Crisis Counseling – CEFS 604

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course provides students with foundational knowledge of the impact of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events on people as well as the principles of crisis intervention for people during crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events. The appropriate use of diagnosis during crisis, disaster, or other trauma causing events and the differentiation between diagnosis and developmentally appropriate reaction during crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events will be examined. Students will learn specific crisis intervention practices, including procedures for assessing and managing suicide risk, suicide prevention models, and the use of psychological first aid strategies. The counselors' roles and responsibilities as members of an interdisciplinary emergency management response team during a crisis, disaster or other trauma-causing event and the operation of emergency management systems will be studied.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The course of life seldom proceeds smoothly, with trauma and crises affecting nearly everyone. Without addressing the effects of these issues, quality of life suffers greatly and may deteriorate to a point where normal developmental and emotional progress is impeded or negatively altered. It is incumbent upon the counseling practitioner to develop a theoretical rationale and a course of action that will aid the client in regaining control of these aspects of his/her life.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student must post a 250–300-word thread demonstrating course-related knowledge in response to a prompt. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 125–150 words. Each thread must contain 2 scholarly references, and each reply must contain 1 scholarly reference. All references must have been published within the last 5 years and be cited in current APA format.

Suicide Intervention Plan Assignment

The student will be given a case study on a client who is actively suicidal. Using the texts and notes from this course, the student will be required to give a step-by-step intervention plan as well as a treatment plan that covers a 3-month action plan complete with appropriate goal setting and interventions. No title page or abstract is necessary.

Community Disaster and Referral Plan Assignment

The Community Disaster Plan Assignment is a practical assignment designed to familiarize the student with the scope, nature, and extent of crisis services available within his/her local community. The student will also familiarize himself/herself to the importance of being able to employ a community in action in time of a crisis, in order to help prevent situations, like what happened in New Orleans during Katrina, from happening. The student will refer to the Disaster Mental Health Guidebook found under the Resources section. In addition to identifying local referral agencies and the significance of working closely within the student's local community to establish a well-organized disaster plan, the mental health professional is held at high standards of proper self-care. After reading the Crisis Intervention: The Neurobiology of Crisis, the student will be required to develop a self-care treatment plan for himself/herself. This plan must take into account the five areas needed for a balanced life style. 

Note: Although there are three sections to this assignment, it is all one assignment and must be submitted as one document.

Crisis Intervention Plan Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is for the student, as the crisis interventionist, to learn an organized approach when working with individuals in crisis. In addition, the student will be asked to be able to critically evaluate news worthy information in his/her community or nation to determine what constitutes crises. This challenges the student to begin viewing the needs of individuals and communities through the lens of a crisis interventionist rather than an individual reading about tragic events. The student will become an individual reading about the possible needs of those around him/her, opening his/her therapeutic heart to reaching out to others in need. Being a crisis interventionist means being someone open to recognizing individuals and communities in crisis, recognizing the threats, being equipped and ready to intervene. Short of hands on experience, this is an effective way to learn intervention strategies. The student will take the information from his/her text, knowledge from his/her experience in the field, along with other course work and apply it to a real life circumstance that has been reported in the media.

Note: Although there are three sections to this assignment, it is all one assignment and must be submitted as one document.

Quizzes (2)

The student will complete 2 quizzes in this course. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice questions, and have a 1-hour-and-15-minute time limit.

Quiz: Dispositions Reflection

This Dispositions Reflection quiz will ask the student to rate himself/herself on the nine dispositions required for this program by our accrediting bodies using the following scale:

  • Exceeds expectations – I believe I do this exceptionally well.
  • Clearly meets expectations – I believe I am able to do this in an appropriate way as expected for graduate students at my current position in the program.
  • Adequately meets expectations – I believe I do this but could use improvement and growth in this dispositional area.
  • Does not meet expectations – I believe I do not do this well and could use improvement.

The student can review the Dispositions material located in the Learn sections of each Module: Week. We ask that the student answer these questions in an open and honest way. There are no “correct” answers for the rating questions quiz, simply answer them honestly, and the student will receive full credit.

The final question on the quiz is a self-reflection essay question, where the student will specifically identify the following:

  1. One dispositional area in which the student believes he/she need to improves
  2. One step the student will take to improve in the above-mentioned area