Coping with challenging behaviour (inc hostility and aggression)


Most people think about challenging behaviour from their own perspective of ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’. To put it another way they define anything that they wouldn’t do themselves as ‘challenging’ when often it’s just different. So we begin with the following definition. Behaviour is challenging if:

1.We disapprove of it;

2.AND we need to respond to it.

If workers take a less controlling attitude about the things that are just ‘different’ they have much more time to deal with the real challenges. From that beginning we can go on to consider different behavioural strategies, the basics of behavioural theory and ways to ensure that both the environment and our own responses work together.

The basic idea is that if we want someone to change their behaviour we need to change the way that we behave toward them. If we do the same things we get the same results. This doesn’t mean that workers are necessarily to blame for the behaviours of their service-users but it does show that the only thing we can really control is our own behaviour.

If we don’t change then the world won’t either.

This training equips people to create a genuinely therapeutic and healthy environment for workers and service-users alike. By the end of the one or two day course participants should be aware of what is meant by challenging behaviour and how to:

Plan effective team responses;

Deal with common behavioural strategies;

Understand and stick to boundaries in care relationships;

Balance their rights & the rights of service-users (challenging or not);

Prioritise between short-term behavioural strategies & long-term therapeutic outcomes.

Stuart’s challenging behaviour video playlist:

The course covers:

What is challenging behaviour?

When communication is difficult

Non-verbal communication strategies

Rights & liberties – not all should be seen as challenging (including some very basic information on legal aspects of civil liberties)

The care dilemma: the ‘hanged if you do, hanged if you don’t’ myth

Lessons from behavioural psychology

Positive reinforcement

The need for validation

Motivational factors in challenging behaviour

Team cohesion


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