How To Matter

Crisis Intervention: A Social Interaction Approach (6)


Crisis communication starts with an understanding of the communication loop. An individual in crisis has confused and somewhat conflicting feelings, ideas, thoughts, and emotions. It is this confusion and conflict that motivates him to come to a crisis intervention service. Through crisis communication, he is able to translate these feelings, emotions, ideas, and so on, into verbal and nonverbal messages. Gradually, he is able to organize and express these messages in a way that leads him to understand his situation. Crisis communication helps him modify and clarify these messages and serves as an emotional filter through which intense and uncomfortable feelings can pass. This modification, clarification, and filtering gradually move the individual to a point where he can deal with his situation. Crisis communication is a special and limited form of communication and represents a systematic way to make thinking, planning, and feeling skills available to the individual, thus supporting and supplementing his own capacities and abilities. It is this understanding and special use of the communication loop that allow crisis communication to help people in crisis when other forms of communication do not.