This course introduces the student to the concept of crisis counseling.

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What you will learn?

Course Objectives
What does the course cover?

 ** please note that some of the notes in this course content are not found in the attached study guide so always ensure you read through information provided in each section and lesson area.** 

In this course, the student will be introduced to crisis counseling, understanding how to manage crisis incidents or situations in people seeking help from a biblical perspective. Students will know how to intervene in crises emergencies and provide assistance tailored to the individual (counselee's) predicament.

In this course, 
1. The student will gain a theological understanding of a crisis.
2. The student will gain a biblical understanding of suffering.
3. The student will understand the role of biblical crisis counselors in believers' lives.
4. The student will learn ways of helping those in crisis.
4. The student will gain an appreciation of the providence of God amid personal traumas.



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Defining Crisis

At certain stages in life, many individuals experience some type of crisis. It isn't easy to find someone who hasn't been through one kind of challenge or the other in life. It is inevitable considering we are living in a fallen world.

Defining the term "crisis."
A crisis is defined as a situation or event in which a person feels overwhelmed or has difficulty coping. A crisis is stated to be a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life. A crisis is a situation or a turning point in a person's life that severely destabilizes and interferes with their mental or physical health. The loss of a family member, loss of a job could result in significant financial challenges, and other problems. During such times, people experience a wide range of feelings, and each person's response to a crisis is different. It is normal to feel frightened, anxious, or depressed at such a time. Examples of extreme emergencies cases include domestic violence, rape, suicidal thoughts, threats to harm others, etc

In crisis counseling, the objecitve  is for the counselor to provide emotional support and assistance for the individual in crisis.  In a nutshell, crisis counseling focuses on minimizing the stress of the event, providing emotional support, and improving the person’s coping strategies.  We will spend more time touching on crisis counseling or crisis intervention counseling  as it is also called in later sections. 


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Components of Crisis Counseling
Breaking down Crisis Counseling

Crisis Counseling can be categorized into four components:

Assessing The Situation –  This step involves the counselor listening to the client, asking questions, and determining what the client needs for support.  This step is where the skills of active listening comes in. 

Educate/Information – Those dealing with a crisis often seek information about their current condition and steps they can take to navigate through the situation. A counselor will help address these concerns.

Offering Support – Support is key when it comes to counseling someone in crisis. They want to know you are there for them.  A counselor provides a safe space for receiving support, stabilization, and resources.

Develop Coping Skills – Along with providing support, a counselor will assist the client in developing coping skills/strategies  to help with the crisis at hand and any future events that may occur. 

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The Role of Crisis Counselors
Crisis Counselors

Before we look at the role of Christ-Centered or Biblical Crisis counselors, let us find out more about the general role of these professionals and what is required to become one.

A crisis counselor is a mental health professional who works with individuals that have experienced moderate-to-severe trauma. Crisis counselors can help their clients deal with a wide range of issues, death & loss of a loved one, divorce, financial loss and more.  

To become a crisis counselor, an individual has to have obtained a bachelor's degree in relevant areas such as psychology, counseling, human services, or behavioral science.  They can go on to earn a Masters degree clinical counseling, or social work.  In countries like the US, licensure and certifications are required to legally see clients or patients depending on where they work e.g hospitals. 

In some case, degree may not be required for those who desire to volunteer in crisis intervention as long they have a passion for helping others and willing to learn, because a licensed counselor or therapist will closely supervise them. However, a significant amount of training will be required. For example, the CRISIS TEXT LINE is an organization that provides free, 24/7 mental health support via text message. They recruit several volunteers to serve people needing help on their platform, and these volunteers undergo a rigorous multi-stage application process, background checks, and a 30-hour training program. Each commits to volunteering 4 hours a week until 200 hours are met and volunteers are closely supervised by Master's level counselors. 


 It is important to understand that to work as a crisis counselor, especially in Western nations, you must be a university graduate specializing in any of the fields mentioned in the previous paragraph. 


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The Role of Christ-Centered or Biblical Crisis Counselors
Biblical Counselors -Training Requirements

As a Biblical Crisis Counselor, your role is overly critical to your counselee's overall wellness. The counselor's job will be to support the counselee in a state of emotional turmoil or mental health crisis, or predicament. The Christ-Centered crisis counselor's objective is to guide them through the Holy Spirit's intervention to a stable place. The counselor becomes an advocate for the counselee, i.e., connecting them with social and
community services, including finding temporary shelter, a bible-believing church to connect with, locating loved ones, even helping with therapeutic benefits.


Obtaining Training in Crisis Counseling
To become a Biblical Crisis Counselor working within a ministry setting, an individual will undergo specialized training. A bachelor's degree in a field like psychology, social work, or counseling may be required to work as a crisis counselor in secular settings as mentioned in the previous section.

Specialized training may include recognizing how and when to call law enforcement or other first responders and how to develop a crisis response team in a church setting. The training will also cover how to establish boundaries, dealing with cultural differences, and the ethical practices all crisis counselors need to follow. You will often find Pastors, Biblical Counselors, and Professional Counselors counseling people in crisis. However, if you have a passion or believe you are gifted in ministering to those specifically in crisis situations,  It is highly recommended that you consider undergoing the appropriate training to appropriately equip yourself with the tools, skills, and strategies needed to help these individuals.

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Biblical Counselors - Eight Skills to Possess

In addition to specialized training and/or obtaining an undergraduate degree mentioned in previous lessons, there are essential skills and traits a biblical crisis counselor must possess:

1. The individual must be a born again Christian and active Disciple of Jesus Christ. 

2. The individual must be empathetic and compassionate - Empathy is the ability to understand and share in another person's emotions and feelings.

3. The individual must be respectful and understanding – Showing respect involves communicating to others that they are of value. This is crucial since people in crisis often have low self-worth.

4. The individual must possess good verbal and written skills.

5. The individual must apply scripture/biblical text to the conversation. The Bible is full of great examples and applicable events you can share. However, one must also stay focused on the individual's issue as they share scripture.

6. The individual must have excellent customer service skills. Your initial conversation and approach makes a lot of difference. It determines how the rest of the conversation and possible meetings will go.

7. The individual helps guide the counselee to the right resources. The crisis counselor should frequently refer the counselee to additional resources. Always keep in mind that there are relevant and helpful resources that can impact the counselee's life in addition to your counsel.

8. The individual must be a good listener - Good listening skills involve been intentional about hearing what the speaker (the counselee) is saying to you. You must listen to what they are saying and also what they are NOT saying through verbal and non-verbal body language.

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Crisis Intervention - Helping People in Crisis
Crisis Intervention Counseling- Definition

Now that you know the definition of crisis, the skills to possess, how do I now intercede
for my counselees in trouble? Let us find out:

First of all, What is Crisis Intervention?

Crisis intervention Counseling or Crisis Counseling  

According to the American Counseling Association, crisis counseling assists individuals with coping and support after a major crisis. Crisis counseling is brief and time-limited with specific goals for achieving stability, increasing an internal sense of empowerment and safety, and locating appropriate resources. Typically, this type of counseling can range from 15 minutes to 2 hours and is provided throughout 1-3 sessions. While it is not a substitute for long-term therapy or psychiatric care, crisis counseling can provide a safe outlet for immediate relief.

It is an immediate and short-term emergency response to mental, emotional, physical, and behavioral distress. Crisis interventions help to restore an individual's equilibrium to their biopsychosocial functioning and minimize the potential for long term distress.

Unlike psychotherapy, crisis counseling is very brief and usually lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The idea behind crisis counseling is to help people focus on the stressful situation, treat their immediate needs, and teach them coping skills to handle similar situations in the future. Crisis counselors do not replace long-term therapy options. Instead, they help their clients or counselees deal with the immediate
effects of a crisis.

What Types of Crises Occur in People's Lives That Requires Intervention?
Suicidal Ideations and attempts, physical abuse, rape, domestic violence, threats to harm others, and more are all types of crises that people encounter. As mentioned earlier in the study, situations like loss of a loved one, job loss, addictions, rape, financial difficulty, sickness, loss of home, and also global pandemic, e.g., COVID-19,
can all result in a certain level of crisis emergency in a person's life.

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How to Help!

How Can You Help Those Who Experience These Types of Sufferings/ Distress?
As a Christ-centered/Biblical Crisis Counselor, there are some ways that you can support individuals who are facing one crisis or the other in their lives. Let us take a look at a few of them.

Read pages 4-5 to view how to help individuals struggling with the situations/events listed in previous lesson. 

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Crisis in Scripture
Periods of Crises in The Lives of God's People

See below of examples of Scripture showing periods of crises in the lives of God's people.

1. Job – We all know the story of Job – He is probably one of the best examples of a person who faced a severe crisis in his life. He lost his health, children, properties, and everything he practically owned. He experienced tremendous physical and mental suffering. See the whole book of Job and James 5:10-11.

2. Samson – This influential and physically strong servant of God experienced great despair at the end of his life due to his wrong choices. He was still used mightily by God in the end. See the book of Judges Chapters 13 through 16.

3. The Children of Israel – The people of Israel faced numerous significant challenges while they were in Egypt and eventually while on their way to the promised land. They faced captivity more than once and multiple tribulations and some of their own doing. See the book of Exodus 2:23, 6:5-6, Joshua 24:17, Psalm 106:39-43.

4. Apostle Paul – The Apostle Paul was another servant of God who experiences much suffering in His life due to the Kingdom's work. See 2 Corinthians 11:21-33, Acts 21 through Acts 28.

5. Jesus Christ – Finally, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who knew what turmoil, sufferings, and pains felt like. He experienced a crisis in His life from the moment in Garden of Gethsemane until his final moments on the Cross of Calvary. During the night at the Mount of Olives, Jesus talks to his Father in great anguish to finally break out of his crisis in his decision to trust: He states "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:39.

The thing about Jesus's crisis is that, unlike others, it led to a new life, a new beginning for all humankind who believed in Him. All those who believed and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior became new creatures and were automatically inducted into the eternal household of God.

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Final Thoughts

Christ-Centered/Biblical Crisis Counseling and Intervention is essential for believers who are struggling with life's issues and drowning in them. The crisis counselor must be able to come alongside them lovingly and compassionately to help deliver them from the oppression of the enemy of their souls, satan. The enemy's only job is to steal, kill, and destroy. John 10:10. He is ready to destroy believers physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

We cannot allow that because God has a great plan for us. As a counselor, you must never forget that the Holy Spirit is the one who empowers and guide you in your relationship with each counselee. You can't do anything with your strength and power. You may have all the education, training, experience, but without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, all is in vain.

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Final Exam
Final Exam - Introduction to Crisis Counseling & Intervention– CC 100

Please note that only students of the Diploma in Biblical Counseling & Crisis Care Program are permitted to take the final exam for this course.  It is NOT required for individuals who are enrolling in this course for their own personal enrichment.

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Final Exam Questionnaire

Download  exam form and submit your answers via school page link below:

or via email at 

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About the course

Introduction to Crisis Counseling & Intervention - CC 100

This course introduces the student to the concept of crisis counseling, how to utilize effective interventions within the context of scripture and our Christian faith to minister to those struggling either in your church, small groups or within the community at large. 


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About the teacher

Margaret O.

Course(s) Taught: Biblical Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling, Life Coaching, Christian...

 Dr Margaret is the president & founder of Sword of The Spirit Bible Institute. She possesses a Masters of Arts in Christian Studies and a Doctorate in Biblical Studies from Masters University of Divinity, Indiana. In addition,  Dr. Margaret has obtained professional certifications in healthcare and advanced ministry training in Biblical Counseling, Coaching, Christian Ethics, Marriage & Family Counseling, Addiction & Recovery Counseling, Benefits of Godly Wisdom, Practicing Self Care, Systematic Theology, Biblical Mentoring from several Christ-Centered training programs and organizations to include the American Association of Christian Counselors, and the International Institute of Faith Based Counseling. 


Sword of The Spirit Bible Institute

A Biblically Centered Training Program
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