Application: comparative analysis of individual, couple, and family

As you have learned in previous weeks, the scope of crisis is broad, encompassing everything from natural disasters affecting millions of people to a personal loss affecting a single family, couple, or individual. As a result of this extreme variability, it is helpful to organize different types of crisis situations into categories based on fundamental similarities. For example, some crises can be classified as “individual, couple, and family,” such as the following: PTSD, lethality, sexual assault, partner violence, addiction, and bereavement.

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Although these crises share a classification, they are far from identical. In fact, there is as much variability within the category of “individual, couple, and family crises” as there is within the general designation of “crisis.” One of the major areas of potential contrast is breadth of impact. A situation involving partner violence, for example, may be limited in impact to the two parties involved, particularly if the parties conceal it from others. An individual’s suicide, however, may have the most intense impact on the individual’s direct family members, but is likely to affect others outside of this realm as well, such as friends, neighbors, classmates, and/or coworkers.

In some cases, human services professionals may use similar strategies for different types of crises. A counseling session with a sufferer of PTSD, for example, may in some ways mirror a session with a sexual assault victim. Crisis intervention strategies vary in their effectiveness and in their potential to bring about positive outcomes, depending on both the nature of the crisis itself and the psychological resilience of those experiencing it.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review Chapters 8, 9, and 10 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies. As you read, focus on the similarities and differences between the three types of individual, couple, and family crisis situations: crisis of lethality, sexual assault, and/or partner violence.
  • Review the articles, “Optimistic Explanatory Style as a Moderator of the Association Between Negative Life Events and Suicide Ideation” and “Best Practices for Working With Rape Crisis Centers to Address Elder Sexual Abuse.” Focus on how the issues examined in these articles are either unique to the particular crisis discussed or are shared with the other crises you have examined this week.
  • Select two of the three types of crisis situations you have studied this week. (Be sure that one of your selections is different from the two you chose to analyze in this week’s Discussion.) Reflect on how the two types of crisis situations you have selected are similar as well as how they are different, particularly in terms of their breadth of impact, the intervention strategies most often used in response to these situations, their intended outcomes, and the effectiveness of these intervention strategies in achieving these outcomes.

The assignment (2–3 pages):

  • Identify and briefly describe the two specific types of individual, couple, and/or family crisis situations you have selected.
  • Explain how the two types of crises are similar and how they are different, including, but not limited to the following:
    • Their breadth of impact
    • Crisis intervention strategies that might be used for each
    • The intended outcomes of intervention strategies used for each
    • The effectiveness of the outcomes of intervention strategies used for each
  • Explain what insights you have or conclusions you can draw based on this comparison.

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