Before a counselor can effectively apply and assess the crisis theories and techniques to crisis situations he/she must possess the under listed qualities:
Many times, a client may stir up painful memories from your own past. Effective crisis counselors are aware of their own triggers and have spent time in counseling or other self-awareness programs to process personal experiences. A good crisis counselor can empathize with clients without becoming personally involved or emotional when subjects that have personal meaning come up.
In the role of counselor, you will see clients who may have committed crimes or participated in lifestyles that you don’t approve of. Clients can gauge when you’re being judgmental and may shut down, leaving you helpless to offer assistance. Ideally, a good crisis counselor is willing to listen without casting judgment on those in crisis. As a nonjudgmental counselor, you can offer a more empathetic ear and support your clients in a safe environment.
Clients coming to see you are in a highly emotional state, and you have to be able to remain calm through the chaos. An effective crisis counselor doesn’t react to clients’ outbursts or threats. When you witness strong emotions, you need to be able to be completely supportive without getting involved, or you risk furthering the unstable atmosphere and causing the client to refuse to reveal any more information to you.
You need to have a high tolerance for chaos and dramatic situations because you inevitably will encounter them on a regular basis, perhaps even daily if you work in a busy crisis counseling center or answer phones for a suicide hotline. You’ll constantly be placed in tense, stressful situations, but you can’t allow the stress to build up in your own life or you won’t last long in the field.
While you may have briefly covered how to handle crises in your coursework to become a nurse, social worker or therapist, specific training in crisis counseling will prepare you react quickly during crisis intervention. That may include knowing how and when to call in police or medical first responders. In crisis counseling training, you’ll also learn how to deal with different cultural issues that may arise, how to develop boundaries and what ethical practices you need to follow. Organizations such as the Institute of counseling in Nigeria provides professional counseling training for all categories of people to be advocates for crisis management.