Phases of Crisis Intervention

These are the 4 phases of Crisis Intervention

Phase 1: Assessment

Phase 2: Planning of therapeutic intervention

Phase 3: Intervention

Phase 4: Evaluations


Phase 1 – Assessment 

  • Aim:

Information is gathered regarding the precipitating stressor and the resulting crisis that prompted the individual to seek professional help.

  • Conducting the interview

–History: personal and familial of risk behavior

–Any means and plans the user may have about carrying out the risk behavior

–Controls:  internal and external that are stopping the user from undertaking the risk behavior.

  • Observations during the interview

–Level of anxiety; desperation; despair; sense of hopelessness; contact with reality.


Phase 2 – Assessment

On the basis of the information from the assessment…

  • What’s the situation?
  • What is the desired outcome?
  • How do we get from the current situation to the goal? à interventions
  • Who does what? (user, family, network, team members)

The goal of intervention is to restore the person to pre-crisis level of equilibrium, not of personality changes.


Phase 3 – Intervention

  • The actions identified in the planning phase are implemented. A reality-oriented approach is used.
  • A rapid working relationship is established by showing unconditional acceptance, by active listening, and by attending to immediate needs.
  • A problem-solving model becomes the basis for change.


  • Affective:

–Expression and management of feelings involving techniques of ventilation; psychological support; emotional catharsis.

  • Cognitive:

–Helping the user understand the connections between the stressor event and their response.  Techniques include clarifying the problem; identifying and isolating the factors involved; helping the user gain an intellectual understanding of the crisis

–Also involves giving information; discussing alternative coping strategies and changing perceptions.

  • Environmental modification:

–Pulling together needed external, environmental resources (either familial or formal helping agencies)

Any and all three approaches may be used at any time depending where the user is, emotionally and cognitively.


Phase 4 – Assessment

  • A reassessment is conducted to determine whether the stated objectives were achieved.
  • A plan of action is developed for the individual to deal with the stressor should it reoccur.