Stupid Phrases for People in Crisis
First off: I completely dislike this title but I think the article has some great value to it. The question is about what we say to people who are struggling. What people usually take from a title like this is that they are calling the people saying the phrases stupid and then we argue about that statement instead of the content. For some people these statements are all you know and you say them with a heart that is trying to help. What people struggling would like you to know is that for the most part these statements are more hurtful then helpful. Lets look at how we can better support people struggling.
They suggest changing this from “God will never give you more than you can handle” to “Let me come over and help you do some laundry.” This strikes me as even more theologically correct.
They have some great thoughts on a framework for how to respond.
The first is the emergent or resuscitative stage. At this stage priority is given to removing the person from the source of the burn and stopping the burning process. The big things to think about are fluid replacement, nutrition, and pain management. Translated into crisis care, this means we’ll bring meals, coffee money, and pick up children from day care.
The second stage is the acute or wound healing stage. At this stage, the body is trying to reach a state of balance, while remaining free from infection. During this stage, patients can become withdrawn, combative, or agitated. This stage can be a lengthy and unpredictable stage. Burn victims, like people in crisis, often lash out at those closest to them. Translate this into listening, listening, and listening some more.
The final stage is the rehabilitative or restorative stage. The goal at this stage is for a patient to resume a functional role within their family and community. Reconstruction surgery may be needed. Encouragement and reassurance are critical to the person at this stage. This would translate into going on walks with the person, taking them out to a movie or dinner, having them over for coffee or a meal.
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