Crisis Intervention: A Social Interaction Approach (8)

Chapter 8 – Communication Content

Once we understand the color in crisis and that our mood or affect is an important dimension of crisis communication, we can begin to consider crisis content. People not trained in crisis intervention generally focus more or less exclusively on the content when talking with an individual in crisis. As our understanding of crisis color suggests, the mood or tone of the individual in crisis is at least as critical as, and perhaps even more critical than, the specifics of what happened and what is happening. If we look at any of the examples of crisis in the text, we can see that a calm, rational, planning person would be able to understand and deal with the situation. The critical aspect of the situation comes primarily in terms of the individual’s mood or color. It is his anger, fear, anxiety, apprehension, extreme depression, and so on that elevates the now potential and works against his dealing with the situation himself. It is the blue of crisis communication that directly responds to the most critical part of the crisis, that is, the individual’s being so upset or agitated that he is unable to calm down, slow down, and plan ahead. …