Crises may occur under a wide variety of circumstances; therefore, crisis intervention strategies are equally variable. Taking into consideration the fact that counselling is an evidence-based approach to helping clients change their maladaptive behaviors to productive ones, counselors must be able to quickly recognize faulty perceptions of the people seeking help in order to provide them with effective strategies for dealing with acute stressor events (Kottler & Shepard, 2014). The aim of this paper is to explore, dynamic interactions between the following elements in the crisis intervention: a counselling professional, a client, and ecological-cultural determinants. The paper will also examine the role of empathy and collaborative efforts in the counseling practice.
We will write a custom Essay on Counselling in Collaboration and Crisis Intervention specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Empathy is an essential component of the therapeutic relationships that facilitates the development of a favorable environment for change. The concept of empathy is used to describe “the ability of the counselor to truly understand the client from within the client’s perspective” (Kottler & Shepard, 2014, p. 114). Unlike sympathy, which is utilized for a demonstration of concern for clients’ pain, empathy is necessary for making an objective analysis of their statements (Kottler & Shepard, 2014).
From this vantage point, it is possible to recognize two levels of empathy—primary and advanced accurate empathy. Primary-level empathy is based on the communication of the basic counselor’s responses to a client’s statements, whereas advanced-level empathy refers to the communication of deep insights into a client’s experience, which is beyond their own awareness (Kottler & Shepard, 2014). Feelings of disconnection and hurt, which arise as a result of incorrect interpretation of a client’s inner experiences, may become barriers to the development of empathy. In order to overcome this and other barriers, a good counsellor should immediately apologize for their mistakes.
Crisis intervention theory recognizes that in order for a counselor to intervene appropriately, they have to understand the dynamic interaction between a counselling professional, a client, and ecological-cultural determinants (Kottler & Shepard, 2014). Unlike traditional counseling, crisis intervention aims to decrease immediate suffering prior to referring a client for a long-term treatment. Therefore, counseling professionals have to recognize worker-client as well as ecological-cultural determinants of a crisis in order to understand their meaning for a client and their impact on the development of stress (Kottler & Shepard, 2014). Such three-dimensional approach to the study of a crisis allows counsellors to critically examine contextual dimensions of a problem, thereby giving them a chance to control some of them.
During the course of their practice, counselors might engage in collaboration or consultation with two or more parties in order to share resources and decision-making responsibilities (Kottler & Shepard, 2014). Collaborative interactions are based on voluntary participation and might involve colleagues, communities, and families among others. Collaboration presupposes the development of a strategic plan, which is based on a shared vision, action, and evaluation of progress. Sometimes counselors have to participate in specialized teams that share one or several common goals and are committed to active collaboration. Members of such teams have clearly defined responsibilities and strategies for the attainment of their goals (Kottler & Shepard, 2014).
The paper explored the differences between primary and advanced levels of empathy, which is considered an essential component of the therapeutic relationships that facilitates the development of a favorable environment for change. It also discussed the main elements in the dynamic interaction in a crisis and explicated collaborative interactions in which counselors engage in over the course of their practice.
Kottler, J. A., & Shepard, D. S. (2014). Introduction to counselling: Voices from the field. (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Brooks Cole.