UNIT FIVE – DE‑ESCALATING ESCALATING BEHAVIORS
1. Communication skills and Active Listening skills are used to prevent escalating aggressive behavior and to assist the person with de–escalating aggressive behavior.
The Communication skills and Active Listening skills that were practiced earlier are taken up a notch when we are using those skills to prevent escalating aggressive behavior and to assist the person with de–escalating aggressive behavior
- What you say
- Body language or "how you say it"
2. What you say can help deescalate aggressive behavior such as: Use a low tone of voice; Give reassurance; Use "I" messages; Ask what, when, how questions; Be clear up front about any rules in the situation and; Let the other person do most of the talking – ask questions to clarify if needed.
What You Say
- Use a low tone of voice – it is calming, and the other person will have to be quiet to hear you
- Give reassurance – tell the person that you are not there to hurt him/her but want to help him/her to get what's wanted if possible. Ask how you can help.
- Use "I" messages
- Ask what, when, how questions
- Be clear up front about any rules in the situation
- Let the other person do most of the talking
3. How you say it or your body language can help deescalate aggressive behavior such as: Use a non–threatening body stance – relaxed, arms down at side and not crossed or on hips and hands open and giving the person space standing a minimum of one and a half to two feet away from the person escalating.
Body Language or "How You Say It"
- Use a non–threatening body stance – relaxed, arms down at side and not crossed or on hips and hands open.
- Give the person space. Keep about 11/2 –2 feet away or more if the person is escalating.
- Touch the person only if you have to. If you must touch them, tell the person what you are going to do.
4. Before staff attempts to physically intervene or diffuse a situation where a person behavior is escalating they must first determine intent and capacity to do harm.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before Intervening
- Does this person have a history of hitting, biting, running away, etc?
- What is this person’s crisis plan?
- What is my agency's policy regarding this type of intervention? And
- Before I have to put my hands on, is there anything else that might be done to resolve this crisis appropriately without using physical intervention?
5. An individual's problematic or inappropriate behavior is a sign that he is upset and that something is not right. Individual's sometimes have trouble communicating, because they may not be able to verbally describe the problem or know what to do in a situation. At these times, Individual's may act out their feelings or needs.
6. It is important that staff read the charts and records of individuals especially their crisis plans. This information will assist staff with identifying the triggers that set off diagnostic and behavioral symptoms in the person that they serve. As usual getting to know and understand the person is usually the most effective way to identify triggers that set off increased emotional distress that leads to inappropriate or negative behavior.
Signals for Imminent Danger
- Social withdrawal
- Excessive feelings of isolation
- Excessive feelings of rejection
- Being a victim of violence
- Feelings of being picked on or persecuted
- Low school interest and poor academic performance
- Expression of violence in writings and drawings
- Uncontrolled anger
- Patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying behavior
- History of discipline problems
- Past history of violent and aggressive behavior
- Drug and alcohol use
- Affiliation with gangs
- Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms
- Serious threats of violence
- Monitoring yourself
- Cued response
- On–the–spot problem solving
- Positive Reinforcement