Webster defines crisis as a “crucial time” and “a turning point in the course of anything.” Usually, the term crisis is used for a person’s internal reaction to an external hazard. A crisis most often manifests in a temporary loss of coping abilities, and the assumption is that the emotional dysfunction is reversible. If the person effectively copes with the threat, then he returns to prior levels of functioning.
In Chinese characters, crisis is made up of two symbols: one is for despair (the negative) and the other is for opportunity (the positive). When professionals talk about a crisis, they are talking about the moment when a change for the worse or better happens. When a counselor talks about a particular crisis, he talks about a turning point when that situation can move toward growth, enrichment and improvement; or move toward dissatisfaction, pain, and in some cases, dissolution.
A crisis can be the result of one or more factors. It can be a result of an overwhelming problem, such us a death of a loved one. It could be a problem that is generally not too serious but, for a given person, has special significance and so becomes overwhelming to that individual. It could be a problem that comes during a time of unpreparedness. A crisis could come when a person’s coping mechanisms are not working or when a person’s support system is down.
But, a crisis is not always bad. It represents a pivotal point or turning point – in our organization, we call it a breaking point – in a person’s life that can bring opportunity as well as danger.
In life, crises are inevitable. In fact, life’s journey is a series of crises. Some of them are predictable and some are unpredictable. Even as a crisis counselor I have experienced many crises in my own life and i know how it feels to be in a crisis. But being alive means that we have to constantly resolve one problem after another.
The nice thing about all these is every new situation we face gives us the opportunity to develop and learn new ways of using our own resources in order to take control of the situation. Sometimes we have to try again and again because our first efforts do not work. But persistence helps us discover ways to overcome these problems. And when a similar situation is encountered in the future, we find it easier to resolve because of what we learned in the past.
However, there are times when we encounter a change or a a problem that seems beyond our capacity to cope. When a problem is overwhelming, or when our support system, either internal or external (family, friends, etc.), does not work, we are thrown off balance. This is called a crisis.
For a crisis counselor, since this is inevitable in any person’s life, it is imprtant to always be ready to be called upon to help during a time of crisis. These things should be anticipated and expected to occur.
The Breaking Point Missions Trip to Puerto Princesa, Palawan reaped commitments to a new life by 528 students out of 1,309 who saw our large group presentation and the “Effective Refusal Skill” workshop and testimonies from our volunteers. The Breaking Point team, composed of 18 volunteers from Sagemont Church in Houston, Texas led by Sandy Baird, 20 volunteers from Palwan led by David Quiocson and 10 volunteers from Manila led by Lance Gotcher and Breaking Point Director Jeffrey Aspacio, went to four schools form August 11 to 12. The schools we went to were Sicsican National High School, Palawan National High School, Western Philippines University and PPSAT. Below are pictures taken during missions trip.