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People in Crisis

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By Ph.D., Diana Sullivan Everstine, Ph.D., Louis Everstine

With the stressful turbulence of our present culture, more and more clinicians are called upon to intervene in crisis situations. Violent interactions, once considered rare or beyond the province of the therapist, have become familiar events to many practitioners. This volume claims to provide them with both the theoretical background and practical techniques to help people learn from crisis experiences and move toward change and growth.

Strategic Interventions for People in Crisis, Trauma, and Disaster provides for a thorough understanding of interactional dynamics and a plan of action in crisis situations.

Beyond this, of special interest would have been practical guidelines and specific intervention strategies for conducting psychotherapy with different types of violent persons and of victims. Treatment principles for each crisis situation are instead illustrated in case examples. As the authors convincingly demonstrate, with these troubled people a therapist must be ready to make quick decisions, draw upon all available resources from the family and community, and offer continuing support as traumas are worked through and new behavior patterns are learned. In addition, the authors discuss the legal and ethical responsibilities of the therapist.

The really technical issues of conducting therapy are nevertheless somewhat scattered between the lines of background information and of limited use to the practitioner. Too bad. In its actual shape the book is worth reading for anyone interested in crisis intervention but does little more than inform about basic principles.

The chapter describing suicide as a symbolic murder of a targeted person in most cases,  I personally found particularly problematical and its perspective rather onesided, to say the least. Despite the claim of overcoming Freud’s psychoanalytical theory of suicide, the theory developped starting from the talion paradoxon does not really move beyond the notional system of Freud and Stekel.

Alas, the authors honestly emphasize the fact that they would report from their own professional experience and never claim priority for their theoretical perspective.

Table of Contents

Watzlawick, Foreword. Introduction. Acknowledgments. Emergency Psychology. The People. The Problem. The Center. Some Facts and Figures. Beyond the Model. Communication Principles for High Stress or Dangerous Situations. Clinical Intervention in Emergency Situations. The First Telephone Contact with a Person in Crisis. Responding to an Emergency. Arriving at the Scene of an Emergency Without the Police. Basic Steps and Goals. Strategies for Defusing Emergencies. Hospitalizing Persons in Crisis. Deciding Whether or Not to Hospitalize. Assessment and Plan. Involuntary Hospitalization. The Homicidal or Dangerous Person. A Case Study Illustrating the Hospitalization Process. A Case Illustrating that Things are Not Always What They Appear to Be. Domestic Violence. The Scope of the Problem. Couples who Fight Violently. A Violent Husband. A Case of Murder Reconsidered. Battered Spouses. A Battered Wife. The Battered Child. What is Child Abuse? General Diagnostic Indications. Physical Indications. Assessing the Safety of a Home. Treatment of Child Abuse. Sexual Assault on Children. The Child Victim. The Adolescent Victim. The Incestuous Family. Victims of Violent Crimes. General Characteristics of Victim Behavior. Victims of Prolonged Terror. The Adult Woman Victim of Rape. General Considerations. Treatment Techniques. Sexual Factors in Rape. The Criminal Justice Process. The Support Network. Suicide. Etiology of Suicidal Behavior. An Interactional View. Methods of Prevention. A Serious Attempt. Anatomy of a Suicide. Clinical Ethics and Legal Responsibilities. General Principles. Duty to Hospitalize. Duty to Warn. Duty to Report. Special Characteristics of Emergency Work. Index.

About the Author(s)

Diana Sullivan Everstine, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, Director of Affiliated Psychologists & Counselors, Inc., Director of Behaviordata, Inc., an APA-approved CE provider.

Louis Everstine, Ph.D., M.P.H., is Senior Research Fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, Director of Affiliated Psychologists & Counselors, Inc., Director of Behaviordata, Inc., an APA-approved CE provider.


Written by huehueteotl

May 6, 2007 at 9:48 pm

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