Family Functioning is Comprised During a Crisis
A families ability to adapt and adjust to new circumstances and factor new information into effective decision-making is dependent upon the members’:
- Ability to maintain a degree of stability and predictability
- Experienced empowerment
- Access to various support systems with each other and with those outside of the family
- Perceived level of safety
Differentiating Stress from Crisis
Stress and crisis are often mistaken as synonymous with each other (Kagan & Schlosberg, 1989; Kazak, 2003). Recognizing the differences can enable the family and the therapist to prioritize the management of each.
- …a change in the family’s steady state
- …present in all families in varying degrees
A crisis is…
- …a disturbance in the equilibrium that is so overwhelming, or
- …pressure that is so severe, or
- …change that is so acute that the family system is blocked, immobilized, and incapacitated.
When a family is in a crisis state, it ceases to function adequately. Personal and family boundaries tend to be compromised, roles addressing specific tasks no longer provide the expected results, and family members psychologically or physiologically function at sub-optimal levels.