Crisis Intervention Therapy

If you have needs that can’t wait until your scheduled appointment, please call us at (336) 722-7266 and we will try to find a better solution for you.  This might involve help by phone from an on-call clinician or a sooner appointment in our practice.  We keep urgent times reserved each week for people in crisis. 

We also run Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT) groups to help people manage crises more effectively. Read more about therapeutic steps for managing crises:

For patients

For families

—Updated 3/18/17 by Chris Aiken, MD




Other Resources for Crises:

If you or your relative needs in-home assessment for a psychiatric emergency, you can call (888) 581-9988 or (336) 607 - 8523 Ext: 147 for DayMark’s public-funded services in Forsyth County.

Most counties in North Carolina also have mobile crisis services for in-home assessment, a full list is available here.

Alternatively, two hospitals in Winston-Salem offer psychiatric assessments 24/7.  These hospitals are trying to offer assessments outside of the emergency-room setting.  These assessments may lead to hospital admission or to a daily “partial hospital” group program:

Forsyth Behavioral Health Outpatient Assessment Center
175 Kimel Park Drive, Suite 100
Winston-Salem, NC

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services
3637 Old Vineyard Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
(336) 794-3550

The Serenity Prayer

Ancient wisdom is often ahead of psychological research, and the serenity prayer is a good example.  Two of the most popular therapies for people in crisis (12-step programs and dialectical-behavioral therapy) have reached the same conclusion about surviving as crisis as this simple prayer:   

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace”

Mood disorders make it hard to find the wisdom this prayer calls for.  In every moment of the day, the mood center of our brain (the amygdala) sends signals to the planning/action center (the frontal lobes).  In a crisis, distress signals get sent.  It’s normal feel this kind of distress in a crisis. 

What goes wrong in mood disorders is that the connection between the mood center and the planning center gets disrupted, which makes it difficult to sort out which distress signals need to be acted on and which are best to let be.