Crisis intervention in psychiatric emergencies: Effectiveness and limitations

C. Bressi, E. Colombo, M. T. Coppola, C. Cattaneo, F. Cova, G. Guggeri, A. D. Linciano, S. Caparrelli, G. Invernizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Emergency Unit has developed a type of Crisis Intervention (C.I.), carried out by a team of researchers, psychiatrists and psychologists, for patients undergoing an acute psychological crisis who come to our Psychiatric First Aid Department. The aim of the intervention is to re-establish an emotional and relational balance, restoring to the patient the meaning of his difficulties by resolving the crisis situation, while fostering a maturational process in the patient. In addition to a clinical assessment, patients are subjected to a battery of tests. When necessary, they are also treated with psychotropic drugs. Follow-up is carried out at one, three, six, twelve and twenty-four months from the end of the therapy. From the preliminary data, it emerges that an important transformational component is obtained by means of a Crisis Intervention. This may be seen as a restructuring and refinement of the defence mechanisms habitually adopted by the subject in the majority of situations he considers difficult and a source of distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalNew Trends in Experimental and Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Crisis intervention
  • Emergency psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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