Crisis Intervention

  • Elizabeth A. Burns


A crisis may be defined as a “functionally debilitating mental State resulting from the individual’s reaction to some event perceived to be so dangerous that it leaves him or her feeling helpless and unable to cope effectively by usual methods.”1 Family physicians would add “debilitating physical State,” for often the crisis we see involves somatic complaints with or without psychological distress signals. There are many situations, such as bereavement, pregnancy loss, or family violence, that will precipitate crises in our patients and their families. Often, the family physician is the person of first contact and is responsible for the initial crisis Intervention. Principles of crisis management have been developed to assist clinicians in their approach to the patient in crisis. The physician should become knowledgeable about typical reactions to precipitating events. He will need to explain the range of responses and provide anticipatory guidance. By attending to physical and emotional complaints, a physician can evaluate his patients and help them in their return to a fully functional, gratifying life.


Child Abuse Family Physician Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Family Violence Pregnancy Loss 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Burns

There are no affiliations available

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