In the modern world, more and more problems are noted due to the adverse consequences of human activity. These are issues related not only to the ecology of the environment but also to the complication and exacerbation of social conflicts at the level of the individual, family, collective, state and interstate relations. The variety of social conflicts accompanied by violence and cruelty (local military conflicts, terrorism, criminal situation, etc.), severe natural disasters (natural disasters) and man-made disasters further aggravate human life than it was in the last century.
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These universal crisis factors in our country are combined with the specifics of its development. In the past two decades, the pace of life has accelerated significantly. Socio-economic ill-being, a decrease in the standard of living, the loss of habitual, stereotypical values and attitudes by almost all segments of the population caused a massive increase in tension, manifested in an increase in the level of general anxiety, an increase in such experiences as loneliness, uselessness, the meaninglessness of existence, uncertainty, as well as fear for the future (Dunn et al., 2016). In this regard, in medicine, psychology, sociology, more and more researchers are seizing the problem field, designated as “crisis” (from the Greek: Crisis – decision, turning point, outcome). The essence of the concept of crisis is very accurately conveyed by the Chinese in two hieroglyphs, one of which means danger, and the another one – opportunity.
The essence of the nature of personality crises is characterized by the following features. First, a crisis is, first of all, a violation of the internal balance (mental, mental, emotional) or homeostasis of a person, which has arisen as a result of environmental influences. Second, any crisis is a turning point in the development of personality. Depending on which path (constructive or destructive) the individual begins to develop further, his whole future life will also take shape. Third, the crisis does not arise by itself; it is a consequence of the subjective ideational and sensory perception of various kinds of social, natural and economic influences or situations that violate habitual life stereotypes and create obstacles that cause experiences or actions when a person is not able to resolve them on his own (Ebrahim, 2020).
It should be emphasized that in the process of life, any person is faced with the experience of a crisis. The minimum is age crises, crises of interpersonal relationships or family dramas (Blodgett et al., 2017). Among the events that can lead to a crisis, the researchers single out such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, separation from parents, family, friends, change in appearance, change in a social environment, family creation, abrupt changes in social status, etc. events are qualified as leading to a crisis if they “create a potential or actual threat to the satisfaction of basic needs and at the same time pose before the individual a problem from which he cannot get away and which he cannot solve with the help of the methods of adaptation available in his experience.
It seems reasonable to note that that there might be internal crises – age, life and existential (that is, crises caused by the natural development of the personality). Then, there are external crises – external traumatic events act as a stressor in them – extreme situations with a powerful negative consequence, situations of life-threatening for oneself or significant loved ones. These situations affect the human psyche, causing traumatic stress in him, the psychological results of which are expressed in post-traumatic stress disorder, which arises as a protracted or delayed reaction to situations involving a serious threat to life and health.
Situations leading to a certain crisis state may be subdivided into the following. First, these are stressful events (trauma, disasters, wars, loss of loved ones, etc.) that provoke various types of crisis reactions (acute reaction to stress up to reactive psychosis), delayed reaction to stress from two months to one year (post-traumatic stress disorder) and over-delayed stress response (shock trauma). Second, it is the transition to the next age level (age crises). Third, it is the transition to a new stage of personal transformation (existential crises).
The crisis is one of the inevitable and necessary moments of life, one of the driving forces of development, including the development of an individual, group, society. Consequently, a crisis is a necessary part of the life of an individual and surrounding people, of humanity as a whole as an organism; a crisis is always the moment of choosing from several possible alternatives, the moment of choosing a regressive or progressive solution in further development. A crisis is always disintegration, but it offers two options for it – positive, when a person increases the level of his or her integrity, or negative, when it becomes a pain for himself or herself and society (Dunn et al., 2016). The whole subsequent life of the individual depends on what kind of choice will be made.
The essence of psychosocial assistance is to help the client in revealing his inner potential, an inner resource to which the person himself does not always have access. Psychological service consists of emotional, semantic and existential support of a person or community in difficult situations that arise in the course of their personal or social life. It is based on crisis intervention technology.
Crisis intervention differs significantly from counseling or psychotherapy and involves:
- carrying out work aimed at expressing strong emotions;
- reduction of confusion due to the repetition process;
- opening access to research of acute problems;
- formation of understanding of current problems to support client;
- creating a foundation for people to accept their experiences (Blodgett et al., 2017).
This method is founded on working with intense feelings and urgent problems. Crisis assistance is problem-centered, not person-centered. An essential characteristic of support is the creation of conditions for the transition of an individual to self-help. In other words, in the process of accompaniment, conditions are created, and the necessary support is provided for the change from the position “I cannot” to the position “I can cope with my life difficulties on my own”. In each specific case, the tasks of support are determined by the characteristics of the person who is being helped and the situation in which the support is carried out. The activity of this support continues until the crisis period is over. The primary outcome of the mentioned socio-psychological support is a new critical skill – adaptability, which means the ability to independently attain proper balance in relationships with other individuals. Thus, it seems apparent that dealing with patients in crises requires the advanced and effort-taking work, which is to result in appropriate and significant patient outcomes.
Blodgett, J., Robertson, D., Ratcliffe, D. & Rockwood, K. (2017). Creating a safety net for patients in crisis: paramedic perspectives towards a GP referral scheme. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 9(1), 11–17.
Dunn, E., Arber, A., & Gallagher, A. (2016). The immediacy of illness and existential crisis: Patients’ lived experience of under-going allogeneic stem cell transplantation for haematological malignancy. A phenomenological study. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 21, 90–96.
Ebrahim, S. (2020). Psychologists’ perspectives on the contribution of psychology to acute adult mental health inpatient, crisis response home treatment and mental health liaison services. Journal of Mental Health. Web.