Dealing with a Shattered Life

There are many times a person may seek counseling. In most some instances, counseling becomes an urgent need. During life crises, when severe change threatens your ability to function, counseling can become a vital life-line to carry you through to more peaceful times.

Types of Crisis Counseling

  • When only grief counseling will do.
  • Rape counseling: the safe haven of healing.
  • Post-catastrophe counseling: dealing with the aftermath.

An Overview of Crisis Counseling

Where addiction counseling addresses issues of chemical and psychological addictions, and personal growth counseling deals with future aims and goals, crisis counseling is centered on catastrophic events that can shatter the comfortable norms of life. Death, sudden or otherwise, injury, job-loss, severe illness, rape, assault, natural catastrophe, and war: all these can be crisis points in a person’s life.

These events, often sudden and always stressful, can reduce your ability to cope, and can even trap you in a pattern that won’t allow healing to occur without help. You will be dealing with intense feelings, methods for coping with those feelings, and examination of your own reactions and those around you.

Grief Crisis Counseling

Most people associate grief counseling with the loss of a loved one. This is the most common time for people to seek grief counseling, but the process is suitable for many other times of crisis as well. Life offers us many things to grieve over: age, illness, injury, loss. Grounds for needing grief counseling can be as diverse as post-amputation counseling, counseling for job loss, or for the sense of grief many feel when their children become adults and leave home, altering life in so many profound ways. Grief counseling centers on ensuring a process of grieving that allows a patient to fully honor a loss, yet still move on to live a full life beyond the loss.

Rape Counseling

This highly specialized form of counseling includes the emergency counseling in the immediate aftermath of rape, and the longer, more complex counseling in the months following, as a victim tries to regain a sense of security and worth. Immediate attention and long-arc counseling are appropriate, and may often be provided by more than one counselor.

In many instances, emergency rape counseling is offered by first-response teams: police, ER attendants, doctors, nurses, rape-crisis call respondents. These counselors are trained to help a victim cope with the immediate pain and shock. A long-arc counselor is trained to support a victim through the aftermath. The long-arc counselor can deal more intensely with grief, anger, misplaced guilt, fear, sexual anxiety, and more.

Post Catastrophe Counseling

There are so many catastrophic events that can tear though human life. Counselors trained in post-catastrophic work deal with the victims of natural disasters, wars, auto accidents, terrorism, workplace or school violence, and more. This form of counseling focuses on regaining a sense of stability. Post-traumatic stress syndrome is a common concern, as is survivor guilt, hyper-vigilance, and chronic anxiety.

For many people, post-catastrophe counseling involves a brief, intense period of counseling followed by a far more limited follow-up. For some, the process can take much longer, depending on the particular injuries trauma has done. Predicting who may need longer therapy and why is seldom possible.

Finding Crisis Counseling

Whether you or someone you care for needs crisis counseling, finding the right form at the right time can be challenging. It’s particularly hard to focus on finding good immediate counseling in the aftermath of a major crisis. Often, first-response workers are already multi-tasking, or are overextended on site, with too few workers and too many people in need.

Make use of crisis call centers and hotlines, and be prepared to request help through the ministerial counselors often working in tandem with first-in services. Even if you are uncomfortable with a religious counselor, in many cases they are the only counselors available not actively bandaging wounds or putting out fires. Those permitted to work with public services can be non-judgmental, and determined to find you the best help available.

Finding a Long-Term Crisis Counselor

There are many different sources of referrals for crisis counseling. Police and hospitals often are able to refer victims of catastrophe, as are many governmental services. Referral services can provide leads to capable crisis counselors, as can many insurance companies, medical clinics, and personal doctors. Remember that in cases of crisis counseling, finding support quickly can make a difference in the success of the outcome: call soon, and don’t delay therapy.

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