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Managing Angry and Aggressive Behaviors F. Russell Crites, M.S., L.P.C., L.M.F.T., L.S.S.P. Crites Counseling & Consultation www.critescounseling.com.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Angry and Aggressive Behaviors F. Russell Crites, M.S., L.P.C., L.M.F.T., L.S.S.P. Crites Counseling & Consultation www.critescounseling.com."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Managing Angry and Aggressive Behaviors F. Russell Crites, M.S., L.P.C., L.M.F.T., L.S.S.P. Crites Counseling & Consultation

3 Some Basic Anger Styles Explosive Anger Styles The Tank—Often power/control motivated (Oppositional Defiant/Conduct Disorder) The Bully—Often power/control motivated (Oppositional Defiant/Conduct Disorder) The Time Bomb—Often emotionally sensitive (has long/short term emotional issues)

4 Passive Anger Styles The Sniper—Often power/control motivated (Oppositional Defiant/Conduct Disorder) The Mask—Often escape/avoidant motivated The Seeker—Often attention seeking motivated The Class Clown—Often escape/avoidant motivated

5 Stage One: Chronic Emotional Distress Stage Two: Triggering Event or Crisis Stage Three:Behavioral Response Continuum Stage Four: De-escalation Stage Five:Debriefing The Behavior Escalation Continuum for Anger

6 Staff Response: Must be Pro-active, set boundaries and be supportive Skills and Tools Needed: –Able to identify and address underlying causes. –Teach Self-Control Skills. –Identify self-destructive behaviors. –Able to identify & attack irrational beliefs such as magnification, emotional reasoning, etc. –Address self-esteem & teach Assertiveness. –Stage One Interventions: Proactive Classroom Techniques for Anger Management Chronic Emotional Distress Stage One Agitation

7 Pro-active Techniques for Anger Management Determine which students in your classroom have anger issues that may need to be addressed. Reinforce students in the classroom who demonstrate self-control. Make sure that other teachers are aware of this students’ tendency towards anger. Maintain consistency in daily routine. If you are going to change your schedule let the class know a day in advance. Build optimistic attitudes in class. Teach a short curriculum series on Conflict Management. Teach a short curriculum series on Anger Management or teach some basic Anger Management skills (see ’Diffusing Anger’ & ‘Tools for Diffusing Personal Anger’). Chronic Emotional Distress Stage One Interventions for Agitation

8 When Anger is Not directed toward you: If a classmate gets angry you should ignore him as much as is possible. Do not try to ‘fix’ the problem. Let your teacher take care of the problem. If you are physically close to a student who is angry and you think he may strike out at you, get up and walk to the teacher and express your concern. Chronic Emotional Distress Stage One Interventions Diffusing Anger--Guidelines for Students

9 Only do the following if you know the person and you are assured that you are not in danger! Sit down with him, let him vent and give him time to calm down. Give feedback to the person. Restate what he has said in summary and/or tell him what you believe he is feeling, e.g., anger, frustration, hurt, etc. Help him problem solve the situation. What could be done to improve the situation? Chronic Emotional Distress Stage One Interventions Diffusing Anger--Guidelines for Students

10 If Anger is Directed at You: Learn how to use the ‘Protective Shield’. Learn how to use assertive responses when someone is angry or critical (Fogging). Find allies that you can keep close to you. If you’re cornered listen to what the person has to say. Don’t argue (Fogging)! Don’t become counter aggressive. Stay calm when the person directs his anger towards you. If someone is being verbally abusive tell him you will leave if he continues. If he continues, walk away. Chronic Emotional Distress Stage One Interventions Diffusing Anger--Guidelines for Students

11 Purpose:The purpose of the Protective Shield is to have a way to protect yourself when a student is saying things that are hurtful or negative in any way. It also gives the student a chance to vent without someone becoming counter aggressive. Steps 1. When some one is being angry or hurtful towards you, you must put up your shield. 2. Visualize a large invisible shield that covers you from head to foot. 3. This shield keeps any words from harming you. Not only that, but if you focus enough it will actually help you tune out negative things that the other person is saying. 4. Focus on the shield, see what it looks like. Actually see the words splattering against the shield and dropping to the ground where they can do you no harm or going to each side of you. 5. Hold up your shield as long as it is needed and put it away when it is no longer necessary. Chronic Emotional Distress Stage One Interventions: The Protective Shield

12 Fogging: Fogging is a skill that helps you learn how to accept criticism or negativity from others by calmly acknowledging that there may be some truth to what your critic is saying. This allows you to maintain your own belief system about self, others or the situation, yet it diffuses the one who is angry. John "You are not fair. You always pick on me. " Teacher/Counselor "I see you feel strongly about that. I will promise to think about how I could be more fair in the future." Chronic Emotional Distress Stage One Interventions Diffusing Anger--Guidelines for Students

13 Breathing Technique Visualization and Anger Management Music Time Out Drawing Writing or Journaling Diversion Talking Chronic Emotional Distress Stage One Interventions Tools for Diffusing Personal Anger

14 Staff Response: Must be Pro-active, set boundaries and be supportive Skills and Tools Needed: Identify and Remove/reduce triggers. Stage Two Interventions: Proactive Interventions for Angry students Triggering Event or Crisis Stage Two

15 General Help the student focus on accomplishments instead of failures. This can help keep the student’s anger in check. Teach the student to use positive self-talk. This can help the student talk himself down from a situation where he normally would act out his feelings. Let the student know about the consequences that may occur when he gets angry and/or loses control. Triggering Event or Crisis Stage Two Interventions Proactive Interventions for Angry Students

16 Environmental Changes Surround the student with calm, successful students. Use proximity control. Stay close to this student when he is in your classroom. Provide a quiet place where the student can work independently, away from any peer interaction that may ‘trigger’ him. Move the student away from other students who may try to ‘trigger’ his anger. Put the angry student in the middle of a group of students who are hard workers. Triggering Event or Crisis Stage Two Interventions Proactive Interventions for Angry Students

17 Classroom Aids Stuffed animals to help a student calm down. Post the class schedule (elementary). Write down changes in routine in advance (at least one day if possible) and place on overhead and/or board. Relationship Building Student gets to eat lunch with special teacher. Spend 2-5 minutes with student 3-5 times a week. Greet the student by name in hallway in front of others. Triggering Event or Crisis Stage Two Interventions Proactive Interventions for Angry Students

18 Staff Response: Be supportive Skills and Tools Needed : Keep self, others and student calm using verbal and non-verbal techniques. Affirming & encouraging. Stage Three: Level One Interventions Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level One

19 Gentle, supportive and/or re-directive in nature. Have a conference with student concerning agitated behavior, what’s going on, etc. Learn to listen with your whole body to show your interest and sincerity (SOFTEN). Have the student write down what is happening in his ‘Journal’. (Have a spiral bound notebook for each child that can be used for dealing with feelings.) Redirection Technique: When you see a student beginning to get out of control simply redirect his activity. You may request that he go work on the computer, listen to music at his desk or in a corner of the room or elsewhere, go read a book of his choice, help you with something, etc. This is effective if you have identified an activity that the student enjoys. Try to identify one activity that every child in your room would be excited or happy to do. Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level One

20 Redirective Techniques Antiseptic Bounce: Change the student’s environment by moving him to a different location or distract him mentally from the situation or stimulus that is causing him distress. Positive Distracter: Provide the student with a reinforcement that has been identified as desirable.

21 Gestures Meaning S = SmileFriendly, open attitude. O = Open Posture Communicates a willingness to listen. F = Forward Lean Suggests interest. T = Touch Communicates acceptance. E = Eye Contact Suggests that you are listening-focusing. N = Nod Expresses approval or disapproval. Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level One

22 Staff Response: Set and Maintain Limits & Consequences Diffuse Anger Skills and Tools Needed: –Be firm, specific, provide consequences. –Redirection Techniques –Have predetermined consequences –Broken Record –Use Diffusing Techniques –Methods that Enhance Compliance –Stage Three: Level Two Interventions Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Two

23 Broken Record Teacher: “John, I want you to sit down and not get out of your seat again.” Student: “I just need to sharpen my pencil.” Teacher: “John, the next time you get out of your seat without permission you will go to time out* for 5 minutes. It’s your choice.” *Time out is just one example of many consequences you may choose in your specific situation. Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level One

24 Limits, Consequences and Diffusing Anger Interventions at this level are meant to 1) get the student’s attention by verbally communicating limits and consequences and, 2) help the student diffuse his anger before it goes to the next level. Offer Choices! Use verbal interventions first. For instance, use Broken Record requesting student to return to his seat, sit down, etc. (See Broken Record). Verbal Warning Write student’s name on the board, in a consequence book, etc. Couple this with a specific predetermined consequence. Use an Anger Log. Use a Parent Report form to send home each day if you have an angry student. If the student has an outburst during the day there should be consequences at home. Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Two

25 Promoting Personal Safety When you get involved with a students crisis you must know, 1)how to protect yourself, as well as, 2)how to help the student through the crisis. It is important to recognize that is it much easier to handle a student in crisis before he gets out of control. One of the most important rules that should be kept in mind is that you should: Do everything you can to de-escalate any potential crisis before it gets out of hand. Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Two Verbal Aggression

26 Promoting Personal Safety Non-Verbal: When someone is losing rationality he tends to focus on nonverbal cues more than on rational communication. There are three specific areas that should be addressed in order to reduce the possibility of a confrontation. Personal Space Body Posture and Motion Listening Skills Personal Space: The distance between you and the person who is upset is one of the most critical elements in defusing a potentially explosive situation. At a certain point physical closeness is perceived as a threat. The critical distance for most people is about 2 ½ to 3 feet. Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Two Verbal Aggression

27 Signs that you are getting too close: Statements e.g., “Stay away from me!” Clenched fists—especially with a cocked elbow!!!! Distancing from you physically. Tightening of the facial muscles. Wild eyes. Back off if you see these signs Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Two Verbal Aggression

28 Body Posture and Motion Position and motion of the body can have a significant impact on the non-verbal message. Some examples are: Face to face is generally perceived as a “challenge position”. Making sudden movements can be construed as aggressive or threatening. Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Two Verbal Aggression

29 Listening Skills Make sure that the student knows that you want to listen to his story. He must be convinced that you care and that you want to understand what has happened and why. Concentrate, Accept, Repeat Non-verbal listing skills: ‘Soften’ Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Two Verbal Aggression

30 Dealing with Verbally Aggressive Students Chernow and Chernow (1989) recommend the following steps in dealing with a verbally aggressive student before he or she has calmed down to a degree that discussion is possible: Step #1: Tell the student that you will not argue with him or her, provide the student with a choice and leave the student alone, allowing time to decide.

31 Dealing with Verbally Aggressive Students Step #2: Tell the student, “I will not talk to you if you are going to call me names. When you feel ready to address me with my name, I will be willing to help you/discuss this with you.” Walk away! This leaves you and the student with some sense of calm and control. Step #3: Instruct a hostile student to wait for you away from other students, i.e., in the hall or office. This will allow the student time to calm down so that you can engage him or her in discussion.

32 Behavior The behaviors you pay attention to, and give energy to will continue to be exhibited. Always have consequences available…preferably tell students in advance what consequence occurs for specific behaviors. Give Consequence…….Don’t discuss!!!!

33 Staff Response: Safety of Self and Students! Skills and Tools Needed: –Keep safety of all concerned in mind –Avoid Counter Aggression –Isolate the Acting out Student –Physical Intervention, if necessary Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Three Physical Aggression

34 Protection for Self There are three basic tools that you can use to assist you as you seek to protect yourself when a student is in a crisis situation. They are: 1.Maintain Proper Distance 2.Use a Protective Stance 3.Use Physical Interventions Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Three Physical Aggression

35 Staff Response: Safety for Self! Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Three Physical Aggression

36 The Student in Crisis Rule: If the student is causing himself physical harm you should intervene. The greater the harm the greater the need for intervention. The Assaulted Student Rule: If the student is causing another person physical harm you should intervene. The greater the harm the greater the need for intervention. Check your district policy! Behavioral Response Stage Three: Level Three Physical Aggression

37 Staff Response: Allow for Venting Skills and Tools Needed: Must know how to de-escalate. Stage Four Interventions: De-Escalation. De-escalation Stage Four

38 1. Let the student walk it off--preferably with a staff member. 2.Do not try to resolve when the person is de-escalating--that will be done during debriefing. 3.The student may want to be alone for a while, let him go to a time out or safe area on his own until he is ready to debrief. 4.Remember, this is not about you. Check your ego at the door. If it gets to you, or if you begin to feel counter-aggressive let someone take over for you. 5.Do not try to set limits or give consequences at this stage. Consequences can be discussed later. 6.Let the student vent until he has exhausted himself or shows that he has finished. 7.Be calm and make sure that you are not being counter aggressive-- Use the Protective Shield. 8. Try to determine the underlying motivation and/or reasons for his behavior. This will help determine the course of action you must take. Helping the Angry Student De-escalate

39 Staff Response: Allow for Venting Skills and Tools Needed: Student Debriefing (form) Behavioral Incident Report (form) Stage Five Interventions: Debriefing Stage Five

40 Primary Goals of Debriefing To help the student understand: Where his anger comes from, What he can do to control it, and How he can handle anger in a more productive way in the future. The behaviors you pay attention to, and give energy to will continue to be exhibited. Always have consequences available…preferably tell students in advance what consequence occurs for specific behaviors. Give Consequence…….Don’t discuss!!!!

41 Primary Goals of Debriefing Get his attention--show the student that you want to listen (not judge) to what has happened. Use proper body language. Once he has vented and calmed down it is important to have the student answer some questions so that you can clarify what happened and what must be done to help him more effectively deal with similar problems in the future. Use the Anger Log to assist in debriefing. Identify 1) internal controls, and 2) behavioral controls that can be used to minimize or remove triggers. Discuss how similar situations could be handled in the future. Have the student develop an alternative to the unhealthy behavior that was exhibited. Ongoing one-on-one education as needed. Determine the tools that this student needs to be successful and teach them. When it’s over process the event with everyone who was involved. Document, document, document! (Behavioral Incident Report)

42 Debriefing Questions WHEN:When did this problem occur? WHERE: Where did this problem occur? WHO:Who was Involved? Who started/initiated the problem? WHAT:What do you think caused this event to occur? What did you do during this event? What did the other person(s) do during this event? HOW:How did you feel when this event occurred? ___Mad___fearful ___upset or ashamed ___unsure of what to do ___not clear of what was happening ___Other: What else can you tell me about the event and your involvement?

43 That’s all folks!


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