What Do the Experts Say?

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Part 1: Read

Consider the following case scenario:

Jeremy is a 23 year old male. He was recently fired from his job after testing positive for THC. For the past month he has been having marital problems and has been cheating on his wife. His wife has discovered his infidelity and today she has announced that she is leaving Jeremy. Jeremy’s parents are also frustrated with him. They are tired of his long-term THC use and have seen first-hand the problems that his THC usage have caused. Jeremy’s wife has asked him to leave, but his parents have declined to permit him live with them. Jeremy calls his wife and says that he’s, “ready to end it all.” The police arrive and transport Jeremy to the local crisis center. You are the Crisis worker assigned to help Jeremy.

Part 2: Reflect

For this part of the assignment, you will use your critical thinking skills and reflect upon the case scenario.

In a minimum of two-pages (not counting the title page and reference page) address the following:

Using a crisis model, describe how you will address Jeremy’s crisis.
Using credible sources, defend your recommendations.
What other models may be effective and why? Be specific. Give examples.

Theoretical Models
Ecosystems Model

This course has provided a number of theoretical models for the human services’ student’s consideration. One contemporary approach that has gained popularity in the human services field is the Ecosystems Model.

The Ecosystems model borrows elements of social systems theory and biological models to address primary, secondary and tertiary factors impacting a client’s life. An ecosystems-based worker would look not only at the client’s Microsystem e.g. family, peer group, neighborhood but would consider the interaction between each system and the larger society e.g. Mesosystems, Macrosystems, Exosystems etc. Furthermore, the worker would also consider societal systems and their effect on each other and how those systems ultimately affect the individual client.

For example, a worker might assist a child who is having behavioral problems at school. Using the Ecosystems model the worker might consider how the father’s current unemployment is the result of recent layoffs at a local automotive plant. The worker might further analyze how these layoffs affect specific neighborhoods and schools. The worker would also examine marital and financial factors impacting the troubled youth’s family.

Crisis Intervention

In contrast to the Ecosystems model, Crisis Intervention models focus on immediacy and stabilization. The crisis worker’s first task is to ensure the client’s safety and then explore precipitating events. Differing crisis models may approach stabilization from alternate directions, but the end goals are similar in that the client’s safety is paramount. The must worker must also understand that perception plays a key role in the evolution of a crisis– what is a crisis for one person is not necessarily perceived the same by another person.

The competent crisis worker must develop sound skills and employ them with confidence. Crisis intervention requires patience. The worker must pace him/herself through the assessment process, remain focused and become a calming agent for the client. In cases where the client is suicidal or homicidal, aggressive follow-up is crucial in protecting the client and protecting liability.

Contemporary Models

Ideally, having one model that addresses all situations and never requires evolution or further development would be a great boon to the human service profession. However, service delivery models do grow and evolve, and new models must be developed in order for the profession to maintain the high standards of best-practice.

Familiarizing oneself with contemporary models e.g. Mindfulness Therapy, EMDR, Narrative therapy etc. and understanding their appropriate use and application is essential to working in the human service profession.

Knowledgeable workers are successful workers.


Burger, W. (2013). Human services in contemporary America (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage.

Paquette, D., & Ryan, J. (2001). Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. Retrieved from http://www.floridahealth.gov/alternatesites/cms-kids/providers/early_steps/training/documents/bronfenbrenners_ecological.pdf

Roberts, A. R., & Ottens, A. J. (2005). The seven-stage crisis intervention model: A road map to goal attainment, problem solving, and crisis resolution. Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention, 5(4), 329. Retrieved from http://www.oxfordjournals.org/

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