Assume confusion and provide a careful explanation of all procedures to be employed, being particularly sure that all staff are operating from the same frame of reference 7. Assume responsibility and provide for one primary staff member to act as chief caretaker and advocate of each client 8. Assume disconnectedness and rootlessness if the client is to be institutionalized for any length of time and provide familiarity and psychologically calming anchors associated with Theodore P. Remley, Jr., JD, PhD, LPC, LMFT ∞ Our Lady of Holy Cross College ∞ New Orleans, Louisiana ∞ [email protected] ∞ Page 44
pleasant memories 41. 42. While providing support through the preceding practive behaviors, the wise human services worker should observe a number of precautionary measures (Blair, 1991; Forster, 1994; Greenstone & Leviton, 1993; Moran, 1984, p. 244; Piercy, 1984, p. 143; Turnbull et al., 1990; Wood & Khuri, 1984, p. 69): 43. 1. Don’t deny the possibility of violence when early signs of agitation are first noticed in the client. 2. Don’t dismiss warnings from records, family and peers, authorities, or fellow workers that the client is violent. 3. Don’t become isolated with potentially violent clients unless you have made sure that enough security precautions have been taken to prevent or limit a violent outburst. 4. Don’t engage in certain behaviors that may be interpreted as aggressive, such as moving too close, staring directly into the client’s eyes for extended periods of time, point fingers, or displaying facial expressions and body movements that would appear threatening. 5. Don’t allow a number of the institution’s workers to interact simultaneously with the client in confusing multiple dialogues. 6. Don’t make promises that cannot be kept. 7. Don’t allow feelings of fear, anger, or hostility to interfere with self-control and professional understanding of the client’s circumstances. 8. Don’t argue, give orders, or disagree when not absolutely necessary. 9. Don’t be placating by giving in and agreeing to all the real and imagined ills the client is suffering at the hands of the institution. 10. Don’t become condescending by using childish responses that are cynical, satirical, or otherwise designed to denigrate the client. 11. Don’t let self-talk about your own importance be acted out in an officious and “know-it-all” manner. 12. Don’t raise your voice, put a sharp edge on responses, or use threats to gain compliance. 13. Conversely, don’t mumble speak hesitantly, or use a tone of voice so low that the client has trouble understanding what you are saying. 14. Don’t argue over small points, given strong opposition from the client. 15. Don’t attempt to reason with any client who is under the influence of a mind-altering substance. 16. Don’t attempt to gain compliance based on the assumption that the client is as reasonable about things as you are.
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