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Conflict lies at the interface between the individual and his total situation, is objectively or subjectively perceived by the individual or someone in his total situation, and is causally a function of the individual and/or his situation.

Experience suggests that non-mental health professionals and volunteers tend to perceive the individual in crisis as sick and are thus oriented to a medical model, that is, have a tendency to think in terms of diagnosis and treatment of the problem as if it were something totally within the individual himself.  Reorientation to the social interaction model requires careful attention to and emphasis on locating and dealing with the problem or conflict as a function of the interaction between the individual and his situation.  This reorientation also encourages moving away from a tendency to place blame and to identify individual pathology, and toward intervention based on an interactional understanding, thereby working with the strengths and capacities within both individuals and situations.

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