The American Counseling Association states that the primary purpose of crisis counseling is to help a person regain their sense of control and restore a normal state of functioning after experiencing a crisis. For our purposes, a crisis refers to any event where balance is disrupted. Typically, crisis counseling is a more direct, solution-focused, and short-term form of counseling. Counseling is beneficial because often individuals become overwhelmed emotionally and have difficulty with problem solving and coping skills. The American Counseling Association states that experiencing a crisis often causes an individual’s basic beliefs about themselves, others, and the world to be violated – crisis counseling helps address this by providing a safe space.

What Is The Goal Of Crisis Counseling?

The goal of crisis counseling is for the counselor to provide emotional support and assistance for the individual in crisis. According to Verywell Mind, crisis intervention is focused on minimizing the stress of the event, providing emotional support, and improving the person’s coping strategies. Unlike long-term therapeutic interventions, crisis counseling is more direct and focused on providing solutions that will help solve the crisis first. Long-term counseling involves providing long-term solutions and steps to achieve balance over a period of time. Like most forms of therapy, crisis counseling will provide specific goals, assessments, and treatment – but these will be more specific to the crisis experienced. Studies have shown that counseling can result in significant improvements in a person’s psychological well-being, including improvements in depression, anxiety, and stress.

What Are The Elements Of Crisis Counseling?

Verywell Mind breaks down crisis counseling into four key elements. These elements include:

  1. Assess The Situation – This step involves the counselor listening to the client, asking questions, and determining what the client needs for support.
  2. Educate – Those dealing with a crisis often seek information about their current condition and steps they can take to navigate through the situation. A counselor will help address these concerns.
  3. Offer Support – Perhaps the most important element is offering support. A counselor provides a safe space for receiving support, stabilization, and resources.
  4. Develop Coping Skills – Along with providing support, a counselor will assist the client in developing coping skills to help with the current crisis and future situations.

What If I Am Currently Experiencing A Crisis?

If you are currently experiencing a crisis, there are several resources available to you. These include:

  • The National Suicide Prevention Line (1-800-273-8255): The National Suicide Prevention Line is available 24/7 to anyone within a crisis, and includes options for veterans, spanish speakers, and those deaf and hard of hearing. This line also has a disaster distress helpline.
  • Crisis Text Hotline (Text “HOME” to 741741): The Crisis Text Hotline connects you via text to a crisis counselor ready to support, listen, and help you regulate and calm yourself during a crisis.
  • 2-1-1: Simply call 2-1-1 for help with emergencies and disasters, crisis, food needs, health, housing and utilities, human trafficking, jobs & employment, reentry, and veterans’ resources.

In addition to crisis counseling, Garrett Counseling offers ongoing counseling sessions to help improve mood, supply you with the coping skills to manage distressing emotions, and help provide you with tools for the prevention and management of future crises. At Garrett Counseling, we serve as a safe space to assist you in your emotional needs, and provide support, reassurance, and resources in times of crisis. If you are looking for counseling in Jacksonville, Huntsville, or Boaz, AL, contact us today at (256) 239-5662 or online by clicking here.

This article was written by Madelyn Biles, a mental health professional at Garrett Counseling in Huntsville, AL. Learn more about Madelyn here.