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Crisis situations

Are you experiencing an acute crisis or is someone close to you in crisis? Here you will find tips for dealing with a crisis and important emergency contacts.

We speak of a «crisis» when our mental equilibrium is upset due to stressful events and life circumstances and we are overwhelmed with coping with them (according to Caplan, 1964 & Cullberg, 1978).

Counselling in acute crises

I need help NOW. What should I do in a crisis situation?

  • Take a deep breath.
  • In an acute crisis situation, you can contact us during our office hours
  • Outside office hours, you have several options.

Your first point of contact is your general practitioner or consultant. If these are not available, contact one of the following emergency services:  

Important emergency contacts

Tips for dealing with a crisis

  • Try to identify the crisis, its cause if any, and the feelings that go with it.

  • Talk about your situation with someone in your social circle whom you trust and with whom you feel safe. It is often helpful to be able to express your thoughts and worries and to formulate them in concrete terms can have a relieving effect.

  • Another possibility is to write down the stressful situation. This is especially useful if you cannot change anything about the situation at that moment. Important: set a timer for a maximum of 15 minutes and decide in advance what you will do afterwards – preferably something active. Write down all your thoughts uncensored and without paying attention to grammatical correctness. When the alarm clock goes off, put down the pen and paper and do the previously determined activity (e.g. exercise). You can repeat this technique several times a day.

  • If possible, try to remember how you dealt with previous crises. Is there anything you could do or use in the current situation?

  • Go for a walk – exercise can help to take your mind off things. Try to focus on exhaling and imagine the air flowing down to your belly. When we are stressed or nervous, we are usually already taking enough breaths. Often this even results in hyperventilation. So it is especially important to focus on exhaling (preferably a calm, long exhalation).

  • Make sure you have a good and healthy intake of food and fluids – even if you are not hungry. You need a lot more energy in an emergency situation.

  • Do not hesitate to seek professional help. In the first instance, consult the above emergency contacts in the event of an acute crisis and also note the other points of contact under the link "Specific external services" below. 

  • In an acute crisis situation, you can also contact our counselling centre during office hours. Also see below for our counselling services and our tips for strengthening your well-being. 
  • Counselling services (overview)

  • External services

  • Strengthen your well-being (overview) 

  • Avoiding stress

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