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Week 2: Theories and Response Models

“This has been such a tragedy; I don’t even know where to begin to help this survivor!”

As a helping professional, you may have thoughts similar to these as you begin to work with survivors of critical incidents. How do you determine what to do? What informs your choices? Theories and response models are a place to begin. Thus, the focus of this week is to analyze response models and apply theories of cognitive, social, and emotional responses to critical incidents so that you have a theoretical and practical starting point from which to help survivors.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the value of theories and response models related to crisis, trauma, and disaster
  • Apply theories related to crisis, trauma, and disaster

Learning Resources

Required Readings

James, R. K., & Gilliland, B. E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Chapter 1, “Approaching Crisis Intervention”“Theories of Crisis and Crisis Intervention” (pp. 14-19)
“Crisis Intervention Models” (pp. 19-23)
“Eclectic Crisis Intervention Theory” (pp. 22-23)

Jirek, S. L. (2017). Narrative reconstruction and post-traumatic growth among trauma survivors: The importance of narrative in social work research and practice. Qualitative Social Work, 16(2), 166-188.

Myer, R. A., & Moore, H. B. (2006). Crisis in context theory: An ecological model. Journal of Counseling & Development, 84(2), 139–147.

Roberts, A. R., & Ottens, A. J. (2005). The seven-stage crisis intervention model: A road map to goal attainment, problem solving, and crisis resolution. Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention, 5(4), 329–339. Retrieved from http://triggered.edina.clockss.org/ServeContent?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbtci.stanford.clockss.org%2Fcgi%2Freprint%2F5%2F4%2F329

Ruzek, J. I., Brymer, M. J., Jacobs, A. K., Layne, C. M., Vernberg, E. M., & Watson, P. J. (2007). Psychological first aid. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 29(1), 17–49.

Required Media

Kanel, K. (2015). The ABC model of crisis counseling: Working with loss and grief [Video File]. Microtraining Associates. Alexandria, VA. Retrieved from https://search-alexanderstreet-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/view/work/bibliographic_entity%7Cvideo_work%7C3259143

van der Kolk, B. (Producer). (n.d.). Bessel van der Kolk on understanding trauma [Video File]. Psychotherapy.net.

Watch “Moving into Treatment” segment by clicking the applicable link under the chapters tab.

Discussion: Applying Crisis Intervention Strategies

Understanding crisis and crisis intervention theory is vital to skill acquisition for responders and increases their ability to provide effective responses to survivors. There are three levels of crisis intervention theories. The first and most basic level focuses on correcting temporary affective, behavioral, and cognitive distortions caused by critical incidents. The second, or expanded level, addresses the same components as basic crisis theory and also includes the social, environmental, and situational factors that foster a critical incident. The third, or applied, level encompasses four domains: developmental, situational, existential, and ecosystemic (James & Gilliland, 2013). An understanding of these theories allows you as a practitioner to apply the most appropriate theory when working with a survivor of a critical incident. When choosing a theory, it is important to understand that you do not have to be a purist (i.e., adopt only one theory). In fact, many professionals believe it is important to have a working knowledge of many theories so as to adapt to the needs of the client by pulling from several theories when appropriate.

For this Discussion, select one critical incident from the news that is of interest to you (this critical incident may be from the past or present). Select one theory to apply to this critical incident.

By Day 5

Post a brief description of the critical incident and the theory you selected. Then, explain how you might apply the theory to the individual(s) affected by the critical incident.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.

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