by Diana Everstine and Louis Everstine
People in Crisis will enable therapists to walk into potentially explosive situations with a thorough understanding of the interactional dynamics and a plan of action. Here, the communication principles for high stress or dangerous situations developed and confirmed in clinical practice are outlined. The steps of intervention, such as making telephone contact, arriving at the scene, and initiating strategies to defuse the emergency, are described in detail. Once the situation has been defused, interactional patterns that have led to violent fighting, child abuse, sexual assault, wife-beating, incest, or suicidal attempt are explored and the process of change begins.
Of special interest are 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 then illustrated in detailed case studies. As the authors demonstrate, with these troubled people a therapist must be ready to make quick decisions regarding hospitalization, to draw upon all available resources from the family and community, and to 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.
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 provides them with both the theoretical background and practical techniques to help people learn from crisis experiences and move toward change and growth.