- . Provide both an objective (from a source e.g. dictionary, textbook) and subjective definition (in your own words) for the following terms: "crisis" and "precipitating event." (minimum 50 words each, excluding the objective definitions)
C: an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person's life <a midlife crisis>
2: the decisive moment (as in a literary plot)
3 a: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome <a financial crisis> b: a situation that has reached a critical phase <the environmental crisis>”
A person in crisis is at a turning point, whether caused by some internal turmoil, or an external event is irrelevant. Behaviors of people in crisis can be wildly unpredictable and capricious. The crisis is the moment when some action is required, when a path must be struck, or a decision made.
Precipitating factor [-sip′itā′ting]: an element that causes or contributes to the occurrence of a disorder.
Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
The precipitating event or factor is the catalyst, the thing that has caused the crisis to occur. Real or imaginary it is the trigger and the crisis arises in response. The most obvious precipitating events are major life events, i.e.: the loss of loved ones or major disasters such as fires or car accidents, or natural disasters.
"Crisis." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Incorporated. Web. 11 Oct 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crisis>.
- 2. Describe at least three different categories of emergency situations and provide a clear example of each. Please ensure you include a source citation. (minimum 50 words each).
- a. Natural Disasters: Example-Flood. A common natural disaster. A flood is an abnormally large amount of water rising above safe levels in waterways. Flood conditions are generally the result of large storms and excessive rainfall, though broken dams can be a cause as well. Flashfloods can develop in mere minutes and cause mudslides or sinkholes.
b. Physical Assault/Battery: Can be mugging, a hate-based crime, or sexual to offer a few examples. Essentially when your person is threatened (Assault) or physically attacked (Battery). Another definition used in the United States and Scotland is any contact with another person without their consent. One does not to be physically harmed to be have suffered an assault. The mere act of making someone afraid for his or her person is considered assault.
Reference: Wikipedia Contributors. "Assault." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 14 Sep 2013. Web. 23 Oct 2013.
c. Poisoning: Example-drug overdose. Poisoning is caused by exposure to a poisonous substance either a single time or over a period of time. A poison must be bodily absorbed to produce symptoms. Poisoning can occur immediately upon absorbing the substance or over a long period of time during which the victim is continuously exposed or experiences repeated acute poisonings. In the case of a drug overdose, the he exposure would be one time and symptoms would manifest fairly quickly.
Reference: Wikipedia Contributors. “Poison.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 4 Oct 2013. Web. 23 Oct 2013
3. Describe at least five possible events or situations that may cause an individual to experience a crisis in his or her life. (minimum 100 words)
Loss of a Job: When one’s livelihood is threatened things can quickly deteriorate. For many people one’s sense of self is intricately bound up with one’s ability to provide for oneself and one’s family. When that is taken away, it is not uncommon to sink into depression or to lash out.
Loss of a Loved One: Losing someone close to us, whether expected or not, is painful. Losing a parent, spouse, or child in particular can leave a void that refuses to be filled. these losses affect us in unexpected ways.
Rape: My understanding of rape is from a female perspective. Male victims are not less affected, but I do not have a full understanding of their experience. Rape constitutes a complete lack of power and leaves a victim debased. The loss of control of one’s own physical being, the experience of being physically powerless shakes one to the very core of their being and can undo one’s entire sense of self.
Loss of a home: Losing one’s home leaves one with a sense of being defenseless. So much of human civilization is bound up with defining out boundaries and protecting yourself from the vicissitudes of nature. When one’s home is taken or lost, all of that is gone and one may experience a very primal, in-the-bones type of crisis.
Health Issues: When your own body begins to betray you, it is extremely stressful. A dear friend of mine just went through the travails of breast cancer and described it as having a time bomb in her chest. it is difficult to imagine the fear and stress that must be attendant in such a situation.
4. Discuss how an individual's ability to appropriately cope and/or problem solve may be affected by crisis and explain the process you would use to assist this individual. (100 words).
For many people, regardless of how grounded and rational they may normally be, a crisis could send them into a tailspin. Emotion supersedes reason. Panic eclipses rational problem solving. Many times I have seen people who can generally cope be reduced to frantic, reactionary messes by a crisis. How many times have you asked someone, “why did you do that?” and their response was “I just panicked”? This is the plot of most disaster movies: the powers that be decline to sufficiently inform the public of a looming threat because they fear the ensuing panic that would ensue if they did.
Humans have an intricately developed fight or flight response and crisis triggers an adrenaline rush that can overwhelm our higher faculties.
When facing a person in a crisis, it is important to find one’s own center and remain calm as much as possible. Using a low voice and slow speech present the options. Repeat as often as necessary until the person in crisis can hear you. Help them slow down, breathe, and act instead of react.
5. List and discuss at least five suicide-warning signs. Explain how you would respond if you were assisting an individual exhibiting one or more of these signs. (minimum 50 words each warning sign and minimum 100 words for response).
For an untrained professional, assessing whether or not a person is suicidal can be a risky game. Nevertheless, there are some warning signs and when several are exhibited, it is worth discussing them with the individual or encouraging them to talk to a professional. The risk should be considered extremely serious if these signs are new or increases in intensity.
Honestly, if I thought someone of my acquaintance were at risk of committing suicide I would immediately recommend contacting a suicide hotline or checking in to our local psychiatric ward. I would encourage them to share what they are thinking and feeling with me and would do my best to listen with compassion and without judgment. In the end, I am not a trained professional and I would encourage them to the best of my ability to get qualified help.
• Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself: A fairly clear warning sign. While certain types of individuals talk of suicide and it has a certain cache amongst select tweens and teens, it must not be discounted. When someone begins to talk of suicide, the thought process has already begun. And if paired with another warning sign, it must not be ignored. In most public school systems, a mere passing reference to suicide is cause for a psychological referral.
- • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs: this is one of those signs that should probably be considered in conjunction with others. For while increased use of controlled substances may be attributed to a number of developmental milestones, if it coincides with other suicide warning signs, it could indicate a serious problem.
- • Preoccupation with death: When coupled with other warning signs, or when suddenly manifesting, a preoccupation with death or dying should send off the alarms! One does not quickly develop such a fascination without some sort of catalyst It perhaps goes without saying that this excludes the generic gothic obsession with death motifs so rampant within paganism.
- • Suddenly happier, calmer: This sign is particularly distressing as it indicates that the decision has been made. A sudden improvement in mood has been anecdotally linked to numerous successful suicides. Once the decision to die is made, the reasons to kill oneself appear less insurmountable because one has found the exit.
- • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye: This serious sign as it indicates a decision has been made about ending one’s life. It is also fairly common among truly suicidal people. There is a need for closure or to perhaps explain. My Graduate School Psychology Professor said that this was among the more serious signs of a committed suicide in that they were “ready to go” as opposed to those who left notes or made no farewell gestures. I am not sure that modern thought agrees with him.
- 6. Choose four of the seven common misconceptions about suicide from the list below and discuss why each is a misconception. (minimum 50 words each)
- a. Anyone who tries to kill himself/herself must be crazy.
- b. If a person is determined to kill himself/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her.
- c. After a person has attempted suicide, it is unlikely he/she will try again: Until the underlying malaise or precipitating stressors have been faced and neutralized, the potential for suicide remains present. It is well accepted that suicidal people generally do not want to end their lives but rather want to end the pain they are experiencing. if the mental anguish can be healed, the suicidal thoughts may also dissipate.
- d. People who talk about suicide won't really do it: On the contrary, repeatedly talking about suicide is a warning side of potential suicidal behavior. While the talk may be emotional grandstanding or attention-seeking behavior, that is a foolhardy assumption to make. Talk of suicide stems from thoughts of suicide. And thoughts of suicide, while natural and in most cases harmful, can become problematic if they are recurring and have enough strength to enter the person’s regular discourse.
7. Discuss why an individual in crisis might seek an ADF clergy person for help and explain whether or not you feel this is an appropriate function for ADF clergy, why or why not? (minimum 200 words)
If we are to call ourselves “clergy” we must accept the baggage that comes along with that term. In churches of the dominant religious cultures, clergy people are set up as counselors. Church members are encouraged to a greater or lesser degree to go to their priest, rabbi, or imam for guidance and advice. In many churches it is common for lovers to attend regular marriage counseling with their pastor before they can be married. This is the culture in which we are operating.
Within the Pagan community there seems to be a sense that our beliefs may not be accepted or respected by mainstream counseling services. Therefore someone seeking help would naturally turn to the leaders of his or her Pagan community and, even more naturally, to a pagan clergyperson should one be nearby. The quest for help may or may not take on a spiritual nature. In my experience I have been asked for guidance not just on matters of religion, but on fairly secular issues as well.
I believe this may be an appropriate function for some members of our ADF clergy. However, as a blanket statement of the suitableness of Clergy to act as counselor, I do not think it is an appropriate role. Other than this course, our Clergy do not receive training in counseling and we are not qualified. As mentioned previously, certain individuals among our ranks do have the necessary training to competently fulfill that role. Most of us do not.
8. Discuss an example of a crisis situation to which you have responded (this may be a crisis you have personally experienced or an experience in which you tried to help someone else in crisis). Reflect upon your response to the crisis in your example, and explain what you found effective, as well as how you could have improved your response to this situation. (minimum 200 words)
Once upon a time earlier this year I was driving home from a Pagan festival. As I drove south on interstate 81 I looked forward to getting home, taking a shower, and getting a good night’s rest in a warm bed with real sheets. Then a tractor-trailer tried to run a little SUV off the road. The SUV flipped 3 times and landed on its roof.
Naturally traffic stopped. As the SUV was only blocking one lane and the truck pulled forward on to the shoulder, traffic soon resumed. One car stopped and the men jumped out to help. I also stopped just to see if I could help but fully anticipating not being needed and soon being on my way again. When the men who had gone to assist the inverted driver returned I asked if the driver was ok. They couldn’t tell me because he didn’t speak any English. I asked what he spoke and they said he was Mexican.
My Spanish is rusty, but I live Latin America for some time so I figured I could at least help. I approached the flipped vehicle and strapped inside was a young man (who didn’t look Mexican at all) still belted in softly crying. I asked, in Spanish, if he were hurt and if I could help. After helping him out of the vehicle I asked him what had happened and got the general idea of his side of the story. The truck driver came up, saw that he didn’t speak English and quickly told his side of the accident to all of us standing around.
When the rescue vehicles and police arrived, they had not one person among them who spoke any Spanish. It was clear that I had a responsibility to stay to help the poor Honduran (told you he wasn’t Mexican). I acted as a kind of translator for him with the police, the medics, and helped him understand where the tow truck was going. his car was destroyed, he was hurt, he was afraid, and the truck-driver was trying to take advantage of the language barrier.
What I found most effective was eye contact and patience. Also useful was asking lots of questions and keeping everyone talking. The more Henri talked the easier it was to understand him. The more the truck driver talked, the more confused his story got, and while the police clearly did not want to believe Henri, as the truckers story got confused, it became more and more clear that his driving had been the problem. I can’t say that I would drastically alter my response because I believe I was effective and helpful.
- 9. Discuss how the skills required of ADF clergy in ritual, especially those which involve mitigating chaos and generating order, might relate to those necessary for appropriately responding to an emergency situation (minimum 100 words).
Within the ritual space and time, the DiC creates a space in which it is appropriate and safe for the ritual work to occur. The DiC then endeavors to gain assistance from the spirits who can most appropriately aid in the work. the work is undertaken. Then the space is set to rights and the DiC attempts to offer a clear sense of closure. Would a crisis situation be much different? Watching a ritual go off the rails is much like watching a hurricane. In my own experience I have had to manage possessions within ritual, people attempting drunken seithr work and forgetting to close the ways to Hel (!!!), as well as estranged spouses who interpreted their omens as a divine go ahead to physically brawl. Quick thinking, an open psychic pathway to the Kindreds, and experience in people wrangling saw it all to a peaceful close.
The same centering I used in the above mentioned cases has helped me see my Grove members through floods, house fires, rape, and the discovery of a spouse sexually assaulting a step-child.
If you can herd a bunch of neophyte Druids, no, wait, if you can herd a bunch of Senior Priests including a drunken (or otherwise inspired) Ian & Isaac through a festival ritual, you can handle anything!
10. Compile and submit a list of mainstream resources providing crisis services available in your locality. Additionally, explore your locality for a hotline number to access emergency services and discuss the results of your search. (Please provide the following information for each resource listed a) name of resource b) contact information c) how to make a referral d) hours of operation e) specific service[s] provided by the resource). (no minimum word count)
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Disaster survivors, please contact us here:
Phone: (800) 621-FEMA (3362)
TTY: (800) 462-7585
American Red Cross
American Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region
4800 Mount Hope Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21215-3212
National Poison Control Center; 800-222-1222; open 24 hrs., no referral needed. Offers treatment advice in case of poison ingestion, offers guidance as to what may or may not be considered a poison.
Lynchburg General Hospital; 434-947-3000. Open 24 hours, local emergency room. Provides medical attention in case of emergencies. No referrals needed.
Crisis Line of Central Virginia: (434) 947-4357; Suicide hotline offering people having suicidal thoughts a place to call to speak with a volunteer. therapist. No referrals needed, anyone may call.
Sexual Assault Response Program. Lynchburg Office 1900 Tate Springs Road, Suite 8
Lynchburg, VA 24501 Office: 434-947-7422, 24 Hour Confidential Hotline: 888-947-7273. A program affiliated with the YWCA it is concerned with providing free crisis intervention, support, advocacy, and information to survivors of sexual assault and abuse in addition to family members and friends. SARP will pay for evidence collection and assist victims with deciphering the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF),. No referral needed.
As for a hotline to access emergency services, since the inception of the 911 program that serves as the hotline for nearly all emergency services. The 911 operators can quickly assess a situation and notify the appropriate response services whether it be medical assistance, fire department, or police.