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Law Enforcement Academy Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville, North Carolina Crisis Intervention Team Training De-Escalation Skills.

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Presentation on theme: "Law Enforcement Academy Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville, North Carolina Crisis Intervention Team Training De-Escalation Skills."— Presentation transcript:

1 Law Enforcement Academy Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Asheville, North Carolina Crisis Intervention Team Training De-Escalation Skills

2 What is verbal de-escalation? Verbal de-escalation is used during potentially dangerous, or threatening, situation in an attempt to prevent persons from causing harm to us, themselves, or others. 2

3 What is verbal de-escalation? De-escalation is another tool that officers have at their disposal to be judiciously applied in controlling a potentially volatile situation, rather than serving as a substitute for sound judgment and attentiveness to safety. De-escalation will not always work 3

4 Effective Communication 70% of communication misunderstood Communication becomes more difficult when the person’s ability to understand what you are saying and/or their ability to express their own thoughts or needs are compromised by their symptoms. 4

5 Barriers to Effective Communication Barriers to communication are the things that keep the meaning of what is being said from being heard: Pre-judging Not listening Criticizing Name-calling Engaging in power struggles Ordering Threatening Minimizing Arguing 5

6 Effective Communication 6

7 Non-Verbals It is very important to be able to identify exactly what you are communicating to others non-verbally You may be trying to de-escalate the situation by talking to the other person, but your body language may be saying something else. The consumer will react to want you are saying with your body language 7

8 Non-Verbals Personal space Eyes Body Posture Voice Face 8

9 Non-Verbals: the key ones Remain calm Lower the volume of your voice 9

10 What is a Behavioral Crisis? A crisis is a perception of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds the resources and coping mechanisms of the person Unless the person obtains relief, the crisis has the potential to cause severe behavioral malfunctioning. 10

11 Behavioral Crisis 3 reasons that a consumer may be having a behavioral crisis: Medical condition Substance use Psychiatric condition 11

12 Behavioral Crisis The majority of encounters that you will have with consumers are because the symptoms of their illness are not under control. Most commonly, this occurs at the initial onset of illness, during a relapse (that can result for a variety of reasons) and when the person s using substances. The consumer’s behavior is usually a result of his or her illness, rather than being criminally motivated 12

13 Avoid Maintaining continuous eye contact Crowding or “cornering” the consumer Touching the consumer unless you ask first or it is essential for safety Letting others interact simultaneously with the consumer Negative thoughts (“God, this is another one of those homeless people.”) 13

14 Avoid Expressing anger, impatience or irritation Inflammatory language (“You are acting crazy.”) Feeling as though you have to rush or feeling like you are stuck if it takes time to get the consumer talking Intervening too quickly or trying too hard to control the interaction by interrupting or talking over the consumer. 14

15 Avoid Saying “You need to calm down.” Shouting or giving rapid commands Arguing with the consumer Taking the words or actions of the consumer personally (They are symptoms of mental illness.) Lying, tricking, deceiving, threatening the consumer to get her to comply 15

16 Avoid Asking why questions. Why questions are logic- based. Persons in crisis are not logical. Typically, what ever has worked in the past is not working now. Why questions put the consumer on the defensive. Ask open-ended questions. Forcing discussion 16

17 Avoid Minimizing the consumer’s situation as a way to elicit conversation (“Things can’t be that bad, can they?”) Suggesting that things will get better; they may not Making promises that you may not be able to keep 17

18 Avoid Commands such as “drop the knife,” or “Get down on the ground” might seem to be straightforward and easy to understand. When dealing with people who live with mental illness, however, officers need to take into account the types of barriers to effective communication that the brain disorder might create. Telling the consumer “I know how you feel.” 18

19 Avoid Asking a lot of questions of the consumer in the beginning. This is a natural tendency, however, this is generally not a good idea, especially early in the interaction. In de-escalation, encouraging the consumer to continue talking is more effective than asking a lot of questions. It will help continue the dialogue and will provide the consumer with opportunities to give information that will help to resolve the crisis. 19

20 DO Speak in a calm, slow, clear voice You may need to repeat; the consumer may be distracted Be patient; give the situation time; time is on your side Try to reduce background noise and distractions Use “and” instead of “but” Obtain relevant information from informants 20

21 DO Allow the consumer to ventilate (“Tell me some more about that.” Use “please” and “thank you” often Remain friendly but firm Ask the consumer if she needs something Offer a cigarette, nutrition bar, warm clothing Forecast: Announce your actions and movements 21

22 Hot Buttons Consumers will sometimes push a hot button We all have them Example: The consumer calls you a “pig” or swears at you. This is NOT the time to demand respect 22

23 Use Positive Self-Talk Identify your hot buttons You are not the target of the outburst Never take anything personally Remember that most of us have been irrational and said inappropriate things when we are under extreme stress 23

24 Recognize Your Limits Let someone else take over if necessary Set a limit with the person; use an “I” statement; “I really want to help you but I find it difficult because of your name-calling; could you help me and stop the cursing so that I can work on helping you. Thanks, I would appreciate it if you try.” 24

25 The Logic of De-Escalation If you take a LESS authoritative, LESS controlling, LESS confrontational approach, you actually will have MORE control. You are trying to give the consumer a sense that he or she is in control. Why? Because he or she is in a crisis, which by definition means the consumer is feeling out of control. The consumer’s normal coping measures are not working at this time. 25

26 De-Escalation Model: E-LEAP* Engage Listen Empathize Agree Partner *The LEAP Model was developed by Xavier Amador, Ph.D. 26

27 E-ENGAGE An introduction promotes communication Hi, my name is Doug (or Deputy Smith). I am a officer with the Sheriff’s Department. Can you tell me your name? State what you see/know (“I can see you’re upset.”) State or convey that you are there to help. Be prepared to explain the reason you are there (e.g., a neighbor called to say someone is upset) 27

28 Introduce Yourself How many of you can have someone tell you her name, and within a few seconds you have already forgotten it Make a point of immediately starting to use the consumer’s name; that will help you remember it Use the consumer’s name often 28

29 Introduce Yourself “Get out of here you damn cop!” Don’t take the bait and turn confrontational 29

30 L = LISTEN to the person’s story Silent and listen are spelled with the same letters Listen twice as much as you talk; that’s why you have 2 ears and 1 mouth What is the difference between listening and hearing? 30

31 LISTEN to the person’s story It is important understand and remember that what the consumer is saying or believing may be real or imagined. Since mental illness is a brain disease, thinking is what is most affected by mental illness. Sometimes their thoughts are disconnected and you’ll hear this in their speech, which can be difficult to follow and make sense of. 31

32 Techniques that Show You Are Listening 1. Minimal encouragers 2. Reflecting 3. Ask open-ended questions (“Can you tell me more about that.” 32

33 Minimal Encouragers Minimal encouragers are brief statements that can be either nonverbal, such as a positive nod of the head, or simple verbal responses such as Okay, Uh- huh, I see, I am listening. Minimal encouragers demonstrate to the consumer that you are listening and paying attention, without stalling the dialogue or creating an undue interruption. Especially early in the encounter, consumers need these types of encouragers to feel that the officer is really attending to them and listening to what they are saying. 33

34 Reflecting Whereas minimal encouragers provide initial confirmation that you are listening, reflecting adds another dimension to the communication. Here, you provide the consumer with evidence that you are listening by actually repeating what he or she has said. Often the reflecting response will simply consist of the last few words the consumer says. These statements should be brief and used in such a way as not to interrupt the consumer. 34

35 Reflecting Repeat the last few words that the consumer said Example: “I am tired of everyone not listening to me and it make me angry.” “Jim, it makes you angry.” 35

36 Open-Ended Questions Open ended questions allow you to get more information Open ended questions enable us to assess the consumer’s level of dangerousness Open ended questions allow you to assess whether the consumer is in touch with reality 36

37 Specific Questions That You May Want to Ask, When Appropriate Does the consumer need something (e.g., hungry, thirsty) Is the consumer receiving services Where is the consumer receiving services Does the consumer have a case manager Is the consumer taking medication When did the consumer last take his or her medication 37

38 Medication Mentioning “medication” must be given careful thought. In some cases, the topic is best left to mental healthcare providers after the consumer has calmed down. In other situations, the consumer may want to talk about his or her medication. Also, many consumers have had negative experiences with therapists and don’t want to talk about it their counselor. 38

39 E = EMPATHIZE 1. Emotion labeling 2. Paraphrasing 39

40 Empathy What is the difference between empathy and sympathy? Feeling sorry versus trying to understand what it is like to be in their shoes. Being sincere and real will convey understanding It’s hard to stay angry and aroused when someone empathizes 40

41 Emotional Labeling In emotional labeling, you again take listening to a higher level by trying to help the consumer identify feelings. This is different from “telling” the consumer what he or she is feeling because your statement is based on what the consumer has been communicating through his or her words and behavior. If you have used your listening skills well, it will often be rather easy to provide an emotional label to assist the consumer. 41

42 Emotional Labeling Examples You seem to be.... It seems to me like you feel.... If I were in your situation, I think I’d feel... 42

43 Paraphrasing Paraphrasing is similar to reflecting except that now you begin to communicate that you are trying to understand the consumer’s entire message by putting what the consumer has said into your own words. 43

44 Paraphrasing Builds rapport between you and consumer Helps you refine the assessment of the crisis Provides information that lays the groundwork for an eventual resolution of the crisis Communicates that you are listening and understanding 44

45 Paraphrasing Examples Consumer: I don’t know what I am going to do. My family doesn’t want me here. You: You’re not sure where you can stay for awhile, but home doesn’t seem like the best place right now. 45

46 Paraphrasing Examples What I hear you saying is.... If I am hearing you right.... Let me see if I understand what you are saying... These types of statements also summarize what has been said in the communication. 46

47 A = AFFIRM You need to know what the consumer is upset about You may have a tendency to go to the solution step without really identifying what the issue is with the consumer. You should not assume that you know why the consumer is upset. You should ask and let the consumer tell you what the problem is before looking at possible solutions. After getting the information that you need, steer the conversation toward a resolution by affirming the consumer’s situation 47

48 Affirm Example “Okay, let me make sure I understand you, You’ve told me that people are bothering you and that your case manager is not helping you. That your meds are hurting you because they make you feel sick. Did I understand you correctly.” 48

49 P = PARTNER to address the person’s need Goal is to find a resolution and return to pre-crisis state. You are looking to find the combination that will unlock the crisis. 49

50 Partner You can ask the consumer what she thinks will resolve the problem Look for alternatives with the consumer Try to have 2 or more options Empower the consumer to choose If one approach doesn’t work, “throw another lure” 50

51 Partner Putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes will help you find a solution Don’t force particular points of discussion Try to get agreement on a course of action. Repeat what the plan is and what is expected. Meet reasonable demands when possible Reach for small concrete goals It’s never too late to reassess and change a plan 51

52 Partner If repeated attempts fail, set firm limits and tell the consumer that you are worried about his safely and you want to help him. Ask if there is a family member you could talk to. State your expectations by linking to safety issue: I need to make sure that everyone stays safe. 52

53 Partner In your attempts to resolve an escalating situation you may be tempted to use bargaining, deal-making, or saying/promising anything to gain compliance. They are not recommended as they ultimately violate trust—which is important in your repeated encounters with people. 53

54 Resolution Can it be informally resolved? Is an evaluation needed? Are commitment criteria met? Was a crime committed? 54

55 What Ifs What if the consumer asks you a long-term question? Say that you don’t know the answer but that you and the consumer can handle the immediate situation 55

56 What If The consumer says that there’s nothing you can do to help? Say that you’re not sure what you can do, but that you want to work with the consumer to figure out something 56

57 What If The consumer will not engage problem-solving and is distracted? Say “Stay with me, Frank. Let’s work on this together. I’d like for you to stop for a minute and take a deep breath with me. Like this. That’s good. Thank you, Frank.” 57

58 What If The consumers moves too close you? Say “I need some space, Jim, so I am going to back up.” 58

59 What If The consumer is talking so loudly it is disruptive? Drop the volume in your own voice and say, “Jim, I am having a hard time understanding you because of how loud your voice is.” 59

60 What If You think the consumer might become aggressive? If possible, bring in another trained person. There is less chance of aggression if two people are talking to one person. 60

61 What If The consumer will only respond non-verbally, like with a head nod Respond positively 61

62 What If The consumer remains unresponsive? Simply validate the consumer by stating what you observe about their situation “You look really sad; you must be really hurting right now.” 62

63 Special Strategies 1. Assertive Intervention 2. Corrective Action 3. Reducing Stimuli 4. Reducing Arousal 63

64 1. Assertive Intervention Can be used when: The consumer is uncooperative or unresponsive to directives that they are expected to follow. The consumer is violating rules which serve to maintain security 64

65 Three Step Assertive Intervention 1. Empathy statement: A statement that lets the consumer know that you understand where he or she is coming from and how he or she likely feels. 2. Conflict statement: A statement that describes to the consumer that you have a conflict that needs to be addressed. 3. Action statement: A statement that lets the consumer know what you want him or her to do. This statement can be in the form of a request. 65

66 Examples “Jack, I understand that you are upset and that you feel like no one is listening to you or doing enough to help you. But you and I need to let these people get back to work here, so we are going to have to get out of this waiting room. I’d like you to walk with me down the hallway to an empty room so you and I can talk.” “It looks to me like you are pretty upset, and I’m here to help you. But I am afraid someone is going to get hurt by those stones. So I’d like you to stop tossing them and step up here on the curb so I can talk to you and try to understand what is going on with you today.” 66

67 Choice If possible, offer a choice: Joe, I want you to stop throwing the stones or, if you prefer, step over here with me on the grass and throw them in the grass while we talk. What is best for you? This helps the consumer “save face.” Everyone reacts better to a choice versus being told what to do. 67

68 2. Corrective Action: AAA If you make a mistake (and you will) and the consumer escalates: 1. Acknowledge: “Jim, I can see that mentioning your medication is a real sore point.” 2. Apologize: “I’m sorry to have upset you. I didn’t mean to.” 3. Try Again: “I want to help, not upset you, so let’s try something else.” 68

69 3. Reducing Stimuli Remove the audience or move the consumer to a private space Turn off flashing lights 69

70 4. Reducing Arousal Encourage the consumer to take 3 deep breaths; you can do this with the consumer. “Let’s take 3 deep breaths like this”; then demonstrate and do it with the consumer. 70


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