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Crisis Response plan: Group Crisis Intervention

APA Research Paper

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Group Crisis Intervention: Serving Multiple Constituencies

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Group Crisis Intervention: Serving Multiple Constituencies


When children and adolescents experience crises, it is essential to undergo group crisis counseling to meet their mental health needs. Group crisis counseling helps both the children and parents to minimize the stress of the event. It also provides emotional support to those affected and permits them to improve their coping strategies. Different theoretical perspectives will be utilized to address the relevant issues. Some applicable aspects will include integrative, behavioral, and psychodynamic theories. This study, however, will focus on cognitive theoretical perspectives.

Cognitive Behavioral Theory

The counseling theory that will guide the crisis intervention is the cognitive theoretical perspective. It was developed in the 1960s by a social scientist Aaron Beck (Corey, 2009). He defines cognitive theory as the way different factors affect the brain, both extrinsically and intrinsically, and contribute to an individual’s learning process. This paper will analyze the cognitive behavioral theory and gain further understanding using social cognitive theoretical underpinnings. It aims at shedding light on how behavioral, environmental, and personal factors play a role in influencing the decisions of adolescents to make. It will also enable parents, teachers, and community members to identify the cause of a problem to promote suicide prevention. Several different factors come into play, namely behavioral determinants, environmental factors, and personal experiences (Corey & Corey, 2011). Thus, it is essential for an adolescent to develop in an adequate environment. The adoption of a healthy lifestyle will influence not only their present but also their interpretation of the past. Such factors focus on how an individual forms self-concepts influenced by their beliefs, environment, and past. Ultimately, it goes a long way towards shaping their perspectives to be interpreted as either positive or negative. Group crisis intervention will enable the participants to understand their behaviors through the use of cognitive theory (Corey, 2009). 

Skills Required in Diverse Groups

             The crisis intervention plan will aim at having an inclusive approach wherein different factors such as children’s mental health and their environmental conditions are assessed. The therapist can start by evaluating the thinking process of different members of the group. The goal will be to equip them with a skill set that helps them convert negative or dysfunctional thinking into a positive one and more self-awareness (Watts & Pietrzak, 2000). This can be achieved by being aware of the negative factors affecting and acknowledging them instead of dismissing. Using cognitive behavioral theory will emphasize the understanding that thoughts influence emotions, which in turn influence actions (Hersen & Gross, 2008). With increased awareness, the students have more power to choose the activity to participate in and should be able to merge their thoughts with their core beliefs which are influenced by their environment and their personality (Watts & Pietrzak, 2000). As for the parents, teachers, and community, they should analyze the validity of their cognitive record with concerning how they are raising children in the society. The reflection on activities such as upbringing, guidance, community involvement, and policies are also very important (Corey, 2009). Both groups can practice positive activity scheduling which involves recording enjoyable experiences (Watts & Pietrzak, 2000). The activity can also be carried out through helping the students and guardians to engage in a behavior that enhances their sense of competence, mastery, or accomplishment. Another skill would be imagery-based exposure. This activity involves recalling an event that provokes strong negative emotions with a goal of picturing the event until the distress level is lowered to about half its initial level. For the participating parties, they will be able to lessen the effect of loss caused by the death of the students. The process helps to make intrusive, painful memories less likely to trigger rumination and depression. All these activities require inclusion and an open platform where all the individuals feel free to express themselves. It is a significant, contributing factor in building and maintaining a rapport with the group. As a specialist, I will be attentive and considerate to the varying emotions of the different groups, thereby enabling the participants of the session to bond as one solid group as they engage in the healing process.

Student and Parent Group Outline

The counseling phase will follow different outlines (Corey & Corey, 2011). For both groups, the introductory phase will involve informing them about the reason for the session. It will establish the rules of the period together, such as no use of electronic devices, identifying the members, establishing an equal platform whereby one is not required to talk but stresses the importance of sharing with the team. By expressing their thoughts and feelings, they will create an environment whereby all the members will be more likely to contribute. The fact phase will also be similar for both groups. This phase will address questions such as who the community is in terms of the students and their guardians, i.e., how they relate to the victims and the specific nature of their relationship. Moreover, the location during the time of the event will be discovered as well the location of the individual participants in the intervention. Questions such as, “How did the participants find out about the event and what really happened?” will be attempted to answer. Then, the participants will each be given a chance to explain and share their point of view. The fact phase will help shed light on all the facts of what happened to all those affected by the event, thereby eliminating rumors and hearsay. During the feeling phase, we will analyze the thoughts and reactions of both the students and their guardians (Corey & Corey, 2011). During this phase, we will look at what the feelings towards the act are and what, in particular, is recalled by the victims.

The participants will also be encouraged to share what their initial thoughts were when they heard about the death of the students, as well as what some of the more immediate ways they reacted were, and lastly, their feelings in the present.  The Client’s Current Symptoms Phase will analyze the differences caused by this event. The participants will share information about their feelings, ranging from physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reactions. The answers will be recorded differently for both the students and their guardians. The counselor will guide each phase, prompting them to share more information and assist the participants in speaking publicly about the event.

Teaching Phase

The teaching phase will differ for the middle school, the concerned parents, and the community members group (Corey & Corey, 2011). For the guardians, the goal is to reassure them that, despite the traumatic event, their reactions are quite reasonable as is their full range of symptoms. The teachers and parents may face overwhelming pressure convincing them that the incidents might have been their fault. The students will be encouraged to understand that they did not have any direct control over the situation; however, they can control their reactions. The students may have experienced more shock and should be guided to understand that what took place is unrelated to their actions. Both teams will be encouraged to reflect on coping mechanisms which have worked in the past and may help them get through the grieving process. Support materials such as handouts will also be shared to offer more information. The primary subject to be addressed will be drug and substance abuse. For the parents, the main subjects will be the prevention of development of drug and substance abuse and/or addiction and identification of suspected drug users. For the students, it is also important to stress how to prevent drug abuse, how to identify a friend that is seeking help. Every group will use age-appropriate information.

Summary Phase

On this phase, we ought to offer guidance and support to the participants as they move forward, to encourages the participants to stay in contact with supportive people and continue talking to each other. Each participant is given an opportunity to participate and share how they will take care of themselves. The different groups are offered a variety of recovery resources to explore such as handouts, emergency contacts, counselor’s contacts, religious and community support systems (Corey & Corey, 2011). For the middle school group, they can seek guidance from the school counselor, access reading materials at the school library, and even form their guidance and counseling groups. The guardians who are the parents, teachers, and interested community members could join community initiatives, involve law enforcement authorities, and work with their children at identifying the core issues.

The group crisis intervention will engage all interested members without discrimination. The goal will be to ensure that individuals from all background benefit from our services, taking advantage of multicultural competencies. The counselor will research the background of the participants to ensure that all individuals are included. It is essential to understand the participants and know which method will appeal to them. The middle school group, for example, may require the use of many examples and pictorials to foster participation compared to their guardians who are more mature and can use a factually-based approach. Disabled individuals will also be considered. In such cases, there will be the presence of a deaf interpreter and the selection of a suitable venue which is accessible by the physically-impaired. The law mandates the integration of all citizens without discrimination, and this law will be duly practiced.


           To conclude, the group crisis intervention should be able to help the participants to move forward with their lives in a positive direction without being preoccupied with past negative influences. The counselor should be well-equipped to facilitate the different groups to be effective and successful in conducting the sessions with the clients they serve.



Corey, G. (2009). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Corey, G, & Corey, M.S. (2011). Becoming a helper. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Hersen, M. & Gross, A. M. (Eds.) (2008). Handbook of clinical psychology: Children and adolescents. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

Watts, R., & Pietrzak, D. (2000). Adlerian “encouragement” and the therapeutic process of        solution-focused brief therapy. Journal of Counseling and Development, 78(1).

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