I remember a mentor of mine used to always tell me, “Brendan, the only thing you need to worry about is making sure that your side of the street is clean.” (try our cpi certificate or our crisis intervention training) I never forgot that, because it was critical to always ensure that what I did was “clean”. It didn’t matter what you did or said to me. It didn’t matter how you chose to treat me. None of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was my side of the street. All of us need reminders as to why we should keep focused on doing the next right thing. Why we work as hard as we do. Why we should stay focused on the goal, get through the situation, and take the next right step.
Unfortunately, for people who go into crisis, the world has become dark. It has become a scary, desolate, and lonely place where they don’t see any way out. They can’t even imagine where they might have been successful, or how they could even become successful down the road. They can’t envision it for themselves. They can’t see things changing for the positive. When dealing with somebody in crisis, you may have to walk them through to the solution they just can’t see. Help them create and define a mental picture of the solution first. Then help them define the next 1, 2, or 3 steps they can take that will lead them to achieving that goal. Have the goal in mind, focus on it, and help them take steps to get there.
It’s your job, as a responder, to remind them what’s in store for them by making the right choices. It’s your job to point out what they may get out of doing the right thing, by behaving the way they’re supposed to, by studying for what they want, or by just taking the “next right step”. During that moment of crisis, you may be the only person who is able to see for them beyond the fog they’re currently standing in.