AY Honor Crisis Intervention Answer Key

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Crisis Intervention

Skill Level






Approval authority

North American Division

Crisis Intervention AY Honor.png
Crisis Intervention
Spiritual Growth, Outreach and Heritage
Skill Level
Approval authority
North American Division
Year of Introduction


Be at least in the 10th grade.

Pathfinders should be mature enough for this topic. The honor also includes Guide requirements, designed for Grade 10 students.


Explain how Christ encouraged people in crisis in at least two of the following Bible stories. Identify the nature of the crisis or human needs in each story that you explain.


John 8:1-11 (Mary Magdalene)

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
John 8:1-11 (NKJV)

The woman was facing death, accused of a capital offence. She was being used by the Jews to trap Jesus. While Jesus used wisdom to get out of the trap set for him, Jesus also showed compassion for the accused woman. She knew what she had or had not done and Jesus chose to forgive her sins. Jesus got creative and deflected the attention of the Jews from accusing the woman and trying to trap Him toward their own problems.

You are unlikely to know the sins of people in a conflict, but can you use creative problem solving to help those in a crisis?


Luke 15:11-32

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Luke 15:11-32 (NIV)

Many a sermon has been preached dissecting this story, but for the purposes of this honor the story illustrates family acceptance and the need to be loved. The father also addressed his son's physical needs for food and shelter.


Luke 8:40-56

40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[a] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.


[a] Luke 8:43 Many manuscripts years, and she had spent all she had on doctors
Luke 8:40-56 (NIV)

Jesus was addressing the very life and breath of the little girl, as well as the need for family and love in her parents. But of course Jesus also addressed people's spiritual needs and faith, higher level needs on scale of needs.


Matthew 8:1-22


Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

8 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

The Faith of the Centurion

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Jesus Heals Many

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

The Cost of Following Jesus

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Matthew 8:1-22 (NIV)

Jesus addressed people's physical needs for health, and even breathing, but He also addressed people's spiritual needs.


Describe for your instructor some of the human needs and crisis situations that teenagers in your community face today. Describe some of the crisis situations that families face. This may be done in a group discussion setting.

Teenagers are humans and therefore are subject to the same human needs as shown on the pyramid. However, as they transition to an adult world, teenagers face additional decisions and challenges. With less experience in handling crisis situations than older people, teenagers may need to learn tools and skills to cope with life. Families are also comprised of humans who must function in relationships with each other. Families with teenagers are in for an interesting time as their teenagers grow up, leave home, study, find love and enter the workforce.

Once they get into a discussion, Teenagers will, however, focus on the human needs that are most pressing for them.

Discussion topics may include:

  • Divorce and family recombinations that place stress on family members
  • Decisions about school and career
  • Job loss and economic crisis in the family
  • Dating and romance
  • Self esteem challenges
  • Suicide thoughts
  • Peer pressure to try illegal, unhealthy or immoral things
  • Family violence and other types of abuse
  • Loss of a family member or loved one
  • etc.

Often in any crisis whether it be a wide area disaster or the loss of a close family member the emotional crisis can be devastating to an individual. Not all people are emotionally equipped to react and continue to even function when facing what many would call an overwhelming situation. For these people immediate assistance is needed as they may have frozen themselves in a dangerous location, may become depressed even to the point of suicidal or may react in outrage and violent fashion.

To help to bring these reactions to a close or to a point controllable first the person must be helped to a place physically and mentally where they are not in immediate danger and they must be helped to realize this. In the case of the loss of a parent this may mean that the teen is helped to realize that they have many friends, and family, a community that will help them to go on and provide for their needs.

The human needs of any individual start with the same basics: shelter, water, and food. As Christians we recognize the need first for God and our relationship with Him and will remind those we help to keep this need first in all things. Beyond these basic needs there are possibly physical, medical, and emotional support needs that will be considered. A person injured in the fire that has destroyed his home needs medical attention before he needs emotional support (although the two may come nearly simultaneously at times). In professional occupations that deal with high stress matters or regular human suffering, the emotional support to follow is most often called Critical Incident Stress Management. This is a form of counseling that is important not only to professionals like firefighters but also to families and communities in need.

The stress of an incident can be overwhelming and may manifest itself some great time later or be a fixture in a person's actions and outlook to life. Although not all people are affected by such stress it is best to see to the potential needs of a person in crisis to avert the possible self destruction that may come. In this we consider not only what a person says they are feeling and facing, not only what they have gone through, but in the long term what they are like today vs. the person they were before their crisis.

In immediate intervention you will be a shoulder to lean on, someone to offer support, to be yelled at, to be cried to. You will offer encouragement and help to arrange for those basic needs of shelter, water, and food. You will report to your "supervisor" in intervention any issue you observe that may need to be referred to professional counseling. You will be a friend.

Families face a variety of crisis situations and some things that some may not consider to be a crisis can be devastating. For this purpose we will list common crisis situations:

  • House fire
  • Death of a loved one
  • Loss of income
  • Terminal disease
  • Birth Defects
  • Multiple Births (quintuplets for example, imagine five kids at one time could be stressful)
  • Serious Injury
  • Natural Disaster


Discuss your own motives for wanting to help your friends when they face personal or family crisis. What about strangers? This may be done in a group discussion setting.

The point of this requirement is for the individual to examine his own reasons for wanting to help someone. Unfortunately, there are many more bad reasons to want to get involved than there are good reasons. The only valid reason to get involved is out of love. Invalid reasons include curiosity, the desire to gossip, the desire to feel better about oneself for helping, or out of a sense of wanting to control the other person's life. Sometimes people think that their friends cannot get themselves out of their mess without their help. There are almost certainly more invalid reasons for getting involved than those listed here. But that doesn't mean you should not get involved. Just be sure you are doing so for the right reason!


Describe the types of human needs and give a real-life example of each.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels: the four lower levels are grouped together as being associated with Physiological needs, while the top level is termed growth needs associated with psychological needs. Deficiency needs must be met first. Once these are met, seeking to satisfy growth needs drives personal growth. The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are satisfied. Once an individual has moved upwards to the next level, needs in the lower level will no longer be prioritized. If a lower set of needs is no longer being met, the individual will temporarily re-prioritize those needs by focusing attention on the unfulfilled needs, but will not permanently regress to the lower level. For instance, a businessman at the esteem level who is diagnosed with cancer will spend a great deal of time concentrating on his health (physiological needs), but will continue to value his work performance (esteem needs) and will likely return to work during periods of remission.


Explain the steps in crisis intervention process and apply each step to a case study supplied by your instructor.

A search for steps to crisis intervention yields a number of different models.

Counselors are encouraged to be aware of the typical responses of those who have experienced a crisis or currently struggling with the trauma. On the cognitive level they may blame themselves or others for the trauma. Often the person appears disoriented, becomes hypersensitive or confused, has poor concentration, uncertainty, and poor troubleshooting. Physical responses to trauma include: increased heart rate, tremors, dizziness, weakness, chills, headaches, vomiting, shock, fainting, sweating, and fatigue. Some emotional responses the person may experiences consist of apathy, depression, irritability, anxiety, panic, helplessness, hopelessness, anger, fear, guilt, and denial. When assessing behavior some typical responses to crisis are difficulty eating and/or sleeping, conflicts with others, withdrawal from social situations, and lack of interest in social activities.

One model has six steps:

Steps 1-3 involve listening primarily:

1. Define the problem: The first step is to define and understand the problem from the person in crisis's point of view. You will need to use the core listening skills of empathy, genuineness, and acceptance.

2. Ensuring the person's safety: It is necessary that you continually keep client safety at the forefront of all interventions. Ensuring safety means constantly assessing the possibility of physical and psychological danger to the client as well as to others. This step is a fluid one in that assessing and ensuring safety is a continuous part of the process of crisis intervention.

3. Providing support: It is important that you communicate to the person that you care about them. The support given may be emotional as well as instrumental and informational.

Steps 4-6 involve acting primarily:

Ideally these steps are worked through in a collaborative manner with the person facing the crisis, but you may need to direct the person to help mobilize the person's coping skills. Listening skills are an important part of these steps too.

4. Examine alternatives: Use three possible perspectives. The first is to support the individual to assess their situational supports and identify people in their life who care about them. The second perspective is helping the client identify coping mechanisms or actions, behaviors, or environmental resources that she might use to help her get through the present crisis. The third perspective is assisting the client to examine her thinking patterns and if possible find ways to reframe her situation in order that the client’s view of the problem will be altered which will in turn lessen the client’s anxiety level.

5. Making Plans: Support the person to make a plan that is very detailed and outlines the persons, groups and other referral resources that can be contacted for immediate support; provide coping mechanisms and action steps which are concrete and positive for the client to do in the present. As much as possible it is important that the planning be done in collaboration with a client in order that she feels a sense of ownership of the plan. It is important that the person does not feel robbed of her power, independence and self-respect. The most important issues in planning are the client’s sense of control and autonomy. Planning is about getting through the short term in order to achieve some sense of equilibrium and stability.

6. Obtaining commitment. In this last step the issues of control and autonomy are also important to the process. This step involves asking the client to verbally summarize the plan. In some incidents where lethality is involved the commitment may be written down and signed by both individuals. The goal is to enable the client to commit to the plan and to take definite positive steps designed to facilitate them moving towards re-establishing a pre-crisis state of equilibrium. The commitments made by the client need to be voluntary and doable. A plan that has been developed by you will not be effective.

Adapted from these sources: https://www.acws.ca/sites/default/files/documents/6-CrisisIntervention.pdf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_intervention


Demonstrate a grasp of basic listening skills by conducting an interview of at least 30 minutes duration. This interview must either be observed by an observer who can recognize listening skills, or taped for review by your instructor. The interview does not have to be with a person who is in crisis, but it must be a real conversation not pretend or role-playing.

Many other honors require interviewing someone, including other ACS Honors, other outreach honors, and some of the Vocational series. We suggest doing an interview to earn another honor while earning this honor too rather than some random interview.

Every student should learn how to listen in school but if someone is taking the time to come and talk with you or your club on a volunteer basis it is time to step up your listening game.

Basic listening skills include:

  1. Not talking while others are talking
  2. Taking notes where applicable
  3. Asking followup questions on key points
  4. Not fidgeting or playing with pens, hair etc
  5. Using appropriate regular eye contact
  6. Respecting the person's time and schedule
  7. Thanking the person for their time.


Explain how to make a referral to a professional counselor or pastor.

When your friend is facing a crisis that is too big for you to handle, you need to refer him to someone with professional training. Doing this is not abandoning your friend, but rather, recognizing that his problems are beyond your ability to help. There are four steps in making a referral:

Prepare your friend
Before you can prepare your friend, you are going to need a lot of information about the services professional offers and have a concrete understanding of how it can help. Then you need to share that information with your friend. Assure your friend that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it is often the most effective and least painful path to recovery.
Get your friend's participation
The decision to see a professional belongs to your friend, not to you. Do not pressure your friend into making this decision. It may take some getting used to, and the decision might take a long time to make.
Prepare the professional
Once your friend has decided to see the professional, you should call and talk to them. Do not make the appointment for your friend. Ideally your friend should to that for himself, but if the situation is especially urgent, you might make the appointment for your friend yourself. When you speak to the professional, tell them as much as you are comfortable about the situation, and why you think the referral is important. The more the counselor knows about the problem, the better able he will be to help. Make sure that the things you have told your friend about the professional hold true, and ask if they think they can really help.
Follow up
After your friend's first appointment, ask how it went. You do not need to pry into the details of the session, but you should certainly ask if there is anything you can do to help your friend. Your continued support can help ensure a positive outcome.


  • How to Help a Friend (second edition) by Paul Welter, Tyndale House, Wheaton, Illinois (1991)
  • Christ-Centered Caring by Ronaele Whittington, AdventSource, Lincoln, Nebraska (1990)