Mental disorders and managing power struggles
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MENTAL DISORDERS and MANAGING POWER STRUGGLES. Bernard A. Yates, LCSW-C July 16 and 17, 2009 [email protected] Objectives. To look at the mental disorders that affect our students To understand how these conditions impact the child in stressful situations

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MENTAL DISORDERS and MANAGING POWER STRUGGLES

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Mental disorders and managing power struggles

MENTAL DISORDERS and MANAGING POWER STRUGGLES

Bernard A. Yates, LCSW-C

July 16 and 17, 2009

[email protected]


Objectives

Objectives

  • To look at the mental disorders that affect our students

  • To understand how these conditions impact the child in stressful situations

  • To learn ways of dealing with students and assist them in managing difficult situations


Introduction

Introduction

  • Know your child.

  • Know the diagnosis the treating professional has given the child.

  • All behavior has a goal.

  • Know yourself and your buttons.


Goals of misbehavior

Goals of Misbehavior

  • Attention

  • Avoidance

  • Control or Power

  • Revenge

  • Expression of Hopelessness


Power struggle

POWER STRUGGLE

  • An interaction

  • With the goal of gaining control of the situation

  • Win-lose interaction

  • Each partner utilizes different tools

    • Student: disrespect, arguments, etc.

    • Teacher: Authority, orders


A look at diagnoses

A look at diagnoses

  • A diagnosis is not a clear description of the problem

  • All children exhibit symptoms along a continuum.

  • The diagnosis could be inaccurate or misleading.


Mental disorders and managing power struggles

ADHD

Symptoms

  • Difficulty attending to class work

    • Over attends to stimuli

  • Easily distracted

  • Impulsive, acts without thinking

  • Is accustomed to being “in trouble” and is defensive when corrected

    Goal of misbehavior: Attention


Adhd in a power struggle

Effect on Interaction

Defensive when confronted (perception)

External locus of control

Negative attention- seeking

Overwhelmed by the work

Your Response

Use calming techniques

Reinforce who is responsible

Teach positive ways of getting attention

Teach “chunking”

ADHD in a Power Struggle


Depression

Depression

Symptoms

  • Low Mood, sadness

  • Irritability

  • Poor motivation

  • Withdrawn

    Goal of Misbehavior: Avoidance or expression of anger


Depression in a power struggle

Effect on Interaction

Difficulty Motivating self

Hopeless feelings

Catastrophic thinking

Your Response

Relationship may be the key

Feelings are not facts

Challenge thinking

Depression in a Power Struggle


Bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms

  • Vacillation from highs to lows

  • Possible psychosis

  • Delusional thinking, Grandiosity

  • “Rules do not apply to me”

    Goal of Misbehavior: Power or Control


Bipolar disorder in a power struggle

Effects on Interaction

Highs are silly or rage

Believe their grandiose thinking

Can look antisocial

Can be paranoid

Your Response

Do not negotiate

Set firm limits and enforce consistently

Know your feelings

Know who is treating the student

Bipolar Disorder in a Power Struggle


Anxiety disorders including ocd

Anxiety Disorders, Including OCD

Symptoms

  • Worry/stress about anticipated events

  • Avoidance is the cornerstone. Often looks oppositional

  • Student really is “stuck”

  • Can look like ADHD

    Goal of Misbehavior: Avoidance


Anxiety in power struggle

Effects on Interaction

Fight or Flight

Stuck on negative thought

High Stress level – watch for aggression

Your Response

Do not impose physical closeness

Feelings are not facts; give choices

Calm first and then problem solve

Anxiety in Power Struggle


Ptsd post traumatic stress disorder

PTSDPost Traumatic Stress Disorder

Symptoms

  • Hyper vigilance

  • Easily startled

  • Can become aggressive in a panic

  • Sexual abuse can complicate relationship

    Goal of Misbehavior: Escape or Avoidance


Ptsd in a power struggle

Effects on Interaction

Panic can lead to flight or aggression

Child feels very unsafe

Child may be seeking a physical/sexual confrontation

Your Response

Express limits verbally, avoid physical

Bring child to a safe place to process

Only when calm

Be aware of child’s goal

PTSD in a Power Struggle


Attachment disorders

Attachment Disorders

Symptoms

  • Wide range of severity, from mild to severe

  • Skewed relationships: Avoidant, Ambivalent, Disorganized

  • Inhibited and Disinhibited

  • Extreme need for Control

    Goal of Misbehavior: Control


Attachment disorders in a power struggle

Effects on Interaction

Will attempt to “split” staff

Approach/Avoidance

Negative cycle of behavior

Your Response

Be aware of your feelings

Keep boundaries clear

Set clear limits and consequences without showing emotion

Attachment Disorders in a Power Struggle


Odd and conduct disorder

ODD AND CONDUCT DISORDER

  • Are descriptions of behavior and not clear statements of what drives the behavior.

  • ODD is most likely based in Anxiety with the goal of controlling the present situation.

  • CD is most likely caused by untreated Depression and ADHD with the goal of power.


Teacher responses

Teacher responses

  • Set clear limits and consequences ahead of time.

  • Consistently enforce consequences without getting angry.

  • ODD wants a good relationship with you while CD simply wants power.

  • Know your emotions and buttons.


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Know your student.

  • Know yourself and your buttons.

Power Struggles, Successful Techniques for Educators

Allen N. Mendler, Ph.D.

Discipline Associates


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