THE FAMILY MINISTRIES DIRECTOR AS A CRISIS COUNSELOR
Counseling is not a step-by-step process such as baking a cake, or changing a tire, or even preparing a sermon. Each person is unique-- with problems, attitudes, values, expectations and experiences that are unlike any other. The Family Ministries Director must approach each individual a little differently and will discover that the course of counseling will vary from person to person.
As we move through life, most of us behave in fairly consistent ways. There are emotional and spiritual ups and downs, of course, and at times we must exert effort to deal with emergencies or unexpected problems, but as we approach adulthood, each person develops a repertoire of problem-solving techniques based on one's personality, training and past experience. We use these techniques repeatedly and thus are able to meet the challenges of life successfully. At times, however, situations arise which are most severe and thus threaten our psychological equilibrium.
These situations or life events are also known as crises. They may be expected or unexpected, real or imagined, actual or potential, rational or irrational.
1) What is a crisis?
a) A Crucial Time
b) A Turning Point
c) A situation that threatens one's adequacy to cope
2. Nature of Crisis Experience
People in crisis tend to:
a) Lose meaning with time
b) Can be without food for days
c) Lose sense of reality
d) Tend to pull away from important relationships
e) Avoid truth and reality
3. The Goal of the Family Ministries Director as a Crisis Counseling
a) Make Contact People in crisis don't always come; more often we must go.
b) Reduce Anxiety The director/counselor's calm, relaxed manner can help reduce anxiety in the person.
c) Focus on Issues Help the person to decide what are the specific issues which must be faced.
d) Evaluate Resources
i) Spiritual Resources
ii) Personal Resources (list persons' strengths
iii) Interpersonal resources (people, friends, family, church etc)
iv) Professional Help
e) Plan Intervention Decide on a course of action...."what will we do?"
f) Encourage Action Encourage person to take action, to evaluate progress and to modify plans.
g) Instill Hope Give sense of "Realistic Hope" for the future. (hope brings relief from suffering)
h) Environmental Intervention Sometimes there is value in changing the person's environment.
i) Follow Up Follow up with a phone call or visit, etc.