The Personal Empowerment Plan: A Postvention Therapeutic Response to Crisis

Robin Herman, Ph.D. (1990)

The Personal Empowerment Plan is an individualized prescription that is sculpted both as an immediate response to a crisis episode, it being either verbal or physical, and as a pre-crisis instructional model for the future. The purposes of the plan include: making the youngster personally accountable for his/her choices, making him "own his behavior"; putting the youngster immediately "in touch" with his/her behavior so as to preclude disassociation, fantasizing or projecting blame; shifting the "focus of control" internally to the youngster, making him/her advocate for himself; to make line-staff empowered in that they form ad hoc treatment teams, use structured therapeutic techniques and make final decisions about the youngster's disposition regarding the crisis; and to encourage the youngster to "turn a negative into a positive" by accepting the natural consequences of their choices as learning fuel for the future.

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