Psychotherapy, also known as crisis counseling, is an organized conceptual framework, which uses multiple psychological theories to assist an individual towards problem resolution. This type of therapy / counseling may be appropriate after crisis intervention since the goal of psychotherapy is problem resolution and the goal of crisis intervention is problem management. The two should always be treated separate. Both in terms of function and application.
Psychotherapy is usually a longer-term type of counseling. It relies mainly on establishing communication between the therapist and individual as a means of understanding and modifying the individual behavior. The formulation of a plan of attack on the problem might be weeks or months in the making while the the rapist and individual explore for the underlying cause of the problem that precipitated the crisis that made the individual seek help to begin with. In psychotherapy, the therapist leads the individual to self-discovery and attempts to remediate more or less ongoing emotional problems in order that new ways of coping with stress and new patterns of behavior may develop. Crisis intervention however, deals with the here and now.
The goal of crisis intervention is to help the individual regain a pre-crisis stability. This can be accomplished by interrupting the maladaptive behavior of the individual as skillfully and quickly as possible. This will often require providing for the individual that which the individual can not provide for themselves. This could be emotional or physical support or even direction at a time in the individuals life when self - direction may be impossible. Therefore, every movement is crucial to the intervener, especially if the individual is to maximize their involvement in psychotherapy after the crisis. Unlike psychotherapy, crisis intervention calls for instigating plans of action immediately by the intervener to help the individual discover an adaptive means of coping with a particular crisis.
Since the term crisis usually refers to a persons perception of feelings of fear, shock and / or distress about a disruption rather than the disruption itself, crisis intervention requires careful assessment of the individual, family and environmental factors. Because of this, the intervener is encouraged to select, integrate and apply useful concepts and strategies from all available approaches to help the individual. Unlike the long, expensive, psychotherapy, crisis intervention is typically short term, six to twelve weeks. The focus of intervention must continue to pertain to the immediate crisis and stay away from the unresolved issues or past issues unless these issues pertain directly to the handling of the current traumatic event. Both crisis intervention and psychotherapy strive to maintain equilibrium in the individual.
However, crisis intervention, an intervener takes positive control providing immediate stability to the individual. Psychotherapy focuses on the therapist leading the individual into discovery of self and teaching coping mechanisms for the true underlying causes of the individuals personal crisis. Crisis intervention is met to be short term process mitigating immediate dangers, where as, psychotherapy is a long term process leading an individual through underlying traumas to learn to cope successfully with daily life.