Crisis Intervention in Schools Term Paper

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Crisis Intervention in Schools

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In the United States setting up of secured educational institutions is presently considered to be a matter of great concern. The issue of security has become so crucial that it has been strived to be achieved even at the cost of gaining knowledge. The knowledge is attainable only when the educational institutions are considered as secured. Varied tragedies are anticipated everyday in the educational institutions that influence the students adversely. The interference against such tragedies is considered as the first treatment of the psychological development of children. Natural calamities, hostility, bereavement, abuse of armaments, mishaps, threats for committing suicides are considered to be disasters that interfere in schooling process. Attending school by a student or teacher having grief over the sad demise of one's own relation or even of one's pet is common in the school working days. It is found to be great trouble to cope with the daily schedule under such traumatic conditions. Such instances necessitate immediate treatment.1


Etymologically the meaning of crisis is traced to two Chinese words-'wei' referring to a disastrous condition and another 'ji' meaning chance of alteration. These two words in conjunction take the word 'crisis' to indicate a disastrous condition that is capable of being changed. 2 According to Caplan 'crisis' is used to describe the danger to the stable state of mind. At the occurrence of crisis, a disequilibrium state arises giving rise to confusion and inefficiency this state of affairs lasting for four to six weeks. 3 Theories on crisis has been propounded by analyzing the crisis in grief and have been inherited from the branch of psychoanalytic theory and ego psychology laying emphasis on the capability of the man to grow with learning. Handling of crisis involves three elements. They are observation of crisis as the result of an uncontrollable circumstance, identification of the involved students or groups in the crisis, and finally the intervener providing assistance to the victims. The prerequisite of the crisis management or intervention is assistance to the victimized students in order to enable them adjust to the circumstances prior to occurrence of any physical or mental damage. The situation of non-flexibility on the part of the students to adjust to the critical situation may result in occurrence of another crisis. 4

It has been observed that a traumatic incident cannot be said to comprise a crisis, instead the magnitude of the crisis depends upon the reaction and vision of the student to it. Crisis is seen as a result of the student's psychological imbalance occurring when the victimized student views it as considerably frightening and finds himself with no capacity to adjust to the situation without having any other way out. The incident or crisis is classified as eventual or circumstantial. Eventual crisis is viewed as inevitable with the foreseeable transformation of usual biological growth, like entry into the stage of adolescence. The circumstantial crisis is viewed as expected follow up of an incident like divorce or accidental occurrence, or as a result of unforeseeable incidents like sudden demise or natural calamity etc. Whatever may be the cause, a significant alteration in the conditions prevailing are perceived along with loss of something creating critical psychological imbalance in response. 5

The state of anxiousness, vulnerability, horror, insufficiency, protest and incompetence give rise to mental imbalance. At such circumstances the victim is noticed to be amenable to the external help, and thereby allowing a chance for behavioral modifications and being back to normalization. Indications and implications other then mental imbalance may also create additional trouble to the victims encountering crisis. Body indications like rapid alterations in health conditions, vitality and activeness, eating and sleeping habits are anticipated to create further troubles. Enhanced anxiety, exhaustion, modified dispositions like outrageousness, depression are emotional indications of crisis-victimized students. Absentmindedness, lack of capability to contemplate, social exclusion is some of the behavioral indication of the students under crisis. The character and magnitude of emotional response differ from student to student. The response of the children to the crisis depends upon their prior familiarity, their nature and behavior, and closeness of the incident to their own existence. However some generalization reactions of the staff and students to the interventions by the crisis are observed. 6 To sum up the crisis can be viewed as the pessimistic reaction of the student to the circumstances.

A sudden demise of an admired student or teaching staff in an accident or any other disaster calls forth interference of the instructors with positive attitudes. However, their inefficient management of the crisis results in behavioral disequilibrium with enduring impression of the incident in their minds. The initial one to two days of the occurrence of the distressing event is known as the shock phase. At this moment the entire school society is awfully delicate and susceptible and any attempt for solution is futile. Security becomes the significant concern. It is seen that the weak crisis management capability in the school puts restraint or lingers the process of coming back to normalcy. Regrettably, the organizational flaws often stand on the way of exercising appropriate crisis management methods. 7

Handling the general flaw efforts on the part of the top-notch of the school strives to bring a progress in the methods of tackling the awful conditions by themselves and the staff. There are established guidelines containing tenuous and complex instructions and procedures of crisis management or intervention. The crisis intervention necessitates extremely urgent action with out adherence to detailed administrative procedures. In case the crisis is the result of the incident influencing a mass of students or teaching member of the school the students necessitate immediate emotional assistance. Students at High School levels can congregate themselves in a common place such as guidance suits, administrative halls or in front of the entrance. At the moment of such indiscipline, any effort with regard to crisis management is complex. A pragmatic remedy to this is prior constitution of guidance centers. 8

Efforts are to be made for assistance of the victimized student and staff in classrooms, libraries, conference rooms and administrative offices in the school campus. At times when it is felt that the crisis management necessitates group intervention, the assistance can be offered in classrooms, faculty meetings and assemblies. The space of the earmarked room for the purpose is to be taken into consideration in order to accommodate different size of groups such as offices, accommodating one to five students and the conference room that can accommodate six to twelve students. The flaws in such pre-arrangements results in failure of the crisis management efforts. Communication of the incident to the entire school community is essential in the event of a critical situation. Unsuccessful communication of the incident in a sympathetic manner to the school community results in further crisis. 9

The school administration is viewed as insensible and unresponsive. This makes the students violent and deserves to be tackled in consultation meetings. As a result of this much energy is being wasted in pacifying violence than actually managing the crisis. It is not necessary that the school authorities are required to keep the incidents secret from public so long as a normalcy is not established. Simultaneously, the dissemination of the information available with regard to the crisis honestly is considered fruitful. Significance of this is viewed at an event concerning wide coverage of the school community and that has already attracted the attention of press. Postponement of honest articulation of the situations give rise to injurious suppositions and false rumors about the crisis. Students at High School level normally try to come out of the campus in an event of crisis to handle and would try to solve the situation utilizing their own means. This gives rise to two universal problems. Going out of the campus denies them of the most fundamental means of the emotional support to the crisis that is made available to them inside the school campus in the form of trained personnel for the purpose. 10

Secondly, premature departure from school campus puts themselves at the risk of harmful practices such as drub abuse, alcoholism etc. In response to adjusting to the disastrous event. A deliberation on crisis management or inetvention within the school campus among the counselors at the beginning of the crisis bears fruit while delivering the real services. In such meetings plans are to be chalked out, along with an estimation of the effects of crisis and formulation of contingency plans and deliberation on various important angles of crisis should take place. It is also worthwhile to have a review of the situation at the end of the daily routine. Psychological concerns, disappointments, critical situations of the personnel involved in crisis management should be taken into consideration during the discussions and evaluations of the procedures adopted in mitigation of the crisis are to be made. 11

The Journal of the American Medical Association, has reported a research study in contradiction to the general speculations, about a decreasing…[continue]

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