De-Escalation and Pro-active Communication Skills. How to manage aggression and hostility and move the client forward when they are acting out. A. Christine Furman MMHS Director of Acute Care Services. What we are going to t alk about:. Recognizing aggression and hostility
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How to manage aggression and hostility and move the client forward when they are acting out.
A. Christine Furman MMHS
Director of Acute Care Services
This is a two way process that includes:
As a staff member you will also need to:
speak loudly (are you having to yell?)
Staff need to be able to recognize early warning signals such as:
Commenting on the changes may open up conversation and minimize frustration or anger build up – giving the client an opportunity to diffuse the situation.
Recognize that Anger is a normal emotion – we don’t always need to fix it or be afraid of it – unless the person becomes a danger.
Anger is not ‘normal’ when:
Staff need to remain in touch with their emotions when dealing with an angry client. If you become angry or defensive you will not be able to help the client. If you cannot manage your emotions and remain calm and objective, you will need to get help.
Take a deep breath, and attempt to remind yourself of the following:
Sometimes all it takes to de-escalate someone is a good ear and the time to allow the client to vent. Just listento what they have to say and give them encouragement.
This is when you really listen and are able to relay back to them that you understand what they are feeling.
“I understand that you are angry”
“I see that you are frustrated”
“You feel that you have been wronged”
You don’t need to be the problem solver. It’s not your job to have all the answers.
Give the client time to reflect, don’t fill the time with your thoughts and questions. Just be with them, calmly.
If the situation was unjust or unfair – a sincere apology is powerful. It does not mean that you are accepting blame, it means you are acknowledging that something that occurred wasn’t right or fair.
Ask what you/we/the program could do better, be sincere. Don’t tell them why it won’t work or why it’s not a good idea, just listen and thank them for their input. This may intensify someone’s anger temporarily – but if you encourage them to continue and let them be heard the conversation tends to end on a more positive note.
You should have a plan at the ready, for example… a place for a time out, a meeting with a supervisor or case manager; however you will want to work out the options with the client.
Once you have threatened or given an ultimatum all negotiations will cease and you will be in a win/lose situation. Try to keep options as open as possible.