RUNNING HEAD: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: INTERVENTION WITH WOMEN IN CRISIS
Domestic Violence: Intervention with Women in Crisis
COUN 604 - Crisis Counseling
Liberty University DLP December 17, 2009
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Abstract Domestic Violence is a crisis that many families have experienced. Women are often caught off guard and are unprepared for the series of battering to occur; they may be unsure of how to proceed and what they will do if they decide to leave. Crisis affects each woman differently. An individual’s personal, material, and social resources impact how a person will respond to a crisis. The individual’s resources also impact how long the person will be going through the crisis and how the person will rebuild his or her life after the crisis. The purpose of crisis intervention is to provide individuals with immediate options to deal with their crisis situations and to provide emotional, directional, or physical support if needed. There are some crisis intervention methods that are available for use when dealing with domestic violence. Combinations of different aspects of effective crisis intervention models will provide a more holistic and personalized experience for each individual. This paper will present a crisis intervention method designed specifically for domestic violence.
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Domestic Violence: Women in Crisis Crisis Defined The term crisis can be interpreted in many different ways. According to Kanel (2007), a crisis is composed of three parts which are a precipitating event, perception of the event that causes distress, and failure of an individual’s usual coping methods. Gerald Caplan, an important contributor to the field of crisis intervention, defines a crisis as “an obstacle that is insurmountable for a time by using customary problem solving methods” (Kanel, 2007, p. 1). Crisis can also defined as a crucial stage or turning point in the course of something. Regardless to which interpretation a crisis worker chooses to use, it is understood that a crisis is a situation that can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. The term crisis is often used to describe a situation that causes panic, loss of control, or an emergency. That type of usage is not always correct. Crises can also be stressful events that are a normal part of life that change the lives of individuals. Every individual undergoes a crisis situation of some sort during the major changes of life (Kanel, 2007, p.2). Five types of stress producing situations exist that may cause a crisis to develop. Those five situations are: family situations, economic situations, community situations, significant life events, and natural elements. Examples of crises include: marital problems including separation/divorce, loss of employment, natural disasters, neighborhood violence, car accident, major illness, death, child or spousal abuse, and rape (Gentry, 1994, p. 4) When an individual experiences a crisis, it is often unexpected and causes the individual to experience an array of emotions. When in crisis, some individuals are able to react positively and locate and utilize available community resources to assist them in working through the crisis and return their lives back to as much of a state of normalcy as possible. Other individuals react negatively and experience a range of emotions from psychological problems to illness, to death (Kanel, 2007, p.3 ). When individuals are experiencing crisis situations feelings of bewilderment, confusion, desperation, helplessness, and extreme discomfort, or danger may overcome them. Typically
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individuals experiencing a crisis situation undergo psychological effects of crisis such as disorganized thinking, preoccupation with insignificant activities, dependence, impulsiveness, hostility, emotional distance, and a threat to their identity (Gentry, 1994, p. 7). According to Gentry...