop acceptance of the crisis and become more resilient in dealing with difficult situations. Once she surpasses her crisis, this could lead her to have an attitude such as “If I got through this I could get through anything”. She can then be prepared for the termination of the crisis. Once she receives the help from the psychologist she can feel better and the crisis at hand will have been correctly assessed with the issue being either resolved or in resolution. She can then begin to bring the crisis to a closure and being the physical and mental recuperation from the shock of her husband’s suicide. If it were my job, I would follow up with her in a few weeks so that she can continue to feel that she has a dependable support system and that she is not alone in finding solutions to her problems.
The woman is obviously going to feel extreme sadness as well as shock. As a psychologist, I would ask her ideas on the cause of her husband’s suicide, as well as why he had them and why he inevitably chose to take his own life. The most important thing is to determine that she is not blaming herself for any of this, especially if she was not directly involved in the reasoning her husband had behind taking his own life. Before intervening, I would like to ask if she has any previous mental health diagnoses. This could help me determine whether or not this crisis has an underlying cause or if it is caused completely by the loss of her husband. I would also want to know if they had any marital problems leading up to her husband’s death. This could explain the reasoning her husband had behind his suicide. If there were no problems in their marriage before his death I would question the other means for this crisis. I would ask if her husband was the sole provider of the family and if they had any children. If he was, then she could possibly be in crisis over not being able to provide for her family without his help. It would also be important to know if she either witnessed his suicide or if she had found his body after the fact. Witnessing his death or finding his body could be a very traumatic experience and the woman could be suffering from flash backs which could be very intense if the manner of death was...
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