Everybody experiences a crisis at one time or another. Some crises can be short and resolved quickly. At other times, the crisis can be long and extended, as is the case in of death, a break-up, or a drawn out period of unemployment. While some individuals seem to be able to recover and handle things on their own, other people in crisis seem to need a different approach, an intervention that incorporates the church and Christian values. Some individuals would rather seek out their local pastor, priest to help them through it, by using guidance from biblical passages or scriptures.
Scott Floyd, author of “Crisis Counseling: A Guide for Pastors and Professionals” has been doing crisis counseling for 25 years, helping people deal with grief, trauma, and loss. Also a professor of psychology, his book is a guide for people who are caught in crisis. However, instead of looking at a crisis as all bad, sometimes a crisis can be looked upon as something good and something we can learn from. In some situations and for some people, a crisis can serve as a turning point. A crisis can make people see or view things in a different way or find a new direction in life, based on what learned from the crisis. The book also uses real-life case examples to illustrate the types of hard situations that we go through .
For example, in the book, a woman named Brenda is going through a tough situation with her husband. A short time before they were to be married, her husband was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Syndrome. This changed Brenda’s life and her husband, her husband’s physical condition getting worse with time. Eventually, he was confined to a wheelchair and had a hard time eating or swallowing. Brenda was feeling overwhelmed by all the responsibilities of her life, including working full-time, taking care of her husband, and driving him to medical appointments, etc. Her husband’s condition never got better, only worse news to talk about every time he visited a doctor and/or received treatment.
Brenda did not have any other family in the area who could relived her burden by helping to take care of her husband. Rather than just focusing on her sick husband and what he was going through, Floyd helped Brenda see that she was fatigued, frustrated, and hopeless at times. Floyd also helped Brenda learn how to cope with the daily hassles that occurred while caring for her husband .
It is not just adults who go through difficult times, but also children and teenagers. The type of crisis intervention that a counselor, priest, or pastor provided to an individual depends on their age and level of trauma. However, before the counselor can even begin to decide on what type of intervention to employ, the counselor needs to figure out what type of crisis the person is experiencing .
A developmental crisis occurs when somebody is in a stage of transition or experiencing a phase of development, such as going away to college, birth, getting married, deciding to have baby, or retiring from their job.
On the contrary, a situational crisis is not planned for and often unexpected, such as getting sick, losing a job, or having a spouse unexpected filed for divorce. Floyd explains how to recognize each crisis and design an intervention based on what the individual is going through. However, unlike some books, Floyd also describes how the counselor can avoid burnout and cope with some difficult emotions that many arise, while treating a person in crisis .
A crisis can serve as a negative event or turn out to be something positive, changing a person’s life direction and allowing for growth and opportunity. The type of intervention one should receive depends on the whether somebody is experiencing a developmental or situation crisis. Whatever the kind of intervention, the counselor needs to take care of oneself to prevent burnout and added stress.
- Floyd, Scott. Crisis Counseling: a Guide for Pastors and Professionals. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications , 2008. Print.