Naomi Golan is the creator of the Golan Model of Crisis Intervention, and a pioneer of crisis theory and crisis intervention. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Haifa in Israel, where she retired in 1984. (Dorfman, 2013)
Golan’s 1978 book Treatment in Crisis Situations provided a review of her three phase model of crisis intervention. While this work has been integrated into the work of modern day crisis intervention and even regular social work practice it was quite innovative in its day.
Golan Model of Crisis
The model that Golan proposes involves three stages or phases, and is designed to be completed in 5-6 sessions. The three phases are Assessment, Implementation and Termination. These are reviewed in more detail below.
The assessment stage happens in the first session. The goals of the assessment stage are very similar to Boiling Down the Problem in the ABC Model and the Step 1 (Defining the Problem) in the Six Step Model of Crisis Intervention.
First, you must identify what the traumatic event or precipitating event that caused the crisis. Second, you must understand the client’s reaction or response to crisis. Third, what context did the crisis event happen in – what else is going on in the client’s life? The term “hazardous event” is sometimes used to describe the nature of the stressor. Fourth, you must identify how the client has been affected by the crisis, and finally what is the client’s primary concern as a result of the crisis?
Golan (1969) identifies four elements that can be used to determine if a client is in crisis:
- a hazardous event
- a vulnerable state
- a precipitating factor
- a state of active crisis or disequilibrium
A comprehensive assessment will be the road-map you rely on to ensure you have accurately understood the nature of the client’s crisis.
Once you have identified the goals for treatment (collaboratively with the client), you will proceed to the Implementation phase. During implementation, you will collect information on the client’s pre-crisis functioning, coping strategies, strengths and weaknesses, and support systems available to them.
Once you have this information, you can begin to set some concrete goals with the client. For example, a recently divorced client who is completely overwhelmed with what to do next might set a goal to make an appointment with a career counsellor or resume writing service – or even something as simple as a checklist to ensure they shower and brush their teeth each morning.
The Implementation stage will run from the first session to approximately the fourth session.
Termination is the final sessions, which might be the 5th or 6th session. Now that the client has made some steps towards regaining pre-crisis functioning, the client and therapist make a plan to wrap up services and make plans for the future.
Similarities and Differences with Other Crisis Intervention Models
The ABC Model includes three stages:
- Achieving Rapport
- Boiling Down the Problem
- Contracting for Action
Boiling Down the Problem most of the elements in the Implementation Phase, including understanding the elements that are leading the client to their crisis, and getting a detailed understanding of their coping strategies. The focus in the Termination model is very similar to the Contracting for Action part of the ABC Model.
The ABC Model includes achieving rapport as an explicit element, while the Golan Model does not, this is just expected. Additionally, the Termination phase in the Golan Model covers next steps after the client wraps up therapy, while the ABC Model may lead into regular counselling or therapy, without necessarily stopping therapy.
Six Step Model of Crisis Intervention
The Six Step Model of Crisis Intervention includes six steps:
- Defining the Problem
- Ensuring Client Safety
- Providing Support
- Examining Alternatives
- Making Plans
- Obtaining Commitment
Both the Six Step Model and the Golan Model of Crisis Intervention include defining the nature of the problem, understanding their supports and existing resources, making goals or plans, and a termination or wrap up phase.
The Six Step Model includes more specific phases than the Golan Model. For example, Ensuring Client Safety (meeting their basic needs like shelter and food) and Providing Support (accepting the client as a person of value and worth) are absent from the Golan Model. On the other hand, the Golan Model includes assessing pre-crisis functioning in a way that the Six Step Model does not.
Finally, the Golan Model includes a more thorough Termination phase, while the Six Step Model’s Termination phase (“Obtaining Commitment”) is more about obtaining verbal agreement about next steps.
The LAPC Model includes four steps:
The LAPC Model’s Assess Phase is very similar to the Assessment Phase in the Golan Model, while the Plan Phase is very similar to the Implementation Phase. Finally, the Commit phase includes elements similar to those in the Termination phase of the Golan Model.
The main difference is that the LAPC Model includes a step involving Listening, while the Golan Model does not. Additionally, the LAPC Model includes safety planning and taking care of basic needs, things that were less of a concern to Golan – who was frequently taking care of clients in a hospital setting where this was already assumed.
As you can see, many crisis intervention models are overlapping and interrelated. The Golan Model of Crisis Intervention is a useful model of crisis intervention, and has several important similarities and differences when compared with other models like the Six Step Model, the ABC Model, and the LAPC Model.
Golan, N. (1969) When is a client in crisis?. Social Case Work. 50(7). pp. 389-394.
Golan, N. (1978) Treatment in Crisis Situations. New York, NY: Free Press.
Dorfman, R.A. (2013) Clinical Social Work: Definition, Practice And Vision. London, England: Routledge.
Does your organization have a fee-for-service program? I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a local United Way chapter that was looking to hire a new executive. Some of the things that we discussed included:
- A review of their financial statements
- Importance of development of a planned giving/endowment program
- Improving the organization’s messaging
Additionally – and the purpose of this post – I made sure to discuss the importance of fee-for-service programs in an effort to diversify fundraising. Since its founding, the United Way’s primary fundraising strategy has been workplace campaigns, but in the era of direct donations online right to funded agencies, donations from youth and other tech-savvy individuals to the United Way have been falling.
This is where fee-for-service programs can come in handy. These training sessions and services provide value to the nonprofits while also diversifying the United Way’s fundraising.
Types of Training
As the Director of Online Support at Distress Centre Durham, I led training sessions in topics including:
- Creating an Online Text and Chat Program
- Providing Crisis Intervention via Text and Chat
- DCIB/CPR Suicide Risk Assessment
- Using the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment
- Youth Suicide Prevention
These sessions ranged in length from 45 minute “Lunch and Learns” up to full day training sessions designed to Train the Trainer who would go back to their own organization and train volunteers or other staff. Your organization will obviously tailor the types of training that you provide depending on your service.
For example, an organization that works with women fleeing intimate partner violence might offer training sessions like:
- Working with Abused Women
- Running a Shelter
- Providing Intimate Partner/Domestic Violence (IPV/DV) Services via the Phone
- Intimate Partner Violence Assessment
These trainings may be prepared for other service providers, for individuals in the community like therapists and counsellors, or even over the internet via e-learning. E-learning is an under-utilized form of training in the nonprofit world, and once the course is developed the majority of your organization’s time is spent updating and revising the material yearly.
If your organization is a cornerstone in the community like the United Way is, developing a comprehensive Board of Directors Training can be a lucrative revenue source. Even small communities have several organizations, while larger ones will have dozens of Boards. Board Training improves those organization’s capacity to govern their organization while generating revenue for your organization. As Boards naturally have turnover, this can represent a recurring revenue source.
Providing Services to Other Nonprofits
Services are also an option for a nonprofit to expand. For example, I’ve prepared Social Return on Investment (SROI) Reports that demonstrate the value your organization gives over and above the mere dollar donated can be significant in demonstrating your value proposition. A dollar donated to the United Way or another organization that is at the center of the nonprofit ecosystem can go much further than if it is donated directly to the partner agencies.
Here is a one slide from the SROI Analysis that I conducted for Distress Centre Durham’s helpline program:
Other opportunities abound depending on your specific skills and training.
For example, I directed the Evaluation Program for our Basic Helpline Training at Distress Centre Durham. This involved pre-and-post knowledge and attitude surveys that were examined. I built automated tools in Excel to sharply reduce the labor required (so that any student or intern could plug in the numbers and it would spit out the evaluation.) When certain questions were not being answered correctly, the training was adjusted.
You can help organizations develop these kind of tools and to build their own evaluation programs to give them the data that they need.
Some organizations specifically provide T4T (Train the Trainer) programs. Completing these programs entitle you to lead the training programs. Leaning on my work in suicide prevention, there are several options that you can use to bring Suicide Awareness or Assessment/Intervention Training to your community.
The QPR Institute provides QPR Suicide Gatekeeper Instructor Training for $500. QPR Certified Instructors (who can take an e-learning course in order to get certified) may charge $20 per participant for 2 hours of suicide awareness training.
A similar program is offered by LivingWorks and called safeTALK. safeTALK costs $1000 for the 1-day training program, and the instructors may charge $50-100 per participant for the 3-hour training program.
Finally, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a 2-day suicide risk assessment and intervention program. The LivingWorks ASIST Instructor program costs $2500 for the 5 days of training, and participants are charged $100-300.
Case Study: The United Way
The United Way has opportunities to reinvent themselves as a critical source of support – and not just financially – for all nonprofits in their community. Going beyond the traditional workplace campaign and volunteer resource center, United Way can become essential. For example, a nonprofit decides they need to improve their fundraising and strategic direction and they contact their local United Way.
The United Way provides them with free Board of Directors e-learning, which helps the Directors learn the importance of a strong outcome and evaluation program. They decide to pay for an SROI Analysis to be conducted on their most valuable program; that evaluation indicates that for every $1 invested in their program, $4 is generated in social value to the community.
Armed with that knowledge, they approach a new funder and get funding for a youth mentoring program. In order to make sure that all their Mentors are equipped the best they can, the nonprofit notes in their application that all staff and volunteers working with youth will receive QPR Suicide Awareness Training.
The United Way generates revenue from the SROI Analysis and the QPR Training, while the nonprofit improves their fundraising by better telling their story. As the Board of Directors naturally changes in composition, those individuals may take their knowledge of Board training to their new organization – increasing your reach.
Does your nonprofit generate revenue with fee-for-service programs? Would you like to? Share below. As well, if you’re looking for information on outcomes or evaluations feel free to contact me.