Conflict Resolution Video Blog

Conflict resolution is key is every aspect of human interaction.  Since human beings are social beings there is bound to be communication and needs that lead to conflict.  How one manages one’s emotions is key to conflict resolution.  Whether as a regular person, officer, diplomat, or politician, it is essential to know how to de-escalate, control emotion, and resolve conflict.  Anger Management and Crisis Intervention are key ingredients to managing conflict.

Conflict resolution is can prevent situations from catching on fire. Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Program


Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Program as well as AIHCP’s Anger Management Specialist Program and see if they match your academic and professional goals. The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.



Please review the video below

What is Dissociation?

Exploring the Mind: Understanding the Phenomenon of Dissociation

Dissociation is a complex psychological phenomenon that involves a disconnection from reality, often as a coping mechanism for overwhelming stress or trauma. This article explores the various aspects of dissociation, including its impact on the mind-body connection, spiritual awakening, and healing. By delving into the spiritual aspect of dissociation and its linkages to personal growth, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of this intriguing phenomenon.
Key Takeaways
Dissociation is a mental response to triggers of past trauma. It reacts as a self defense mechanism but can be dangerous and cause injury if in public.


  • Dissociation is a coping mechanism for overwhelming stress or trauma, leading to disconnection from reality.
  • Dissociation can act as a catalyst for spiritual awakening, prompting individuals to question their reality and seek answers beyond the physical world.
  • Dissociation can create an opportunity for individuals to release past traumas and access a deeper sense of self.
  • There is a complex and intricate link between dissociation and spiritual insights, leading to personal growth and transformation.

Understanding Dissociation

What Is Dissociation?

Dissociation is a psychological coping mechanism that activates when an individual is faced with overwhelming stress or trauma. It represents a disconnection from reality, often resulting in disruptions to memory, emotions, and identity.

Common symptoms of dissociation include:

  • Feeling as though one is in a trance or daydream
  • Memory loss or difficulty with recall
  • A sense of detachment from oneself or the environment
  • Emotional numbness or being overwhelmed
  • Loss of control over emotions
  • Sensory disconnection, such as impaired touch or vision

Dissociation serves as a protective barrier, allowing individuals to distance themselves from distressing experiences. While it can be a temporary refuge, persistent dissociative states may require professional intervention to address underlying issues and restore a sense of reality.

Grounding Oneself

One who experiences dissociation may sometimes try to calm oneself due to the manifested trigger.  There are multiple ways one can seek grounding techniques to keep oneself from dissociating from reality.  Part of grounding can include touching something in the present moment, such as the soft side of a chair, or rubbing one’s feet against the carpet.   This type of physical grounding is only one strategy, others also include mental grounding where one utilizes mentally stimulating thoughts such as counting, recalling memories, or other visual affects.  Emotional grounding can also be employed with breathing exercises.

It is important to try to ground oneself when dissociation occurs. While it can help one deal with triggers, it can be very dangerous if in an active area. One could fall or hurt, or cause an accident.


It is sometimes extremely important to be able to ground oneself because sometimes if one dissociates, one can harm oneself or others due to lack of attention to driving, or moving around in public.  This can lead to accidents, falling, or injuring oneself.

If experiencing these types of issues, contact a mental health professional.

Manifestation of Dissociation

Dissociation is a complex phenomenon that presents itself in various forms, often as a psychological defense mechanism in response to trauma. Symptoms can range from mild detachment to severe disconnection from reality, impacting an individual’s daily functioning and sense of self.

  • Feeling as though one is in a trance or daydream
  • Experiencing memory loss or difficulty with recall
  • Sensing a detachment from oneself or surroundings
  • Encountering overwhelming emotions or emotional numbness
  • Challenges in controlling emotions
  • Disconnection from sensory experiences, such as touch or sight

Dissociation serves as a coping strategy, allowing individuals to distance themselves from extreme stress or traumatic events. This disconnection can be both protective and disruptive, altering one’s perception of reality and interaction with the world.

While the manifestations of dissociation are diverse, they often signal an underlying need for healing and support. Recognizing these signs is the first step towards understanding and addressing the root causes of dissociative experiences.

In addition, the manifestation of this state can lead to isolation, addictions and other ways to help cope with it.  It is important to recognize it and seek counseling and help to prevent it from possibly harming oneself.

Types of Dissociative States

Dissociative states are complex phenomena that can be categorized into three primary types: depersonalization, derealization, and dissociative amnesia. Depersonalization involves a sense of detachment from oneself, often described as feeling like an outside observer of one’s own body or thoughts. Derealization is characterized by a feeling of unreality or detachment from the environment, making the world seem foggy or dreamlike. Lastly, dissociative amnesia pertains to gaps in memory for personal information, sometimes specific to traumatic events.

  • Depersonalization: Detachment from self
  • Derealization: Detachment from environment
  • Dissociative Amnesia: Memory gaps

Each type of dissociative state represents a unique way in which the mind copes with stress or trauma. While they can be unsettling, understanding these states is crucial for effective treatment and personal growth.

It’s important to recognize that these states can occur independently or concurrently, and their manifestation can vary greatly among individuals. The experience of dissociation can be transient or part of a more chronic condition, such as dissociative identity disorder. Identifying the type of dissociative state is a critical step in addressing the underlying issues and moving towards healing.

Dissociative states can include according to the DSM-5 various levels of severity.  It can include an amnesia state that is simple to complex, a de-attachment state from self or environment or multiple personalities in its most severe form.

Dissociation and the Mind-Body Connection

Impact on Consciousness

Dissociation profoundly affects the landscape of consciousness, often leading to a disruption in the normal integration of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The alteration in consciousness can range from mild detachment to a more severe disconnection from reality.

  • The default mode network, often associated with self-referential thoughts, is impacted during dissociative states.
  • Studies using fMRI have shown changes in the prefrontal parietal network, which is crucial for attention and working memory.
  • Consciousness supporting networks, including the anterior and posterior cortex, exhibit distinct patterns during dissociative episodes.

Dissociation challenges our understanding of consciousness, revealing the intricate workings of the mind and the delicate balance that sustains our sense of self and reality.

The neural correlates of consciousness, such as the default mode network and the prefrontal parietal network, are key areas of study to unravel the mysteries of dissociation. By examining the changes in these networks, researchers can gain insights into the mechanisms that underlie altered states of consciousness.

Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual awakening is often described as a profound shift in consciousness, where one experiences a deep connection with the essence of being and a recognition of a more expansive reality. It is a transformative journey that can lead to a profound understanding of oneself and the universe.

  • A shift in one’s perspective on life
  • Detachment from material possessions and ego
  • Increased compassion and empathy towards others
  • A feeling of oneness with the universe
  • A deepened sense of intuition and spiritual connection

While the path to spiritual awakening can be enlightening, it may also bring about challenges such as feelings of alienation or difficulty integrating experiences into everyday life. Nonetheless, the journey is often seen as a pivotal moment in personal growth and self-discovery.

The process of awakening can be spontaneous or induced by practices like meditation. It is marked by a series of internal changes:

  1. A reevaluation of personal values and beliefs
  2. An enhanced awareness of life’s interconnectedness
  3. A pursuit of deeper meaning and purpose beyond the self

The concept of dissociation, often perceived as a detachment from reality, can paradoxically serve as a bridge to personal growth. Dissociation provides a unique space for reflection and self-exploration, allowing individuals to step back from the immediacy of their experiences and view their lives from a new perspective. This detachment can lead to a deeper understanding of one’s self and the challenges faced, fostering a sense of competence and efficacy.

In the realm of personal development, dissociation can be a catalyst for change, offering an opportunity to reassess one’s goals and values without the interference of external pressures.

The process of personal growth through dissociation can be outlined in the following steps:

  • Recognizing the occurrence of dissociative states.
  • Understanding the triggers and underlying emotions.
  • Utilizing the reflective space provided by dissociation to gain insights.
  • Integrating these insights into daily life to foster resilience and adaptability.

This transformative journey can lead to an increase in intrinsic motivation, self-directed learning, and ultimately, a more profound sense of self-realization.

Healing and Transformation

Releasing Past Traumas

Dissociation can awaken us to deeper issues that are not healed. Please also review AIHCP’s Mental Health Certifications for qualified professionals


Dissociation offers a unique pathway for individuals to confront and release past traumas, paving the way to rediscover a more authentic self. This process often involves delving into the unconscious mind, where unresolved emotions and memories reside. By accessing these hidden parts of the psyche, one can begin the journey of healing and transformation.

Dissociation can serve as a bridge to personal growth, allowing for a re-examination of beliefs and identity. It is in this introspective space that many find the strength to let go of the pain that has held them back.

To facilitate this healing, certain practices can be adopted:

  • Breathwork: Engage in breathing exercises to help regulate emotions and achieve a sense of calm.
  • Creative expression: Utilize art, music, or writing as outlets for emotional release and self-discovery.
  • Mindfulness: Practice being present in the moment to reconnect with oneself and the environment.

While the journey through dissociation can be disorienting, it ultimately can lead to a profound spiritual awakening and a renewed search for meaning and purpose in life.

Accessing Deeper Self

In the journey of healing and transformation, dissociation can serve as a gateway to accessing deeper levels of the self. This process often involves delving into the unconscious mind, where dormant emotions and memories reside. By confronting and releasing these suppressed elements, individuals may experience a profound shift in their sense of identity and consciousness.

  • Exploration of beliefs and identity questioning
  • Release of past traumas
  • Unlocking of unconscious pathways
  • Potential for spiritual awakening

The act of accessing one’s deeper self is not just about self-discovery; it’s about reconstructing the very fabric of one’s being from the inside out.

As individuals navigate through this transformative phase, they may find themselves on the precipice of a spiritual awakening. The sense of emptiness that once pervaded their existence begins to fill with a newfound purpose and connection to something greater. This spiritual dimension adds a rich layer to the healing process, offering a sense of wholeness that transcends the individual experience.


While coping involves grounding exercises, the best way to overcome and limit the dissociation is facing the trauma and understanding the triggers.  Treatments include medications such as anti-psychotics, anxiety reducing medications, anti depressants and sleep aids.  Counseling can also help. Individuals can go through cognitive behavioral therapy to better understand and react to the issue when it occurs.  One can also better learn to manage emotional reactions to triggers.  EDMR can also help de-sensitive individuals to the triggers by discussing and visualizing them in a safe place with a trained mental health professional.


In conclusion, the phenomenon of dissociation is a complex and multifaceted coping mechanism that the brain initiates in response to overwhelming stress or trauma. It manifests in various forms, affecting memory, emotions, and identity. The three types of dissociative states, depersonalization, derealization, and dissociative amnesia, present unique challenges for individuals experiencing dissociation. Additionally, dissociation may trigger spiritual awakening, leading individuals to question their reality and seek answers beyond the physical world. This exploration of dissociation and its potential connection to spiritual awakening provides valuable insights into the intricate workings of the human mind and the profound impact of coping mechanisms on personal growth and transformation. It is also important to understand ways to cope with it but also treat it to prevent serious injury or further pathological onset.  While it can help us identify past trauma, it must also be identified and worked on to prevent further issues.

Please also review AIHCP’s Mental Health Certifications for qualified professionals.


Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling, Crisis Intervention and other mental health certification programs.  Licensed professional counselors or human service professionals can enhance their professional expertise with AIHCP’s certifications.  The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dissociation and how does it manifest?

Dissociation refers to a coping mechanism that the brain initiates when dealing with overwhelming stress or anxiety, leading to disconnection from reality. It can manifest in various forms, such as problems with memory, emotions, and identity.

What are the types of dissociative states?

There are three types of dissociative states, including depersonalization, derealization, and dissociative amnesia. Depersonalization: A person feels disconnected from themselves, as if they are watching themselves from a distance.

How does dissociation impact consciousness?

Dissociation causes a split between an individual’s mind and body. In a dissociative episode, an individual might feel like they are watching themselves from a distance, leading to a sense of detachment from their surroundings.

Is dissociation linked to spiritual awakening?

Yes, dissociation can act as a catalyst for spiritual awakening, prompting individuals to question their reality and seek answers that extend beyond the physical world.

How can dissociation lead to personal growth?

Dissociation can create an opportunity for individuals to explore their beliefs and question their identity. This self-reflection can lead to a spiritual awakening as the individual begins to search for meaning and purpose.

What is the relationship between dissociation and reality?

Dissociation is often a response to traumatic experiences, leading individuals to disconnect from reality as a coping mechanism. It can be characterized by feelings of being detached or disoriented and can lead to conditions like dissociative identity disorder.

How can spiritual insights help heal trauma-induced dissociation?

Spiritual insights can broaden one’s consciousness and deepen one’s understanding of life’s interconnectedness, potentially aiding in the healing of trauma-induced dissociation.

What are ways to practice spiritual growth while dissociating?

Embracing spiritual awakening, seeking meaning and purpose, and accessing deeper levels of consciousness are ways to practice spiritual growth while dissociating.

Additional Resources

“How to Stop Dissociating | 17 Grounding & Coping Strategies”. Access here

“What Happens When You Dissociate?”. Pugle, M. (2023).  Very Well Health.  Access here

“Dissociation”. Psychology Today.  Access here

“What Is Dissociation?”. Wiginton, K.  (2023). WebMD.  Access here

“Dissociative Disorders”. Mayo Clinic.  Access here

Crisis and Suicide Assessment

Suicide is vital in any counseling whether clinical or pastoral.  Pastoral counselors should refer patients or members of the community to a professional counselor if he or she feels the person is experiencing depression and suicidal ideation.   In most cases, suicide assessment will consider a person to be low risk or high risk.  As opposed to low risk, high risk individuals have a far worst depression and a more lethal plan.

Suicide assessment is key in assigning low or high risk individuals. Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention program


When anyone feels depressed, especially over time, it can become overwhelming.  This is why when helping depressed and grieving individuals to probe and ask questions about suicide.  It is critical to ask if one wishes to hurt or harm oneself when interviewing the patient.  It is important to see if those types of thoughts or ideas are entering the person’s mind.  If someone who is experiencing depression states they feel hopeless, then this is definitely a warning sign.  Not all hopeless individuals commit suicide, but anyone who has ever attempted or committed suicide definitely felt hopeless.

If the seriousness of an assessment manifests, then one needs to determine if one is low risk or high risk.  Many individuals in pain or depressed may think occasionally of killing oneself, but do not have the intention, desire or capability to do so, but as thoughts of suicidal ideation become more frequent and loud, then an assessment is definitely needed.  Hence after assessing symptoms of depression and the thought or at least implicit idea of suicide within the patient’s mind, it is important to access whether this person is low or high risk.  High risk individuals will require more intense observation and measures, while low risk will require less intense intervention.

If one makes comments about harming oneself, the next question is to determine lethality of the plan.   Is the plan doable?  Are the means, times and places for the event possible? If someone dictates one would like to shoot oneself, then access if this person has access to firearms.  A person who points out that he owns a gun that is at home and currently loaded in his closet poses a severely high risk.  Hence the more detailed the plan the higher the risk level.  If a person has access to the weapon named in the thought and a time planned, then immediate intervention is required. Police should be called or the person should be submitted to a psych ward for observation.  If the person on the other hand does not have access or ability to commit immediately, one should be immediately referenced to professional counseling for depression.

Someone who is high risk has more detailed plans, numerous thoughts, deeper depression, more drinking and drug issues, and access to carry out the plans. High risk individuals are also individuals who have survived past attempts.  So it is important to ask these questions as well, but also including family history of suicide.   Unfortunately, many individuals due to mental health stigmas, keep their sadness and depression to themselves.  No-one is aware of the high risk involved with the loved one or friend.  Many times, friends and family miss the subtle comments about life and death or the anxiety and depression someone is enduring.  Awareness, questions and listening are key in helping depressed individuals find the help they need.  Assessments can later be employed to determine the risk level.

When one is in crisis, it is important to ask questions about self harm or hurting oneself and see if anyone is frequently thinking of it or planning it


If anyone manifests any level of suicidal ideation, it is important to convince the person to make a no-suicide contract in which the individual promises to call someone if the person feels low, hopeless, or ideation of killing oneself manifests.   This last outlet may be the helping hand one needs not to take it to the next step. In this type of contact, the person promises to call a loved one or yourself if ideation manifests.  Sometimes this last call for help is the difference between life and death.  It is also important to discuss the frequency of alcohol and drug use during this period of time and how it can play a role in poor decisions.

Individuals kill themselves not because they want to die but because they do not feel life is worth living.  Many of them are not in the proper state of mind due to depression, trauma or extreme pain.  These individuals need counseling and help so they do not fall victim to suicide itself.  With so many stigmas surrounding suicide, it is important to remember that someone who commits it or attempts is dealing with temporary mental illness.  One should not blame but try to help.  It is not a true sin in the classical sense that once was attributed to it but a true mental state of imbalance.

Pastoral caregivers can play a key role in helping members of the congregation work through suicidal thoughts.  They can be the first line of defense for those who have noone to talk to or discuss their feelings with.  They can mentor, guide and help individuals find hope when they are depressed.  Christian Counselors, pastoral counselors and those in ministry should all have crisis intervention training and suicide prevention training.  This will enable them to better help individuals suffering from these types of thoughts.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling, Christian Counseling and Crisis Intervention Counseling Programs.  The programs all to some extent touch on suicide.  The Grief program discussing the role of depression and loss in suicide.  The Christian Counseling Program discusses the pastoral implications from a Christian perspective and the Crisis Intervention Program discusses suicide prevention, assessment and helping individuals who are in a state of acute crisis.  All the programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals who work in the counseling and ministry fields.  Please review and see if the program meets your academic and professional goals.

Again, if in any type of counseling, whether professional or pastoral, be sure to have a complete understanding and working suicide assessment list.  Also, if anyone is feeling worthless or hopeless, please call the National Suicide Hotline and seek help.  Simply dial 988. Hurting oneself is never the answer.

Additional Resources

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.  Access here

“Suicide Assessment”.  Access here

“How to assess and intervene with patients at risk of suicide”. Clay, R. (2022).  APA.  Access here

“Adult Outpatient Brief Suicide Safety Assessment Guide”. National Institute of Mental Health. Access here

Professional Crisis Response to Mental Health Calls

Mental health and crisis response remains an important issue in the United States.  Poor crisis management and mental health issues have led to shootings and a variety of unstable social encounters.  While better care is still needed, another issue that remains forefront is how emergency response teams handle calls with those experiencing mental issues.  Police in recent years have made negative news stories with using excessive force against those with mental issues.  Instead of de-escalating, police and emergency response answer calls more so from a military perspective of controlling and subduing the individual.

Crisis training for emergency response professionals is critical to better save lives and give appropriate response to the situation


Crisis Counselors and other mental health professionals need to be utilized more in response to these calls and emergency response and police need better training how to de-escalate a situation with someone.   Police, while needing to protect themselves, also need to be able to subdue someone in mental crisis without killing them.  This takes more training in mental health and better non lethal restraint methods.  The article, “10 Tips for Responding to Mental Health Crisis Calls” by Wayne Parham looks closer at how police can better respond.  He states,

“Departments across the country in recent years have placed a growing emphasis on improving how they respond to mental health crisis calls. In Texas, one agency both deploys clinicians in the field with deputies and also taps into technology through telehealth. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is one of only 15 agencies that have been designated as a learning site for mental health and law enforcement professionals by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which strives to develop research-driven strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities.”

Parham, W. (June 2nd, 2023) . “10 Tips for Responding to Mental Health Crisis Calls”. Police: Law Enforcement Solutions.

To read the entire article, please click here


When it comes to responding to mental health crises, police departments face numerous challenges. One major challenge is the lack of adequate training in dealing with individuals experiencing mental health issues. Police officers often receive minimal training in this area, which can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication, and potentially dangerous situations. Without the necessary knowledge and skills to handle mental health crises, officers may resort to using force or making arrests, exacerbating the situation and potentially causing harm to both the individual in crisis and the officers involved.

Another challenge is the lack of collaboration between law enforcement and mental health professionals. In many cases, police officers are the first responders to mental health crises, but they may not have the expertise to provide appropriate care or connect individuals with the appropriate resources. This disjointed approach can result in individuals not receiving the care they need, leading to repeated crises and even tragic outcomes.

The impact of inadequate training on police response to mental health crisis

The lack of adequate training in responding to mental health crises has a significant impact on how police officers handle these situations. Without proper training, officers may rely on their instincts or previous experiences, which may not be applicable to the unique challenges presented by mental health crises. This can lead to misunderstandings, fear, and escalating tensions, making it difficult to de-escalate the situation and provide the necessary support to individuals in crisis.

Additionally, inadequate training can contribute to stigmatization and bias towards individuals with mental health issues. Without understanding the complexities of mental health, officers may rely on stereotypes or assumptions, potentially leading to discriminatory practices. This not only violates the rights of individuals in crisis but also undermines trust between law enforcement and the community they serve.  Crisis Intervention Training as well as Mental Health Training is important

The need for collaboration between law enforcement and mental health professionals

To address the challenges in police response to mental health crises, collaboration between law enforcement and mental health professionals is crucial. By working together, these two sectors can pool their resources, knowledge, and expertise to develop comprehensive approaches to addressing mental health crises. Mental health professionals can provide training and guidance to police officers, helping them understand the nuances of mental health and providing strategies for de-escalation and crisis intervention.

Police need to be able to integrate crisis and de-escalation techniques for calls involving the mentally ill


Furthermore, collaboration can lead to the establishment of specialized crisis intervention teams. These teams consist of both police officers and mental health professionals who respond to mental health crises together. By combining their skills and knowledge, these teams can provide a more compassionate and effective response, ensuring that individuals in crisis receive the appropriate care and support they need.

The role of community-based mental health services in reducing police involvement

One effective solution to reducing police involvement in mental health crises is the expansion of community-based mental health services. By providing individuals with access to mental health resources and support within their own communities, the reliance on police as first responders can be minimized. Community-based mental health services can offer early intervention, prevention, and ongoing support, reducing the likelihood of crises occurring in the first place.

These services can include mobile crisis teams that respond to mental health crises directly, providing immediate assessment and intervention. Additionally, community-based mental health centers can offer ongoing counseling, therapy, and support groups, helping individuals manage their mental health and prevent crises from escalating.

Crisis intervention teams: a specialized approach to police response

Crisis intervention teams (CIT) are a specialized approach to police response in mental health crises. CIT programs train police officers to recognize and respond to individuals experiencing mental health crises in a safe and appropriate manner. Officers who undergo CIT training receive education on mental health, de-escalation techniques, and community resources, equipping them with the skills needed to effectively respond to mental health crises.

CIT programs also emphasize collaboration and partnership with mental health professionals. Through partnerships with local mental health agencies, CIT officers can refer individuals to appropriate resources and ensure they receive the care they need. This collaborative approach not only improves the outcomes for individuals in crisis but also strengthens the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

Alternative response models: exploring non-police options for mental health crisis

While police response is often the default in mental health crises, alternative response models are gaining recognition as effective alternatives. These models involve diverting mental health crisis calls away from police departments and towards specialized mental health teams. These teams, consisting of mental health professionals, social workers, or paramedics, are better equipped to provide the necessary support and care for individuals in crisis.

One example of an alternative response model is the implementation of co-responder programs. In these programs, mental health professionals accompany police officers when responding to mental health crisis calls. By having a mental health expert on-site, the focus shifts from a law enforcement response to a more therapeutic approach. This can lead to better outcomes for individuals in crisis, as they receive immediate mental health support and guidance.

Strategies for improving police training in mental health crisis response

Improving police training in mental health crisis response is essential for ensuring that officers are equipped to handle these situations effectively. One strategy is to incorporate mental health education and crisis intervention training into basic law enforcement training programs. By providing officers with a solid foundation in mental health awareness and crisis de-escalation techniques early on, they will be better prepared to respond appropriately in the field.

Apprehending those with mental health issues in a safe way is the new challenge for law enforcement


Additionally, ongoing training and professional development opportunities should be provided to police officers throughout their careers. This can include specialized workshops, scenario-based training, and access to mental health experts who can provide guidance and support. By investing in continuous training, police departments can ensure that their officers remain up-to-date with the latest best practices and strategies for responding to mental health crises.

The importance of data collection and analysis in addressing the challenges

Data collection and analysis play a crucial role in addressing the challenges faced by police in responding to mental health crises. By collecting data on the frequency, nature, and outcomes of these interactions, police departments can identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. This data can inform policy decisions, resource allocation, and training initiatives, ensuring that responses to mental health crises are evidence-based and effective.

Furthermore, data can help identify disparities and inequities in police response to mental health crises. By examining demographic information, such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status, departments can identify any biases or disproportionate impacts on specific communities. This information can then be used to implement targeted interventions and ensure that all individuals receive fair and equitable treatment.

Success stories and best practices in police response to mental health crisis

Despite the challenges, there have been notable success stories and best practices in police response to mental health crises. One example is the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program implemented in Memphis, Tennessee. This program has resulted in a significant reduction in arrests and use of force incidents involving individuals with mental health issues. By providing officers with specialized training and support from mental health professionals, the program has transformed the way police respond to mental health crises in the community.

Another success story is the implementation of co-responder programs in various cities across the United States. These programs have shown promising results in diverting mental health crisis calls away from police departments and towards mental health professionals. By working together, these teams can provide immediate support, connect individuals with appropriate resources, and ensure that crises are resolved in a safe and compassionate manner.

Conclusion: the way forward for effective police response to mental health crisis

Addressing the challenges in police response to mental health crises requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach. By improving training, fostering collaboration between law enforcement and mental health professionals, expanding community-based mental health services, and implementing alternative response models, police departments can enhance their ability to respond effectively and compassionately to individuals in crisis.

Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Practitioner Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals


Furthermore, prioritizing data collection and analysis, as well as learning from success stories and best practices, can inform evidence-based strategies and policies that promote equitable and humane responses to mental health crises. By working towards these solutions, we can create a future where individuals experiencing mental health crises receive the care and support they need, while also ensuring the safety and well-being of both the community and the officers involved.

Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Practitioner Program.  The program is open to qualified professionals looking to implement crisis intervention into their careers or posts.  The program is online and independent study and provides the necessary knowledge for counselors, social workers, and law enforcement to better answer crisis calls.

Additional Resources

“Best Practices for Addressing Mental Health Crises in the Community”. Laura Usher and Amy Watson, PhD. July 2020. Dispatch. Access here

“Mental Health And Police Violence: How Crisis Intervention Teams Are Failing”. Eric Westervelt. September 18th, 2020. NPR. Access here

Crisis Intervention: A Stabilizing Force. Megan Gates. January 1st, 2022. Security Management.  Access here

“Mobile Crisis Teams: Providing an Alternative to Law Enforcement for Mental Health Crises”. Hannah Wesolowski. July 13th, 2022. NAMI.  Access here

Christian Counseling and Self Harm

One of the most destructive and maladaptive forms of coping is self harm.  Individuals who hurt themselves are not necessarily hoping to die but hoping to punish or escape reality due to past trauma, abuse, guilt, shame, anxiety, depression or mental disorder.  Suicide can grow from it so risk assessment is key, as well as the fact, one can accidentally kill oneself due to the dangerous behavior.

Self harm does not have suicidal intent but looks to punish or distract oneself from mental pain or past unresolved trauma


Many who suffer from self harm are merely hurt individuals trying to escape reality.  They need guidance, counseling and better coping strategies to deal with the emotions and trauma they are dealing with.  Clinical Counselors deal with those who commit self harm and will usually discover a diagnosis as to the core reason why self harm is occurring.  From a spiritual perspective, pastoral and Christian Counselors can also add moral and religious guidance.

The article, “What Is Self-Harm?” by Hope Gillette looks closer at the nature of self harm, the causes, what it entails and how to replace self harm with better coping strategies.  She states,

“When you engage in NSSI, it replaces psychological distress with physical pain, pulling you out of your unhappy thoughts. The trauma to your body also generates a release of pain-killing endorphins, which can give you an all-around, feel-good boost. Being able to escape your thoughts and feel better at the same time can lay the foundation for self-harm to become compulsive and ritualistic. It can become that thing you go to whenever you need to de-stress.”

“What Is Self-Harm?”. Hope Gillette. April 11th, 2023. Healthline.

To read the entire article, please access here

Self Harm

Those who suffer from self harm also need spiritual direction and see the spiritual value of self in Christ


As stated, self harm is not intended as a means to kill oneself, but to punish or escape mental pain.  Individuals who suffer from self harm tendencies look to escape pain from unresolved trauma.  Whether abuse, or severe violence, they look to the physical pain to distract themselves from the mental anguish associated with the unresolved trauma.  This is also common with those who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder as well as severe anxiety and depression.  The physical pain becomes an outlet or escape from the mental anguish.

In other cases, it is a form of punishment to the person.  One may feel extreme shame or guilt and feel the need to inflict punishment upon the body.  Those who are sexually abused are made to feel guilty for the abuse by the abuser and will commonly hurt themselves as punishment.

In essence, this maladaptive form of self abuse without suicidal intent is an attempt to cope with pain and unresolved trauma.  Individuals will cut, burn, bruise, bite, poison and engage is dangerous activities to cope with the primary issue.  It is essential that family or friends identify these injuries or change in behaviors so they can be properly addressed

Unfortunately, many who engage in self harm will attempt to disguise or hide their injuries with longer sleeved shirts or attempt to withdraw more from public and become more private than usual.  If behavioral changes occur and odd interests emerge that include items or medications to treat injuries, then one should further investigate the possibility one is engaging in self harm.

Emotional Self Harm

Individuals however can also harm themselves emotionally BEYOND physically.  Numerous dangerous and high risk behaviors can also manifest.  Individuals may engage in unsafe sex, remain in unsafe relationships, engage in drug abuse, or take high risks with fighting, driving, or various activities.  In addition, individuals may indulge in negative talk about oneself in which abusive names or self labels are applied to oneself.  In other cases, individuals may self restrict as a form of punishment by denying oneself food, water or sleep.

Cognitive distortions are also another way an individual may be too hard oneself.  Individuals who magnify the situation, jump to conclusions, over compare, label oneself, over assume, disqualify oneself, minimize oneself or always speak in the extremes, can fall victim to self punishment and emotional torture.

Ways to Overcome Self Harm

Individuals who suffer from self harm usually require Dialectical Behavioral Therapy which focuses on intense emotions and ways to manage them.  The therapy was primarily developed for those suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder and is a subdivision of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  There are also other special therapies that deal uniquely with self harm itself and how to better manage the emotions that lead to it

Obviously better coping strategies are also essential.  In therapy, individuals can learn different ways to deal with negative emotions from unresolved trauma and abuse.  Individuals can be introduced to meditation, deep breathing, types of prayer, journaling, artistic expression, exercise, reading or finding a good friend to confide in.

Christian Counseling and Self Harm

Self harm can lead to multiple risky and dangerous behaviors. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Beyond the clinical aspects that treat unresolved trauma and correct imagery of self through therapy and dialogue, Christian Counseling looks to help the person understand key concepts regarding Christ and self.  First, it teaches that everyone is dignified and born in the image and likeness of God.  Hence, self harm shames the worth of the human person.  It also assaults the body which is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Second, Christian Counselors can emphasize how much Christ loves and forgives all things in the past and looks to heal and bring peace to the chaos, consolation to the desolated and security to the anxious.  Christian meditation and focus on the love of God and the value of the human person are key concepts that can help individuals find self worth and better ways to cope with trauma and pain.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification

In addition, AIHCP also offers certifications in Crisis Intervention Counseling and Grief Counseling.  Both these programs can help train professionals deal with the issue of self harm and help those in intense pain, grief and crisis itself.


“What Is Self-Harm?”. Hope Gillette. April 11th, 2023. Healthline.

Additional Resources

“Self-Harm”. Psychology Today Staff. Psychology Today.  Access here

“The Self-Harming Brain”. Terri Apter, PhD.  January 6th, 2020. Psychology Today. Access here

“Biblical Advice For Those Struggling With Cutting and Self Harm”. Michael Williams, PhD. What Christians Want to Know.  Access here

“There’s a Scientific Reason Why Self-Harm Makes Some People Feel Better”. Colin Schultz. October 16th, 2014. Smithsonian Magazine. Access here





The Need for Better Mental Health and Crisis Intervention in Corrections

By James M Katz, BA


Photo showing a gentleman holding a plate with a circle design with the words Crisis in Blue in the middle of the circle

Crisis intervention in the correctional system is an important and necessary component of providing effective support to individuals going through difficult times. With the current population of inmates coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, it is essential for correctional facilities to have a plan in place that can provide immediate help to those struggling with mental health issues. This post will provide an overview of how crisis intervention works, its importance in maintaining a secure and healthy environment for inmates, as well as the different types of interventions available.

In the modern criminal justice system, corrections officers are responsible for providing a safe and humane environment for inmates. This task can be particularly challenging when faced with individuals in crisis. Crisis intervention team involves using specific strategies to de-escalate a situation, rather than relying solely on physical force. It is important that corrections officers understand the principles of crisis intervention and have the skills to respond appropriately and effectively in any given situation. The field of corrections is highly complex and carries with it a wide range of challenges. With the introduction of crisis intervention practices, correctional facilities have been able to better equip their staff in responding to difficult situations. Crisis intervention training has emerged as an essential tool for managing inmates and disrupting violent behaviors before they escalate out of control. This article below examines how better mental health resources is not only reducing the costs of corrections but improving the lives of potential suspects even before incarceration.

“There’s no doubt that among the ways Cuyahoga County could reduce costs and crises at a crowded, inefficient County Jail sorely in need of expensive renovation or replacement is by reducing the jail population. That can be accomplished through bail reform and more efficient, fairer management of cases. But it also could be achieved by making sure that suspects in need of treatment for mental health or addiction are diverted for appropriate treatment first.

That’s what the Cuyahoga County Diversion Center that opened to great fanfare more than 1 1/2 years ago was for. The center on East 55th Street is operated by Oriana House in conjunction with the Alcohol, Drug & Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County.

More needs to be done to divert those in distress to treatment and not just straight to jail: editorial By Editorial Board, Nov 27, 2022
Access Here 


What is Crisis intervention?

Crisis Intervention is a form of psychological support or counseling that helps individuals who are in the midst of a crisis. This type of therapy focuses on providing immediate and practical assistance to help individuals restore balance and cope with their current situation. Frequently a crisis intervention team will be deployed in situations such as national emergencies to assist in providing interventions.

The main goal of crisis intervention training is to reduce the level of distress experienced by an individual in order to prevent further psychological harm. A qualified mental health professional works with the individual to identify feelings and behaviors, assess needs, provide resources, develop strategies for coping and problem solving, and assist them in making positive changes. The therapist also provides emotional support and encourages healthy communication between family members or friends if needed.

Crisis intervention can be used for those experiencing any type of traumatic event such as natural disasters, physical or sexual abuse, bereavement or loss, illness or injury.

Benefits of Crisis Intervention Counseling

Crisis counseling is a type of therapy that helps individuals and families manage their responses to difficult life events. It typically takes the form of brief interventions aimed at helping those in crisis regain control, reduce stress, and develop coping strategies for more effective problem-solving. Crisis counselors are trained to identify the signs of an impending crisis, assess its severity, and provide immediate assistance.

The benefits of crisis intervention include improved communication skills, increased self-awareness, enhanced understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses, improved decision making skills in high-stress situations, better problem-solving abilities, increased emotional regulation skills such as anger management or impulse control strategies. In addition to these short term benefits, crisis counseling can also lead to long term positive changes such as decreased anxiety levels and stronger overall mental health.

Challenges of Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is an important part of mental health care, and it has its own unique set of challenges. It involves responding to a person who is in crisis – they may be feeling overwhelmed, confused, and out of control. Crisis intervention requires professional expertise to help the individual address their immediate needs and develop a plan for long-term recovery.

The goal of crisis intervention is to quickly assess the situation, identify any underlying causes or triggers, develop coping strategies and problem-solving skills, and ultimately provide support for an individual’s recovery. It can be emotionally challenging for both the counselor and the person in crisis as emotions are often running high. Therefore it is essential that counselors provide compassionate yet professional support during this difficult time. Additionally, counselors must take into account factors such as cultural background or language barriers when determining how best to approach a situation.

Strategies for Effective Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention can be a difficult task, especially during times of intense emotional distress. Therefore, it is important to know the strategies for effective crisis intervention so that individuals in crisis can receive the help they need. Learning the fundamentals of crisis intervention helps create an environment where individuals are more likely to receive assistance and support.

One effective strategy for crisis intervention is active listening. Active listening involves responding thoughtfully and respectfully to what someone in a state of crisis is saying. It also requires giving them your full attention while they speak and avoiding distractions or passing judgment on their situation. Additionally, it’s important to remain present with them throughout their expression of emotions and feelings without attempting to provide solutions right away. This basic skill of active listening can go a long way towards helping someone who is facing a learning crisis feel heard, understood and accepted in order to begin healing from their experience.

Impact on Corrections System

Photo of the main watch tower at SAN FRANCISCO, USA - November 4: The Alcatraz Island Prison on October 4, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Alcatraz is one of the most infamous prisons in American history.

Crisis intervention has been a key asset to the corrections system in recent years. It has allowed inmates and corrections officers to learn how to better handle crisis situations within the prison environment, while also providing inmates with an outlet for their emotions. Crisis intervention can help inmates better manage their feelings and reactions when faced with difficult situations, instead of resorting to violence or aggression.

Studies have shown that those who receive crisis intervention training are more likely to be successful in navigating learning crises than those who do not receive the training. This is especially true for those who have experienced trauma in their lives prior to being incarcerated. Through crisis intervention training, these individuals can learn strategies for managing difficult emotions and developing constructive ways of responding in high-stakes situations.


In conclusion, a crisis intervention team in the correctional system is an essential element of providing quality healthcare to incarcerated individuals. Crisis intervention has been proven to reduce recidivism, increase mental health stability, and improve overall wellbeing. Correctional systems can benefit from a comprehensive approach which includes both preventive and reactive strategies. It is important that the correctional staff and health professionals work together to ensure that all inmates have access to the resources they need during times of crisis.

Crisis Intervention not only has a huge impact on the criminal justice world but other areas of mental health care as well. If you are a licensed counselor, a mental health professional or perhaps work in a field that deals with crisis every day then maybe you would be interested in our Crisis Intervention Certification program? All of the crisis intervention courses are available online and are on open enrollment. For more information please visit our certification page.


Additional Resources: 

Barriers and Facilitators to Effective Mental Health Care in Correctional Settings. Olivia Kolodziejczak, Samuel Justin Sinclair. Journal of Correctional Health Care.  Jul 1, 2018
Access Here

Mental health screening tools in correctional institutions: a systematic review. Martin, M.S., Colman, I., Simpson, A.I. et al. . BMC Psychiatry 13, 275 (2013).
Access Here 

Improving Mental Health for Inmates. Heather Stringer / March 2019, Vol 50, No. 3
Access Here

Mental Health of Prisoners: Prevalence, Adverse Outcomes, and Interventions. Seena Fazel, et al. The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 3, Issue 9, 2016, Pages 871-881, ISSN 2215-0366.
Access Here

Utilizing Crisis Intervention Teams in Prison to Improve Officer Knowledge, Stigmatizing Attitudes, and Perception of Response Options. Canada, K. E., Watson, A. C., & O’kelley, S. (2021). Criminal Justice and Behavior48(1), 10–31.
Access Here

Crisis Intervention in Acute Mental Crisis Situations

Individuals enter into difficult situations throughout life.  Some cope better than others.  Others face such distraught, that mental crisis can occur.  Loss, disaster and tragedy whether at once or over a gradual period of time can wear on an individual.  While there are many normal reactions to loss and crisis, individuals sometimes still need guidance through their emotion.  Many can feel numb, or grief trodden after an event.  Others may feel completely shell shocked and need certain gestures, words of kindness and physical and mental aid.

Still, some enter into mental crisis and find themselves suicidal or a danger to themselves or others.  It is important not just a a counselor, but also as a good friend to be able to help others under severe duress or in mental crisis.  Knowing what to say, what to look out for and where to find additional help for them is key in potentially preventing further damage to the person.

Someone in mental crisis needs someone who can help them de-escalate the situation and find pre-crisis emotional state


The article, “8 ways you can help a loved one — or even save their life — during a mental health crisis” by Rebecca Strong looks at ways a concerned friend can help another through acute crisis mental states.  She lists in her article numerous things to say, look out for, and where to find the appropriate help.  She reiterates the importance of validating someone’s loss or fears during crisis and trying to help them leave the acute phase of mental crisis.  She states,

“It’s natural to feel worried or even frightened when someone you care about is going through a mental health crisis, but you can do a lot to help them.  A mental health crisis can happen in response to trauma or overwhelming stressors that make it difficult to navigate everyday life. Facing this level of intense distress may, in some cases, lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide, though not everyone in crisis will have a plan to die.  One important first step toward offering compassionate support involves remembering your loved one didn’t choose to experience this distress. In short, a mental health crisis isn’t their fault.”

“8 ways you can help a loved one — or even save their life — during a mental health crisis”. Rebecca Strong.  Insider. October 14th, 2022.

Please click here to review the  full article.


Helping individuals in crisis and acute mental trauma is important in saving a life or preventing further damage.  Many individuals are not rational or may even be suicidal.  This is not their normal frame of mind, so it is important to help them find pre-crisis cognitive thought.  Listening, guiding, and finding the necessary help are key elements to calming an individual to more rational thought.  Longer term mental crisis is also an issue. Lingering suicidal thoughts may creep in or the trauma may return and the individual may need someone to talk to in these dark moments.

Crisis intervention is a process whereby someone in a position of authority intervenes in a situation to prevent it from deteriorating further. It is typically used in cases where there is an imminent threat of harm to oneself or others, and the goal is to stabilize the situation and prevent further harm. Crisis intervention team members are trained to assess the situation and take appropriate action to de-escalate it.  The goal of crisis intervention is to help people stabilize their emotions and thoughts, and to develop a plan to cope with their challenges. Crisis intervention typically involves teaching people coping and problem-solving skills, and providing support and encouragement.

Many who are in crisis can contemplate suicide.  Suicide intervention refers to the process of intervening in someone’s life who may be suicidal. It is typically done by family, friends, or mental health professionals in order to prevent the person from harming themselves. The goal of intervention is to get the individual to safety and to connect them with resources that can help them in their time of need.  If someone you know is suicidal, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek professional help. You can also offer to support them in any way you can, but it’s important not to try to handle everything on your own. Let them know that you’re there for them and that they are not alone.

The process of assessing suicide threat generally includes four key steps: (1) identifying risk factors for suicide, (2) evaluating the severity of those risk factors, (3) making a determination as to whether the individual is in immediate danger of harming themselves, and (4) developing a plan to keep the individual safe. There are many different factors that can contribute to someone being at risk for suicide, so it is important to consider all of them when conducting an assessment.  Making a promise to call before anything drastic is underdone is an important promise to make with someone with a mental issue.

If issues point towards a deeper pathology, it is important to find the person professional help.  If the plan is real, the objects available and the mood depressive, calling the proper authorities is key.


In conclusion, it is important to remember that mental health crises can happen to anyone. If you or someone you know is in crisis, there are many resources available to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. You are not alone.  By increasing public awareness of the issue, providing support and resources for those affected, and destigmatizing mental illness, we can make progress in helping those in mental health crisis.

Please also review AIHCP’s various behavioral health certifications.  The programs are designed for healthcare professionals and offer four year certifications.  Among the various programs include Grief Counseling, Crisis Intervention, Stress Management and Anger Management.  The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.


Additional Resources

Suicide Prevention. CDC.  October 19th, 2022. Access here

What Is a Crisis Intervention?. Vertava Health. April 7th, 2022.  Access here

“Crisis Intervention Techniques for Mental Health”. Banyan Treatment Centers. Access here

“Crisis Intervention in Mental Health”.  Jim Collins.  March 19th, 2020.  Access here

What Is IOP in Mental Health?

Man lying on sofa talking to his therapist at therapy sessionWritten by Sam Darwin

IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient Program and patients with mental health issues are usually treated using this program. They go to treatment sessions like the in-patients, but the treatment is given during the day and not overnight.

The patients divide their time between home and the IOP center. These intensive outpatient programs aim to stabilize patients. They teach them techniques to manage their mental health conditions. Here’s what you need to know about IOP.


What Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Intensive outpatient treatment is a form of mental health care. It provides the structure and support of therapy in a less restrictive setting than inpatient treatment. IOP aims to help you learn how to manage your symptoms and live more independently.

Intensive outpatient treatment consists of weekly or biweekly sessions. These are a combination of individual therapy and group therapy. Treatment is provided at a clinic or hospital, and patients attend for about four hours per day, five days a week. The length of the program varies, but it generally lasts between three months and one year.

IOP treatment focuses on helping you learn how to manage your mental health issues to live successfully in the community. Treatment often includes medication management and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).


How Long Does Intensive Outpatient Treatment Last?

Depending on the patient, intensive outpatient treatment lasts anywhere from four to twelve months. The number of hours per week varies by treatment center but typically ranges from four to five hours a day.

In some cases, intensive outpatient treatment may be combined with partial hospitalization. This is for patients who need more intensive care than usual outpatient treatment can provide. How long you stay depends on several factors, including:

  • For how long have you experienced symptoms of mental illness?
  • Your support system at home (e.g., family members, friends)
  • Your financial situation
  • Your ability to follow through with treatment recommendation

Suppose you have been diagnosed with a mental illness and have difficulty managing your symptoms. Or you’re having difficulty functioning at home or in your workplace. In that case, you might enjoy intensive outpatient treatment. Participating in this program will likely improve your mood, energy, and productivity.


Who Needs Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

IOP can help people diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder. It’s also used to treat those struggling with alcohol or drug addiction.

IOP is appropriate for people who:

  • Have had a recent mental health crisis and are at risk of harming themselves or others
  • Have been hospitalized in the past six months and need additional therapy to prevent future hospitalizations
  • Are unable to take medications as prescribed because they have side effects
  • They are having trouble managing their symptoms without medications. This includes people who have tried medications but stopped taking them for side effects or other reasons.


girl sitting on the bank of the river

How Can I Get Started In IOP?

Inpatient treatment programs can be an important part of your recovery. You will gain from inpatient treatment if you struggle with a mental health condition. The level of care and support you receive from an inpatient treatment program will depend on the type of program you choose. Many different levels of care are available (IOP and residential treatment programs).

To start the process, you’ll have to contact your insurance provider to find out which facilities they cover. Once you have that information, it’s time to start looking into the different types of programs available near where you live or work.

Some people prefer to go straight into a residential program. Others prefer an intensive outpatient program first. Either way, getting started is as easy as visiting and setting up an appointment for an assessment.


How Does IOP Help People With Mental Illness?

Inpatient treatment is one of the most effective ways to treat a person who has a severe mental illness. Inpatient treatment takes place in a hospital or other residential treatment facility. Here, professionals can receive around-the-clock care.

People hospitalized for mental illness often need more intensive services than outpatient treatment. This includes medication management and therapy. IOP can help people who are struggling with mental illness for a variety of reasons:

  • They may need more support than what their primary care provider offers.
  • They may have already been hospitalized but still have some symptoms that need to be addressed before returning home.
  • They may be unable to participate in outpatient therapy due to other factors such as work or family responsibilities.


How Does Intensive Outpatient Treatment Work?

Intensive outpatient treatment allows you to receive the same level of care that you would get in a hospital setting. But, the treatment is delivered on an outpatient basis. You will not be admitted to an inpatient unit or need to stay overnight. Instead, intensive outpatient programs usually involve regular visits with a therapist and group therapy sessions.

Intensive outpatient treatment may include individual and family therapy sessions if needed. These programs are designed for people who can’t leave their jobs or families for long periods.

Group therapy often involves working with patients who have similar issues as yourself, such as anxiety or depression. A therapist might also recommend joining a support group after intensive outpatient treatment. This way, you have someone else to talk to about your experiences.

Individual therapy is often used as a supplement to group therapy. It helps patients address specific problems related to their mental health issues. For example, suppose someone has an anxiety disorder and is having trouble leaving home every day for work. In that case, individual therapy could help them learn strategies for dealing with this problem to continue working without feeling anxious all day long.


Woman in mental health treatmentHow Does IOP Differ From Traditional Outpatient Programs?

In-patient treatment is one of the most effective options for individuals with severe mental illnesses. These services provide intensive care under a team of qualified professionals. They provide immediate help and support to patients who need it most.

In-patient treatment programs are very different from outpatient programs. Traditional outpatient programs are designed for people who live locally. They can attend regularly scheduled appointments during the week.

These outpatient programs aim to help patients maintain their independence. They teach skills and provide support. This allows them to live safely in the community without requiring constant supervision.

In-patient programs, however, provide 24-hour care in a controlled environment with many therapeutic services available on-site or nearby. While patients are not required to stay overnight, they can still stay for several days or weeks, depending on their needs and recovery plan.

In-patient psychiatric treatment provides intensive care for individuals suffering from severe mental illnesses.


What Types of Therapy are Offered During Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

The type of therapy offered in an intensive outpatient program depends on the needs of the individual. In general, most intensive outpatient programs offer a combination of therapies, including:

  • Individual therapy. This can include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy, or supportive psychotherapy.
  • Group counseling. These groups are often led by a licensed mental health professional. They focus on recovery and addiction, stress management, or anger management.
  • Family therapy. Some clinics offer family therapy, including individual sessions with parents and their children. They also have group sessions for families who want to support each other through treatment.
  • Brief medication management (BMM). Suppose you have been prescribed medication for your mental health condition during an intensive outpatient program treatment. In that case, you may also be eligible for BMM sessions with a psychiatrist or medical doctor. This professional should specialize in treating mental health conditions with medications.


Importance of Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

IOPs aim to manage your symptoms, learn new skills, and improve your overall quality of life. Your psychiatrist and therapist will help you develop a treatment plan based on your needs and goals.

The benefits of IOP include:

  • A flexible schedule allows you to work, attend school, and take care of other responsibilities.
  • It helps you learn how to manage stress, handle problems in relationships, and cope with urges.
  • Providing a safe place to receive treatment while maintaining normal activities
  • You get a customized treatment plan based on your needs and goals
  • Short-term therapy can address specific issues in your life, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.
  • The opportunity to learn new skills to cope with symptoms and develop healthy relationships with others
  • You’ll get support from other people trying to overcome similar problems.



It is vital to remember one of the essential aspects of mental health: you are not alone. It can be difficult to remember even someone with a history of depressive episodes. IOP programs or therapy groups may help offer reassurance even with a mental illness. There is contact with others, and there will always be contact with others.

And no matter what, you are never alone. When you need inpatient treatment for mental health, it is crucial to choose a facility based on the needs of your loved one. IOP has many benefits and can help progress and maintain recovery.



If you are interested in more information visit AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Program here

Grief Counseling Program Blog on Trauma and Restoring Intimacy

Sexuality and intimacy are crucial aspects of human life.  It allows two to bond and share the deepest feelings with a wholesome sexual experience.  An experience that is pure and filled with love as opposed as corrupt and full of hate.  During trauma, individuals can lose intimacy and a healthy understanding of love and sex.  This can create obstacles to fully reacclimating into society because one is not able to form a new bond or attachment with another human being.  The act of intimacy and the act of sex in themselves can also become triggers and reminders of past abuse and push the person away from these normal and healthy bonds.  Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program

One who has experienced trauma must eventually face intimacy, trust and friendship and if desired, a more deeper friendship in the contract of a sexual relationship.  Unfortunately, trauma makes this difficult and can prevent the person from an important fountain of healing that can bring the person closer to becoming one again.  In this article, we will look at a few issues of intimacy and sexuality that someone who has faced trauma will deal with and how that someone can learn to trust and love again.  Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Courses

In intimacy, one opens oneself to another.  This can mean many things to a survivor of sexual trauma or betrayal.  One feels the loss of a control.  In isolation, one feels one has the power to control what occurs and the fear of opening oneself, puts oneself partly at the power of another.  It is exactly this power that a trauma survivor fears.  In addition, trauma survivors fear abandonment.  If one opens up, then one risks the chance of being hurt and betrayed again.  Hence many experience abandonment issues.   Intimacy also opens up the chance of rejection.  Trauma survivors fear the thought of being rejected for who they are and may very well reject someone before they can be rejected.

It is important with intimacy to accept fears.  This is the hardest part, but only until one dismisses the fears, can one again learn to have a trusting relationship.   The fear may be in the other person, or in one’s own tendencies but one cannot have the healing powers of intimacy without trust and letting fears go.  One also needs to reject ideas and notions that can block intimacy with others.  Many who have been traumatized universally label everyone.  All men/women are bad is a common over generalization.  The perpetrator was not good but not all people are bad.  This central concept can take time to finally become a reality again. Other false narratives include assuming no one has every experienced what one has experienced, or that one cannot ever burden another with one’s issues.  In addition, others feel unloved and if anyone ever knew what occurred, then that person would no longer be lovable.  Flaws are seen as more prominent and as a sign of weakness, when in reality everyone has flaws.

It can be difficult after trauma to again show intimacy and open oneself up. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program


Learning how to discuss the past and discuss the future are critical communication skills.  Individuals who fear intimacy need to be better able to express to another and share how to handle issues and conflicts.  Without releasing the fear, false notions and opening up communication, then a person suffering from trauma will not be able to open again and find the value and healing within a friendship or a deeper relationship.

One of the biggest blocks to a deeper relationship is again seeing sexuality as wholesome and natural.  Sex in its very nature promotes union, trust, and love but the trauma has distorted the true value of intimacy and sexuality.  Following an assault, sex itself can become a trigger to a PSTD response.  A certain touch can remind one of the trauma and turn something of love into something of abuse.  The person has a hard time viewing sex as holy and the person as sacred.  The rape or assault has stripped sexuality and intimacy of its dignity and the person has difficult times again experiencing these feelings and senses in a positive way.

Sex can also be seen as a way to control others, or it may be a device to fix what went wrong before.  Unhealthy expressions and sexual behavior can result in different directions from fear of sex to promiscuity later in life.  It is hence important to remove these past negative images.  One image that is especially unhealthy is seeing all sexual behavior and correlating it with a sense of disgust.  It is important to learn skills to neutralize this feeling of disgust and help re-evaluate these past negative experiences with positive experiences.

In rebuilding oneself for intimacy and sexual relations, the traumatized need to overcome many hurdles of trust and intimacy but certain steps can help to start the healing process.  Disgust and association with trauma can be overcame with patience and time and understanding from one’s new partner.

It is hence important to again see certain parts of the body as holy and good.  They cannot be seen or associated as evil in themselves.  The action must be separated from the part of the body itself.  Second, one needs to learn neutralize disgust.  Ideas that the body is an object to be used must be dismissed and replaced with ideals that the body is a temple and a gift.  This not only deals with the other person, but also how one views oneself.  One can further separate the feeling of disgust with sex itself and shame.   The shame with trauma needs to be separated from the act itself.  By learning to separate negative feelings and events from the body and act itself, one can better open up to others.  One can then create a new narrative where the event with a different person is not hateful or abusive but instead filled with love and respect.

Unfortunately, while rebuilding each other, partners should be conscious of others past.  Certain boundaries may initially needed and a slow crawl until mutual comfort is met.  Flashbacks can occur and it is important to recreate intimacy and the sexual experience together to form new wholesome memories.  This requires patience, counseling as well as awareness.

Healthy sexuality is the ultimate key.  While intimacy does not necessarily involve sexuality, nor the necessity of entering into a sexual relationship, one must still restore a sense of the sacred to the sexual act.  Sex is not about control, secretive, shameful, wrong, abusive, dis-connective, controlling, superficial, or selfish but instead is a spiritual, emotional and physical act that binds.  It builds self esteem and gives proper pleasures associated with that.  It is celebrated and gives deeper meaning to life.  It does not abuse, but promotes a feeling of unity and safety.  It honors and loves and builds two instead of breaking down another. Finally, it does not reject, but it also accepts the imperfect and celebrates the two.

For some, sex is more than naturally just beautiful but also sacred from a religious view.  Sex in this regard binds two as one before God and calls forward a vocation that goes beyond the symbolic act of sex, but carries itself in all matters of life itself.  Spiritually, the destruction of sex to anything less is not of God and is a misuse of this divine gift to not only bring forth new life but also unify two into one.

Restoring intimacy with a victim of abuse can take time and patience but it can again reveal the goodness of intimacy and love


One can restore intimacy, and if desired, a healthy sexuality after assault, but naturally, the traumatized must learn to reprogram one’s mind to not only not fear but to open up and let go past narratives that prevent the leap of love and faith.  The traumatized must also learn differentiate the corruption of the perpetrator from the holiness and goodness of the action itself and how it can be experienced with a good person.

It is a most disgusting sin to harm another through sex because it injures the person not only physically but also emotionally.  It affects one’s ability to feel intimacy again and feel trust.  It is more than a theft of virginity or physical freedom, but is a theft of self, but fortunately, through healing, counseling and prayer, one can again heal.

Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Certification, Stress Management Consulting Program as well as AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification Program.  The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in these disciplines.



Source: “The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth” by Glenn R Schiraldi, PhD

PTSD from the Mayo Clinic

PTSD from the National Institute of Mental Health

When PTSD and Intimacy Collide: What Really Happens? By Tia Hollowood

Understanding Intimacy Avoidance in PTSD by Annie Tanasugarn Ph.D., CCTSA

Stress Management Certification Blog on Guilt and Trauma

Guilt is a necessary emotion.  When anchored with a good conscience, it provokes truth and justice when wrong is committed.  It prevents future wrong doing in some cases and helps guide the person to proper moral outcome.   It is hence sometimes good to feel guilt.  If one lacks guilt in appropriate circumstances, it is a sign of a deeper and more sinister moral flaw.   Sociopaths are incapable of guilt and can commit the most grievous offenses without any sense of emotional wrong doing.

Victims can carry disproportionate grief. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Certification


For the more tender hearted and as well as those who experience trauma, guilt can sometimes become excessive and over play its reach.  It can become a pathological agent that prevents proper healing.  When guilt is not properly processed and understood according to reality, it can then continue to haunt a person and prevent emotional healing.   Guilt must be processed.  If due to trauma it becomes part of dissociative material, then it can linger.  It needs to find resolution, where appropriate sorrow is displayed and a chance for change and growth occur.  When guilt is stunted, either not accepted or over felt, then it can keep a person stuck in the past.

With trauma, guilt is usually not proportionate and a variety of distortions exist.  These distortions continue to exist when individuals keep trauma to themselves and do not face it.  This is why dialogue is so critical to healing.  It allows the wound to bleed and also the opportunity to discuss falsehoods regarding the traumatic event hence allowing integration of the memory.

Most distortions create an imbalance of guilt.  Either the person blames oneself 100 percent or finds no blame at all.  Associated with this are usually feelings that one does not deserve to live or survivor guilt.  In addition, many individuals feel the guilt is critical to show they still care and that they must punish themselves and repeat the pain.  Multiple reasons incur this guilt.  Many believe they are guilty because they were afraid, or found relief.  Others find guilt in having to kill, making a mistake, finding enjoyment in the event, wanting to die, or expressing extreme hatred.  Others find guilt in their actions in not being able to save others, not taking precautions, freezing under pressure, not stopping the abuse, or not saying “I love you” one last time.

Many things can haunt a person who experienced trauma.  Depending on the trauma and event, they can differ, but they all carry a haunting voice that judges what one felt, did not feel, did, or did not do.  Distortions to the event can amplify the sorrow the person experiences.

Dialogue is obvious the first step in unlocking guilt.  Various cognitive therapies look to identify guilt and then properly ascertain legitimacy of it.  This involves discussing with a therapist the event itself and verbalizing the details.  The patient then must attribute the level of what they think was their fault in a numerical percentage.  Following this, the therapist challenges the events and asks probing questions of who else may be at fault.   The guilt is then re-assessed and a recalculation occurs in which proportionate percentages of guilt are discovered to be less.  This process can be repeated weekly to illustrate to the victim and patient that the guilt attributed is far from fair.

Also, the therapist can help the victim distinguish between the emotion of concern versus guilt, as well as shame and guilt.  Many equate these emotions with guilt.  The sexual victim may equate shame with guilt.  In doing so, one can then start to attack the various distortions of guilt.

It is also important to help the patient understand their decision under pressure.  Normal decision making under peaceful situations are quite different than decisions under duress.  Fight or flight mechanisms can erupt and many lose rationality.  So it is good to point out that one does not think the same way under trauma as if not.  A therapist can also help the patient look at the choices that were available, the time constraints, all the information at the time and the intent of the outcome.

Another important way to help one see the past is to have the person play the role of two.  As if an advisor or friend, to respond to one’s own criticism.  By separating oneself from the event, and counseling one as if a friend, one can then begin to see the overall picture.  So many therapists recommend patients play a two role therapy of talking and then responding as two different individuals.

It is important to properly process guilt in trauma. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


In addition, various rituals can help.  Spiritual visualization of healing, as well as finding forgiveness through a higher power.

Through this, one is better able to properly rank their guilt and true proportionate role in the traumatic event.  The person can then understand the situation, move on from it and process it.  Through this, the victim can be better prepared for the future and understand the role he or she played.

Of course, various therapies help individuals with PTSD and trauma better recollect the situation and process any negative emotions.  EFT, Rewind Techniques, TIR and EMOR are all way therapists can better help an individual relate to the emotions and events of a particular trauma.  They can also help the person cognitively restructure the event appropriately to reality.  Removing inappropriate guilt is obviously an important step.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program, as well as Stress Management Program and Crisis Intervention Program.  All programs are helpful in teaching professionals to guide others through trauma.   The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.



“The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth” by Glenn Schiraldi, PhD