Consider different ways of conceptualizing and classifying crises, as well as examine both the unique and shared features of crises within these classifications.

Consider different ways of conceptualizing and classifying crises, as well as examine both the unique and shared features of crises within these classifications.

The Features and Scope of Crises

You likely have some preconceived notions about what a crisis entails. Perhaps the word crisis immediately evokes the idea of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or a tsunami, which results in the catastrophic loss of human life and property throughout a geographic region. Or, maybe you think first of the personal circumstances of individuals and families: domestic violence, substance abuse, or sexual assault. Bereavement, terrorist attacks, hostage situations, grave illness, school shootings, and serious accidents—these all are events, among many others, that are frequently associated with crisis.

Whatever your initial conception of crisis involves—whether it is global or local in scale, whether it is concerned with large communities or individuals, whether it is the result of extraordinary events or daily problems in living—it is likely accurate (although not necessarily comprehensive), as the term crisis encompasses a vast spectrum of situations and experiences, each with its own unique circumstances and features. Nevertheless, as disparate as many crisis situations may seem, they all share qualities that categorize them as a crisis. In this Discussion, you consider different ways of conceptualizing and classifying crises, as well as examine both the unique and shared features of crises within these classifications.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review Chapter 1 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies, paying particular attention to the definitions and characteristics of crisis, as well as to applied crisis theory and its associated crisis domains.

Review the article, “Trauma-Informed or Trauma-Denied: Principles and Implementation of Trauma-Informed Services for Women.” Think about which domain the crises described in this article would be classified in and why.

Reflect on specific crisis situations with which you are familiar. Select three situations, each one representative of a different crisis domain, as described on pages 17–19 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies: developmental, situational, existential, and/or ecosystemic.

Consider the differences between the situations you selected. Then think about how and why each one occupies a different place within the various crisis domains


 

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