Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

The ABC Model of Crises Intervention

A: Basic Attending Skills

  • Introduce yourself and your role in a respectful, friendly, and CALM manner
  • Use ice breakers to relieve tension
  • Extend your hand, if possible in a handshake

B: Identifying the Problem and Therapeutic Interaction

  • Identify the precipitating event
  • Explore meanings, cognitions, and perceptions
  • Identify subjective distress (emotional distress)
  • Identify impairments in functioning in the following areas:
    1. Behavioural
    2. Social
    3. Academic
    4. Occupational

Identify pre-crisis level of functioning in 1-4 above. If not already employed as above, ensure that current assessment is compared with a person’s normal functioning.

  • Identify any ethical concerns:
    1. Suicide/homicide assessment
    2. Organic or other medical concerns
  • Identify substance use/abuse issues.
  • Use therapeutic interactions:
    1. Educational comments
    2. Empowerment statements
    3. Support statements
    4. Positive reframes

C. Coping:

  • Identify clients’ current coping attempts
  • Encourage client to think of other creative coping strategies
    1. Present alternative coping idea/develop a plan
    2. Refer to a medical doctor or psychiatrist
    3. Refer to a lawyer
    4. Refer to a shelter or other community agency
    5. Recommend books
    6. Obtain commitment; do follow up

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