Verbal De-escalation Strategies 2009-2010 Kathy Huppe Sara Dilday Questions to Ask? How do I recognize the early warning signs that a person’s behavior may escalate? How can I intervene effectively before the person’s behavior becomes dangerous? Defensive Behavior Level Verbal Escalation Continuum (Flying the Kite) Release Intimidation Refusal Tension Questioning Reduction Stage 1-Questioning Characterized by: A. Information Seeking Questions: a rational question seeking a rational response OR B. Challenging Questions: questioning authority or being evasive. An attempt to engage in a power struggle. Staff Attitudes/Approaches A. Answer the questions, Give a rational response, Avoid Power struggles B. Stay on topic, redirect, repeat, set limits Stage 2-Refusal Characterized by: Noncompliance, a slight loss of rationalization Staff Attitudes/Approaches Set limits Stage 3-Release Characterized by: Acting out, emotional outburst, loss of rationalization. Venting, screaming, swearing. High energy output Staff Attitudes/Approaches: Allow venting! Isolate the situation by removing audience or individual, set limits, state directives, be prepared to enforce limits Stage 4- Intimidation Characterized by: Verbally and/or nonverbally threatening. Hands on approach at this time may trigger a physical response Staff Attitudes/Approaches: Set limits, take threats seriously, document the situation, seek assistance, wait for team, try to avoid individual intervention. Stage 5-Tension Reduction Characterized by: Decrease in emotional and physical energy. This is always are goal, to get them calmed. This drop in energy occurs after every crisis situation. Staff Attitudes/Approaches: Re-establish trust, communication, and Therapeutic Rapport with the client. Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security! Additional Considerations Personal space Maintain a safe/comfortable distance Body language What non-verbal messages are you communicating Body positioning, facial expressions, posture, movements, gestures Paraverbals Voice volume Voice tone Voice speed Additional Considerations (cont). Integrated Experience: The idea that the behaviors and attitudes of staff directly impact the behavior and attitudes of students in your care and vice versa. Rational Detachment The ability to stay in control of your own behaviors and not take the acting out behavior personally. It’s Not About You!
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