Crisis Intervention - Identify Intensifying Factors

The sense of crisis felt because of the unexpected, emergencies, sickness, tragedies, and loss can produce stress for almost anyone. However there are some factors that can intensify those feelings. Let's be sensitive to the whole of people's lives so we can best help them in their time of need.

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Intensifying Factors in a Crisis:

Certain factors will make a difference in how a person responds during crisis. If you want to truly help someone in crisis, these issues must be addressed, usually after the turbulence settles. If they are not dealt with, the person will not learn from the experience as they ought.

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Negative Personality Traits
Some personalities are more sensitive, pessimistic, and critical. When troubles hit, these people naturally experience an intensification of pain and stress. Some personalities are so driven that they often bring on problems. They may run rough shod over other people. They may wear themselves out and deplete their resources thus rendering themselves ineffective during time of crisis.
NEED: to bring their personalities under the control of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26)
         Spirit-Controlled Temperaments by Tim LaHaye
Unrealistic Expectations
Some people do not have a realistic view of their strengths and limitations. They may wear themselves out trying to meet these expectations and burnout or fall into depression. Some think life owes them and when it doesn't happen as they expect it should, anger or despair set in. When the opposite of their expectation occurs, they are particularly distressed. These negative emotions will block them from effectively coping with their troubles.
NEED: to measure themselves and what they have against the grace of God (Romans 12:3)
         How to Beat Burnout by Frank Minirth
Faulty Sense of Identity
If a person's sense of identity is wrapped up in another person and that person dies, or if it is found in one's job and the job is lost, or if it is tied into one's physical appearance and an injury or illness disability occurs, that person will struggle to survive. It will seem like this person has nothing left for which to live.
NEED: to find their identity in God and who they are in Him (Eph. 2:4-10)
         The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
The person who doesn't have good friendships or isn't a vital part of a church body will have to face problems alone. A vital resource for coping is missing. That raw sense of aloneness adds to their troubles.
NEED: to develop friendships and meet regularly with the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:24; 1 Corinthians 12:20-26)
         Hiding from Love by Dr. John Townsend
         The Friendship Factor by Alan Loy McGinnis
         Connecting by Larry Crabb
Poor Coping Mechanisms Due to Background
What people have seen modeled may affect the way they respond to problems. Those who haven't learned how to properly express or accept their emotions may find themselves in a quandary. They may become defensive, proud, fearful, or co-dependent.
NEED: to trust in the Lord and not lean on their own understanding and to let Him renew their hearts and minds (Proverbs 3:5-6; Romans 12:1-2)
         When People are Big and God is Small by Edward Welch
         Making Peace with Your Past by H. Norman Wright (might find used on
Faulty Belief System
What a person has been taught to believe about himself and life may affect the way problems are interpreted. What a person believes about God and His ability and willingness to help will affect his level of hope.
NEED: to refuse to believe lies and to take thoughts captive and to replace them with what is true (2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:4-9)
         Telling Yourself the Truth by William Backus & Marie Chapian
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In addition to the content in this section, the People Helping Ministry Manual helps you develop a starting point for preventing and preparing people for crisis.