In threatening situations it is common for managers and practitioners to feel fear, anxiety and in some cases anger. Appropriate training, well thought-out practices and procedures and good organisational (and at times police) back-up all help staff to manage these feelings and make effective responses. 

To manage incidents involving aggression and violence effectively it is crucial that practitioners remain in control of their actions. To do so practitioners can

  • Focus thoughts on safety
  • Be aware of their own triggers:
    • Type of behaviour - screaming, breaking objects, specific words, punching walls, the tone and volume of voice, specific words, type of threat
    • Physical size of client in relation to worker
    • Concern for other clients and possibly a desire to rescue them
  • Be aware ‘early warning signs’ that their feelings are escalation including physiological responses to threat
  • Regulate and control their breathing
  • Use self talk - ‘remain safe’ or ‘remain calm’
  • Try to relax – practise some quick physical relaxation skills such as relaxing hands
  • Try not to personalise the person’s anger or share their emotion