You may find yourself in situations where you have a client who is having a meltdown, or exhibiting serious behavioural issues. The nature of this situation can take many different forms and be caused by various factors, and can be exacerbated by certain mental health, substance misuse, or other conditions.
The ability to problem-solve is a major component of succeeding as a community support worker, and de-escalating conflict is one scenario where you can put these skills to the test. Here’s how a community support worker can successfully de-escalate crisis situations among their clients.
Be Sure You Understand What Can Cause Escalation, and Try to Catch it Early
Before determining how you go about de-escalating the situation, try and examine what may be the root causes of the situation that is causing your client to have an outburst. Doing this will not only help you better handle these situations in the future, but will also enable you to tackle the situation as early as possible. Consider what emotions the client is feeling (eg. if they feel unsafe), what their environment may be contributing to their meltdown, and what thoughts they may be having. One way you can try catching these situations early is by understanding what is triggering their meltdown, and noticing when they start to lose control. By acknowledging possible root causes, you can plan ahead for how you’ll respond to individual situations depending on the circumstances.
Remember that Communication Is Important After Community Support Worker Training
One of the most important skills you can practice in these situations after community support worker college is excellent communication. This can encompass various different techniques, both verbal and non-verbal. Among the different techniques you can try include being an active and supportive listener when they want to vent to you, being fully attentive to their feelings, maintaining a measured vocal tone, giving space to these clients when needed, avoiding being judgmental, and asking for assistance if things get out of hand or the client starts attacking or verbally berating you. Whichever strategy you choose, the ultimate goal is to de-escalate the situation and find a peaceful, successful resolution to it.
Lastly, Be Sure You Make Them Feel Safe and Supported During These Situations
Students in community support worker training can also expect to learn their craft in a collaborative fashion, and learn how to work in a team. With this in mind, being a non-threatening, supportive presence is one of the best things you can do in this situation. Aside from the aforementioned strategies of investing your full attention and support toward how they’re feeling, refraining from judgment, and keeping your vocal tone friendly, there are even more significant ways to display empathy and understanding with clients while they’re feeling agitated and hostile. You can ask them open-ended questions, talk their feelings out with them, listen to their point of view without argument, and tell them positive things like “I want to help you, let me know how I can do this for you,” to assure them they’re being heard and you’re willing to help them. In order to successfully and safely de-escalate the situation, positioning yourself as a friendly presence can go a long way.
Do you want to get your community support worker diploma?
Contact Discovery Community College to learn more!