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Violence Prevention/De-Escalation of Emotionally Charged Situations

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Mourning Fox, MA, LCMHC, deputy commissioner for the Vermont Department of Mental Health, explores the issues around why people resort to violence and the risk factors individuals have that may make them more, or less, likely to use violence. Fox discusses the three major predictors of violence and their impact on how you deal with emotionally charged situations both before they happen and as they take place. He explains the importance of building a common language to describe potentially problematic or actually problematic behaviors seen in people who are in emotionally charged states in order to improve effective communication between responders and support service providers. Our values drive the decisions we make every day. The role of these values, for both the responder and the identified subject, and their impact on relationship building and resolutions to conflict is explored.

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Violence Prevention/De-Escalation of Emotionally Charged Situations

  1. 1. The National Center for Campus Public Safety M. Fox 2017 Violence Prevention and De-Escalation Mourning Fox, MA, LCMHC 2
  2. 2. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Why are people violent? “Violence is the language of the unheard.” Violence Talks: •  To protect myself •  Gives me a voice •  Helps me control and dominate others •  Relieves my tension •  Makes me feel better MartinLutherKing,Jr. 3 M. Fox 2017
  3. 3. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Risk Factors for Violence •  Age: 17 – 25 •  Sex: Male •  Substance Abuse: Alcohol and Stimulants •  Socioeconomic: lower income •  Intelligence: <90 •  Education: Drop-out, ADD/ADHD •  Employment: Poor work history •  Arrest History: Violent crime, Juvenile record •  Fire setting, cruelty to animals 4 M. Fox 2017
  4. 4. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Predictors of Violence 1.  Past history of violence Ø  Types, frequency 2.  Significant change in behavior 3.  Increase in Gross Motor Activity (i.e. large muscle groups) 5 M. Fox 2017
  5. 5. The National Center for Campus Public Safety STRESS Stress: Difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension 6 M. Fox 2017
  6. 6. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Agitated 7 M. Fox 2017
  7. 7. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Agitated “ I’m Distressed” 8 M. Fox 2017
  8. 8. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Agitated Disruptive “ I’m Distressed” 9 M. Fox 2017
  9. 9. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Agitated Disruptive “ I’m Distressed” “Pay Attention” 10 M. Fox 2017
  10. 10. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Agitated Disruptive Destructive Dangerous “ I’m Distressed” “Pay Attention” 11 M. Fox 2017
  11. 11. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Agitated Disruptive Destructive Dangerous “ I’m Distressed” “Pay Attention” “I’m Losing Control” “I’ve Lost Control” 12 M. Fox 2017
  12. 12. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Agitated Disruptive Destructive Dangerous Threat of Lethal “ I’m Distressed” “Pay Attention” “I’m Losing Control” “I’ve Lost Control” 13 M. Fox 2017
  13. 13. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Agitated Disruptive Destructive Dangerous Threat of Lethal “ I’m Distressed” “Pay Attention” “I’m Losing Control” “I’ve Lost Control” “Stop Me” 14 M. Fox 2017
  14. 14. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Our Common Language Ø Improves communication among staff by providing staff with a common language to describe behaviors Ø Does NOT likely progress in a linear fashion from agitated to dangerous Ø Listening and Talking are used at every level on the Behavior Scale Ø Aids in determining appropriate interventions 15 M. Fox 2017
  15. 15. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Be Aware of Values •  Values are what people think is important. •  Try to clarify what the person’s values are. •  Values influence behaviors! 16 M. Fox 2017
  16. 16. The National Center for Campus Public Safety SLOW DOWN!!! 17 M. Fox 2017
  17. 17. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Effective Communication: Making people feel safe, feel heard 18 M. Fox 2017
  18. 18. The National Center for Campus Public Safety What’s the first step? LISTEN then TALK! The most important verbal communication is “Listening” to what they’re communicating 19 M. Fox 2017
  19. 19. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Use Active Listening Skills Emotional Labeling •  The intent of emotional labeling is to respond to the emotion heard in the person’s VOICE rather than the content •  For example use phrases like: “You seem” or “You sound..”, “You look to me…” or “I hear that you are …” •  Use the same terminology as the subject 20 M. Fox 2017
  20. 20. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Emotional Labeling Cont’d •  Avoid telling a person how they feel and focus on how they seem or sound •  Don’t worry if you label the emotion incorrectly, it’s your own perception •  Be aware of YOUR own emotions and what emotions you are conveying 21 M. Fox 2017
  21. 21. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Active Listening Cont’d Paraphrasing •  A summary in your words as to what they have told you •  Creates empathy, it shows you’re listening and you understand •  For example: “Are you telling me…?” or “Are you saying…?” 22 M. Fox 2017
  22. 22. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Active Listening Skills Cont’d Reflecting/Mirroring •  Simply repeat the last word or phrase the person said and say it in the form of a question •  Provides the person with exact feedback that you are listening •  Guides the person to further explain 23 M. Fox 2017
  23. 23. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Active Listening Skills Cont’d Use “I feel” messages •  Shows the person how you feel and why you feel that way and how they can change to remedy the situation •  You want the behavior to change not them 24 M. Fox 2017
  24. 24. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Active Listening Skills Cont’d •  Use the formula: “I feel (emotion) when you (behavior) because (your reason) and I would like you to (behavior).” •  For example: “I feel (frustrated) when you (yell) because (its hard for me to talk with you) and I would like you to talk with me so we can resolve this.” 25 M. Fox 2017
  25. 25. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Active Listening Skills Cont’d Use open-ended questions •  These questions cannot be answered with a yes or no response •  Usually begins with words like “How” “When” “What” or “Where” (avoid “Why”) •  It helps to get the person talking •  It focuses the discussion on the person’s feelings 26 M. Fox 2017
  26. 26. The National Center for Campus Public Safety Communication Creating an Alliance •  People do not assault their allies •  People do not get assaultive if they feel they are being treated respectfully •  “I hear that you’re frustrated. What can we do to make you more comfortable?” 27 M. Fox 2017
  27. 27. The National Center for Campus Public Safety De-Fusing Techniques •  Validate the feeling “ I understand how this is frustrating to you” *****(careful!) •  Match the intensity of volume Use similar tone to match and bring it down… think crowded restaurant 28 M. Fox 2017
  28. 28. The National Center for Campus Public Safety De-Fusing Techniques •  De-Railments – Fake Misunderstanding – Purposeful Misinterpretation – Soft Shock •  Reflective Statements “Mr. X, I noticed you are pacing more than usual today?” 29 M. Fox 2017
  29. 29. www.margolishealy.com www.nccpsafety.org info@nccpsafety.org 1.866.817.5817 www.bja.gov

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