2.00 CE Credits Available
Crisis Counseling: 7 Steps to Effective Intervention
by Derrick Paladino
How can you provide immediate relief to clients devastated by a crisis? This online course provides therapists and counselors with a blueprint they can use to confidently intervene, stabilize and support clients overwhelmed in the wake of crises.
Although most clients are in some sort of crisis when they contact us, therapists working in crisis settings need to provide a significant level of support often in just a single session. Whether a client is struggling with suicidal ideation, a traumatic event or natural disaster, counselors don’t have the luxury of doing a lengthy interview and slowly forming a therapeutic relationship. They need to quickly establish a working alliance and collaborate so that the client leaves the session with an immediate, short-term action plan that will defuse the situation and de-escalate the crisis.

In this real-life online crisis counseling session recorded early in the Covid-19 pandemic, you’ll see expert Derrick Paladino support and engage his client, Jay, providing him with tools to ease anxiety and stave off panic attacks. Paladino skillfully demonstrates the Hybrid Model of Crisis Intervention, a flexible seven-task model for ensuring safety, providing relief and developing coping mechanisms that clients can implement at once. Voiceover commentaries clearly explain each task and offer insights on how you can use the tasks to effectively support clients in a broad range of crisis settings. The pre- and post-session conversations between Paladino and Psychotherapy.net’s founder, Victor Yalom, offer added depth to increase your confidence when working in situations that might otherwise feel overwhelming.

Clients in acute crisis are often isolated and desperate, reaching out to us for understanding, connection, hope, relief, and tools they can use right away. Regardless of your therapeutic approach, level of experience, or whether you work remotely or in the field, this online course will provide you with a flexible blueprint for compassionately guiding clients through—and beyond—their immediate crisis.   
In Depth
CE Test
During his high-pressure career in advertising sales, Jay prided himself on his strength, resilience, and athleticism, largely taking his health for granted, despite a longstanding history of asthma-related limitations. However, after a debilitating and terrifying adulthood bout of pneumonia and several subsequent breathing-related medical emergencies, he began to experience what he calls panic attacks. In the shadow of the “media hype” around the pandemic and actual mold-related difficulties in his home, Jay’s capacity to work has become compromised, and he has developed an unrelenting preoccupation with his health alongside a gripping fear of having additional, uncontrollable panic attacks. Jay presents to Paladino on the heels of his most recent panic attack; he is frustrated, agitated, anxious, and desperate for relief.

From this front row seat to Paladino’s powerful work with this client, you will learn how to address your own crisis clients’ complex emotional and behavioral needs by:
  • Forming quick, empathic connections
  • Reframing negative thinking patterns
  • Capitalizing on clients’ narratives and metaphors
  • Focusing on resources and strengths
  • Making plans in order to re-establish control
  • Solidifying commitment to therapeutic plans
  • Following up to ensure plans are working

Paladino grounds his clinical approach in the Hybrid Model of Crisis Intervention, developed by Richard James and Burl Gilliland. Consisting of seven tasks, this model provides a flexible template for working with clients in crisis, which you can adapt to meet the needs of your own clients. These seven tasks include:

Predispositioning and Engagement: Establish a connection with the client, clarify expectations and therapeutic intentions, and build a working alliance

Problem Exploration: Explore the client’s perception of the crisis, define the problem from the client’s point of view, and identify precipitating events across affective, behavioral, and cognitive domains

Providing Support: Identify past and present coping mechanisms (both effective and ineffective); communicate empathic concern while providing three levels of support: psychological (connection skills), logistical (resources and needs), and social (finding supportive friends and family members)

Examining Alternatives: Consider readily available support options, identify positive/constructive thinking patterns, and reframe problems to lessen anxiety

Planning to Re-establish Control: Identify resources for immediate support, solidify coping mechanisms, explore and address possible suicidal ideation, and co-develop a realistic and immediately actionable suicide prevention plan

Obtaining Commitment: Review the plan, revisit and solidify implementation, and get firm commitment from the client

Follow-up: Obtain verification of client’s stability and use of post-crisis resources, including referrals

So, whether you’re working remotely, in a counseling center, school or in the field at the scene of a crisis, you’ll be able to quickly adapt this highly flexible model to fit both your therapeutic style and your clients’ needs for immediate stabilization and access to resources and support.   

Length of video: 2:00:16

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-601-3

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-601-1

Derrick A. Paladino, PhD, is a professor of counseling, department chair, and Cornell Distinguished Faculty at Rollins College. Dr. Paladino has been a counselor educator for 18 years and in clinical practice longer. His areas of expertise are in multiracial identity, college counseling and student development, and crisis assessment and intervention. He has written several peer reviewed articles and book chapters and is a frequent presenter at national conferences. He is the co-editor and co-author of the following books: College Counseling and Student Development: Theory, Practice, and Campus Collaboration which received the ACCA Outstanding Contribution of Knowledge Award 2020, Foundations in Becoming a Professional Counselor: Advocacy, Social Justice and Intersectionality, and Counseling Multiple Heritage Individuals, Couples, and Families which received the AMCD Professional Development Award 2009. 

CE credits: 2

Learning Objectives:

  • Utilize the seven tasks of the Hybrid Model of Crisis Intervention in your clinical practice
  • Explain the clinical needs of people in their moments of crisis
  • Employ responsive and effective crisis counseling techniques in a variety of settings

Bibliography available upon request

This course is offered for ASWB ACE credit for social workers. See complete list of CE approvals here

© 2022

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