Conflict lies at the interface
between the individual and his total situation, is objectively or subjectively
perceived by the individual or someone in his total situation, and is causally
a function of the individual and/or his situation.
Experience suggests that non-mental
health professionals and volunteers tend to perceive the individual in crisis
as sick and are thus oriented to a medical model, that is, have a tendency to
think in terms of diagnosis and treatment of the problem as if it were
something totally within the individual himself. Reorientation to the social interaction model
requires careful attention to and emphasis on locating and dealing with the
problem or conflict as a function of the interaction between the individual and
his situation. This reorientation also
encourages moving away from a tendency to place blame and to identify
individual pathology, and toward intervention based on an interactional
understanding, thereby working with the strengths and capacities within both
individuals and situations.