Psychological assistance in the emotional crisis

Although it is momentary and transient in nature,
the emotional crisis usually leaves consequences in its pathAfter which, it is necessary to implement an action plan to combat the discomfort caused by the traumatic event.

For the above, it is important to know the
the main elements of a psychological assistance program be able to cope with emotional crises. More specifically, it becomes a priority to identify the characteristics and objectives that effective care must have, the different models of care as well as the levels of intervention in the event of a crisis.

    Characteristics and objectives of psychological intervention

    You should know that any action you focus on
    dealing with an emotional crisis it must meet three fundamental conditions: be carried out “in situ”, be immediate and create confidence in the patient:

    Intervention “in situ”

    The emotional crisis must be addressed where it occurred.
    Internment will only be justified in very specific cases, But should always be carried out in a hospital close to relatives of those affected.


    Every seizure must be dealt with the moment it occurs. During the emotional crisis, the affected person
    shows a great need for help and is more likely to receive the full attention needed to achieve change. Any crisis allowed to mature makes the process of intervention difficult, hampering the search for a positive solution. It should be mentioned that a problem cannot be fixed with a delay of three months from when it occurred.

    build trust

    The patient must be clear from the start that the purpose of the intervention is none other than
    improve their quality of life.

      The objectives to act in the face of the emotional crisis

      If the crisis treatment intervention meets the above criteria, the chances of success increase greatly. It is time to indicate the objectives pursued during the implementation of the action plan; the most significant are these:

      • Prevent the crisis episode from becoming chronic and, therefore, prevent the requisition of more expensive treatments in addition to traumatic treatments.
      • Restore emotional balance. The goal is to reach at least the level of mental health before the emotional crisis. It should be emphasized that what was not (emotional balance) could not be lost and, therefore, could not be recovered.
      • Immediate relief of the anxiety felt through the verbalization of the patient’s irrational feelings or attitudes. In this way, it is possible to neutralize the anxiety generated and allow change.
      • Orient the socially disadvantaged subject to possible social resources and institutions that you can turn to if you are in a state of neglect.

      Models of care for crisis intervention

      The human being is a bio-psycho-social being, so his needs are inclined towards one of these areas and, therefore, the crisis caused can have its epicenter.
      around the biological, psychological or social dimension. For the above, it will always be necessary to define which area of ​​the patient is the one that requires care.

      For example: in a suicide attempt due to pharmacological intoxication, it will first be necessary to know the biological or somatic repercussions of the event presented (need or not for gastric lavage, etc.), then an analysis will be carried out on the individual’s psychological elements and / or patterns (emotions, motivations, etc.) and finally the professional or family influence that this suicidal behavior may have will be taken into account.

      So the emotional crisis
      it can be treated from different angles or modelsThis can be summed up as a three-pronged approach: intervention aimed at the conflict, the whole person or the system.

      1. Conflict-oriented model

      He suggests that the aid provided be immediate and fundamentally directed to the conflict itself; through this approach
      references to unconscious elements will be avoided, By considering only the “here and now” in addition to the possible solutions to the “current problem” caused by the crisis: drug intoxication during a suicide attempt, abandonment of home, emotional depression, etc.

      2. Person-centered model

      In the intervention, priority will be given to the most cognitive aspects of the person affected: the motivations, the emotional repercussions of the event, the links with the event, etc. In this crisis which has a predominance in the biological dimension, the psychological and social impact that any somatic disease causes will not be outdone.

      3. System-oriented model (family or couple)

      The family (or the couple) is therefore considered as a unit of health and illness at the same time and is therefore a fundamental element for the treatment of the person concerned.

        Levels of psychological intervention

        Regardless of the intervention model used with the patient (whether centered on the conflict, the individual as a whole or the system) and the domain (biological, psychological or social) in which he acts, it is possible distinguish three different levels of help for the emotional crisis:

        First level of help

        It is practically the first moment of the intervention; corresponds to the “impact phase” of the crisis. Depending on the content and the cause of the problem, the psychological, social or biological aspect will be a priority.

        this level
        also called “psychological first aid” or “emergency aid”; is characterized by a brief intervention (from a few minutes to a few hours); the main objective is containment and also, to support, reduce mortality (prevent suicide) and put the person in crisis in touch with any available external aid resources.

        The first level intervention can be carried out anywhere (patient’s home, health center, hostel, street, hospital, etc.) and by any support worker (parents, teachers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. .).

        This first level of help
        can be made from pharmacology (Use of anxiolytics or antipsychotics) or by active listening, without ignoring the possibility of the patient spending an overnight or a 24-hour hospital stay.

          Second level of help

          This step begins at the end of emergency aid (first aid level). This intervention is not limited to restoring the balance lost due to the
          impact of the traumatic event; At this level, priority is given to taking advantage of the vulnerability of the subject’s emotional structures, especially those accompanying the crisis, to help establish emotional balance while creating other, more functional psychological structures.

          The duration of this intervention is several weeks (approximately 10-12 weeks) and carried out by specialists.

          Third level of aid

          In general, the two levels of help above are sufficient to lead the individual, by putting in place his own resources (psychological, social, etc.) to achieve psychological improvement. However, sometimes
          long-term treatment may be necessary (Psychotherapy associated with pharmacological treatment) to reinforce the successes obtained and prevent possible relapses.

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