EVIDENCE BASED PROTECTIVE INTERVENTIONS Call Us M - F 10:00am - 4:00pm +704.438.2945 P.O. Box 1455 Albemarle, NC 28002



Understanding Human Behavior
Forming Therapeutic Rapport
Constructing Solutions
Crisis Behavior Assessment
De‑escalating, Escalating Behavior


Key Point

1) Loss of control over daily and long range decisions can lead to loss of freedom, loss of privacy, loss of dignity and access to family and friends. These losses can lead to feelings of fear, panic, frustration and insecurity. These feelings can lead to poor behaviors such as aggression, withdrawal, manipulative behaviors and negative attention seeking behaviors.

Taking Back Control of Your Life

Grief has its own category of treatment plans and possible interventions, yet those struggling with everyday losses often manifest grief like symptoms. Being laid off, losing a scholarship opportunity, aging — the list of grief–inducing experiences is infinite, and experts agree that these losses can launch us into the same grief process that accompanies the death of a loved one.


  • losing freedom of movement
  • losing privacy
  • losing dignity
  • not being able to do things at the spur of the moment
  • limits on personal possessions
  • limits on access to family and friends
  • not being able to meet the demands of everyday life on their own
  • having to do what others say
Others in Control


Control of their life may have been taken over when symptoms were severe and they were in a very vulnerable position

  1. Family members
  2. Friends
  3. Health care professionals

Often, the decisions that are made and the resulting action are not those the individual would have chosen Feelings Based on Losses

  • fear
  • panic or the feeling of being smothered or trapped and unable to express feelings
  • frustration
  • insecurity/not knowing what is expected
  • feeling bad about themselves (lowered self–esteem)

Behaviors Based on These Feelings


  • Aggression toward themselves or others
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Negative attention–seeking behaviors
  • Manipulative behavior – using shrewd or devious behaviors to get needs met
  • Being uncooperative

Key Point

2) Strategies that can put people receiving service's back in "charge" are encouraging decision making; teaching problem solving; teaching appropriate and useful interpersonal skills and helping people to be resilient.


Back in Charge

Taking back control of their life by making their own decisions and making their own choices is essential to recovery. Making their own decisions can help the individual to feel better about themselves and may even help the individual to relieve some of the symptoms that have been troubling to them.

Strategies to Take Control

1) Teaching problem solving


  • State the problem; state what the person would like to have happen – say what he or she wants
  • List options – explore ways to get what he or she wants
  • Evaluate the options – figure out possible consequences of each
  • Choose and do – choose what to do and act on that choice
  • Evaluate the action – look at the consequences of the actions
(Use the aforementioned skills to do the Survival Activity)

2) Teach appropriate and useful interpersonal, social and self management skills
  • Make sure the person being served is in charge
  • What do they think is appropriate and useful?
  • How can you find out?
  • What makes sense for one person might not make sense for another
  • You must keep in mind how the person thinks, how the person feels and how the person functions in life


3) It is important to always consider the whole person when teaching new skills/behaviors

  • Thinks — The person has to know the new skill
  • Feels – The person's feelings have to allow him or her to try, fail and try again
  • Does – The person has to be able to actually perform the skill

Helping Resilience


  • Resilience is about developing and maintaining the strength to overcome adversity
  • In children, resilience can be developed by helping them develop the internal and external assets that will sustain them when life is difficult or when hard times occur
  • For adults, resilience typically comes through a sense of hopefulness and optimism about the present and future and the belief that one can overcome difficulties, either through prior experience in overcoming [difficulties] or through optimism that one can

Key Point

3) We encourage decision making by:

  • offering hope;
  • offering choices;
  • avoiding unnecessary confrontation;
  • helping people make their own decisions;
  • avoid giving orders and;
  • being positive when the person uses problem solving techniques to make a decision

Empower and Encourage

There are several things you can do as staff to begin this process. You can do these things in whatever way feels right to you. You may want to assist the individual with using a journal to list or write their thoughts and ideas as a way to stay focused on what it is they want, to motivate them and to record their progress.