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Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention Advance Access originally published online on October 12, 2005
Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention 2005 5(4):329-339; doi:10.1093/brief-treatment/mhi030
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© The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

Original Article

The Seven-Stage Crisis Intervention Model: A Road Map to Goal Attainment, Problem Solving, and Crisis Resolution

   Albert R. Roberts, PhD
   Allen J. Ottens, PhD

From Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Roberts) and Northern Illinois University (Ottens)

Contact author: Albert R. Roberts, Professor, Criminal Justice, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Lucy Stone Hall, B wing, 261 Piscataway, NJ 08854. E-mail: prof.albertroberts{at}

This article explicates a systematic and structured conceptual model for crisis assessment and intervention that facilitates planning for effective brief treatment in outpatient psychiatric clinics, community mental health centers, counseling centers, or crisis intervention settings. Application of Roberts' seven-stage crisis intervention model can facilitate the clinician's effective intervening by emphasizing rapid assessment of the client's problem and resources, collaborating on goal selection and attainment, finding alternative coping methods, developing a working alliance, and building upon the client's strengths. Limitations on treatment time by insurance companies and managed care organizations have made evidence-based crisis intervention a critical necessity for millions of persons presenting to mental health clinics and hospital-based programs in the midst of acute crisis episodes. Having a crisis intervention protocol facilitates treatment planning and intervention. The authors clarify the distinct differences between disaster management and crisis intervention and when each is critically needed. Also, noted is the importance of built-in evaluations, outcome measures, and performance indicators for all crisis intervention services and programs. We are recommending that the Roberts' crisis intervention tool be used for time-limited response to persons in acute crisis.

KEY WORDS: crisis intervention, lethality assessment, establish rapport, coping, performance indicators, precipitating event, disaster management

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