In practices, counselors will more than once encounter a crisis situation. However, counseling research shows that majority of them are not ready to handle such crisis situation despite the fact that they will encounter them in their practice (James, 2008). There are three phases that counselors go through in handling crisis. These include identification and preparedness for the crisis, crisis intervention and recovery (Everly and Lating, 2004). In preparation and identification phase, counselors must be able to detect the occurrence of the crisis long before it occurs and get prepared to handle it. In crisis intervention, counselors must be aware of the best practices to handle the crisis while post crisis recovery will include counselors’ recovery from traumatic experience after the crisis. The way counselors respond to different crisis differs. Although there are many crises that counselors encounter, client violence, client suicide, or personal losses like death of a family member. Client violence is most common in counseling. Counselors must be able to assess clients for violence because it does not occur spontaneously but rather as an unfolding sequence of interrelated events and crisis episode is a single part of those events (McAdams and Keener, 2008).
Once the counselors detect behaviors which could lead to violence, the counselor must act fast through support network and other avenues to avert the violence. In addition, the counselor must act to ensure the client recover from the violence. Personal suicide is also common. In this case, the counselor must look for signs that could lead to suicide (McAdams and Keener, 2008).
Once client has committed suicide, the counselor may suffer from regret, self-blame, depression and others and therefore must seek support from supervisor. Personal loss differs from the two crisis mentioned above in that the counselor my not be in a position to detect the crisis before it happens. This means that what the counselor can do is to offer counseling supports towards recovery. In this case, support network becomes important for both the client and the counselor. From the above comparison, I have concluded that counselors need to be aware and ready of crisis that can occur in their practices. They should be able to contact their supervisors immediately for support especially when they feel that they are not in a position to handle the crisis.
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