Crisis Intervention: An Alternative to Consider – Emotional CPR

Posted on July 15, 2011

One of the things that I hear from those who are or have sought help, their families, friends, their supporters who provide mental health services from social and case workers to therapists and psychiatrists as well as the teams that deal with what could be termed a crisis…

Compassion is the Cure

What else is there besides medications?

And today I’d like to introduce you to a viable alternative as well as provide you with the link to learn more about how to bring this model to your own agency as one who may provide mh services in the supportive or crisis intervention capacity.

What is this approach to crisis intervention that does not require the use of force or mind-altering chemicals?

Its called Emotional CPR.

e-CPR is an effective model of crisis intervention developed by those who choose to provide mental health services and who have experienced emotional distress and overcome it as well.

Below are excerpts from the website to introduce you to the concept of non-medical crisis intervention as well as the resources to access this training for your organization or community resource.

The eCPR Approach

Through eCPR we learn that people in emotional crisis express their feelings as a form of communication to be understood and our approach assumes that people are doing their best to cope with an experience beyond their current ability to effectively manage. The sooner we begin support for a person in emotional crisis, the more likely it is that the person will make a full, speedy return to a life in the community. In essence, eCPR helps people learn the skills required to act as a bridge between a person in distress and the community at large, assuring that important roles are not lost and the person in crisis reintegrates quickly back into the daily routine of everyday life. Our approach is holistic, heart-to-heart, and embedded in a hopeful belief that by using our interior experience we can help another person recover from an emotional crisis. By first applying eCPR, most emotional crises can be worked through, but in some instances people may still need professional help.

An Overview of the eCPR Model

 Emotional CPR (eCPR) is an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps:

C = Connecting

P = emPowering, and

R = Revitalizing.

The Connecting process of eCPR involves deepening listening skills, practicing presence, and creating a sense of safety for the person experiencing a crisis. The emPowering process helps people better understand how to feel empowered themselves as well as to assist others to feel more hopeful and engaged in life. In the Revitalizating process, people re-engage in relationships with their loved ones or their support system, and they resume or begin routines that support health and wellness which reinforces the person’s sense of mastery and accomplishment, further energizing the healing process.

eCPR is based on the principles found to be shared by a number of support approaches: trauma-informed care, counseling after disasters, peer support to avoid continuing emotional despair, emotional intelligence, suicide prevention, and cultural attunement. It was developed with input from a diverse cadre of recognized leaders from across the U.S., who themselves have learned how to recover and grow from emotional crises. They have wisdom by the grace of first- hand experience.

For more information, to schedule an introductory workshop/training in eCPR, or If you would like to be an eCPR Ambassador and help spread the word about this exciting program, or call 877-246-9058. Please visit the NCMHR website: for eCPR updates and education materials.

And below is the description of e-CPR, an effective model of crisis intervention developed by those who choose to provide mental health services and who have experienced it as well.

About eCPR and its Developers from the website:

This training was developed by people who have learned from their own experience how to get through an emotional crisis and integrate the experience into a broader understanding of themselves and others. Our approach is based on time-tested, basic common-sense principles of deep listening and interacting in a respectful manner. The developers of eCPR have been users of the American mental health and/or substance use service system and have also provided services themselves. Based on lived experience, they have learned what kind of help can be most useful in the short and long-term.

Meet the creators/developers of this intervention model at this page.

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Please consider sharing the link to this post with your colleagues and community support services.