Leone Centre Glossary

Crisis intervention in family therapy

Crisis intervention

Crisis intervention in family therapy involves immediate and short-term assistance to families facing significant emotional and psychological stress. This process aims to stabilise the situation and provide a framework for resolving the underlying issues. It’s an important aspect of family therapy that ensures families can work through sudden and intense disruptions collaboratively.

Key components of crisis intervention

Crisis intervention encompasses several key components that are essential for its success:

  1. Assessment: Evaluating the nature and severity of the crisis to understand its impact on the family.
  2. Stabilisation: Taking immediate steps to reduce the emotional and psychological turmoil experienced by the family members.
  3. Support: Providing emotional support and reassurance to help family members feel heard and understood.
  4. Action plan: Developing a short-term plan to address the immediate crisis and lay the groundwork for longer-term solutions.

How it helps

Crisis intervention in family therapy is beneficial as it helps families regain a sense of control and stability. It addresses immediate needs while also setting the stage for deeper therapeutic work. By intervening promptly, it prevents the escalation of issues and promotes healthier family dynamics.

How it works

The process typically begins with an assessment to understand the crisis’s nature and its effects on the family. Following this, the therapist works with the family to stabilise the situation through emotional support and practical guidance. Finally, an action plan is developed to address the immediate crisis and ensure that the family is equipped to handle future challenges.


What is the goal of crisis intervention in family therapy?

The goal is to provide immediate support and stabilisation, helping the family work through the crisis and prevent further escalation.

How long does crisis intervention typically last?

Crisis intervention is usually short-term, lasting from a few sessions to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the crisis.

What types of crises can be addressed in family therapy?

Family therapy can address various crises, including sudden illness, loss, trauma, and significant life changes that impact the family unit.


  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information – Family therapy
  2. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy – Resources
  3. Psychology Today – Family therapy basics
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision