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Let's make challenging behaviour a thing of the past!

As a practitioner working in the social care field for over 20 years I have seen and heard many ways of dealing with so called challenging behaviour, I strongly believe that the terminology we use to describe “challenging behaviour” influences how we respond and act.


I have seen really good practice and really negative practice with regards to the support people receive when in crisis! This can take the shape of instantly responding with holds, (both recognised holds and restraints which should never be used), negative terminology referring to people as kicking off or acting like children etc.


The Adventure Service operate a “no holds policy”, developed by refining our practice to enable us to support individuals in crisis without restraining them. In this blog I want to talk about how we achieve this and why we have become so successful.

One of the main ways we support people who are displaying so called “challenging behaviour” is to change the way we think about it and the terminology we use. We need to move away from thinking that the person is “challenging". When we refer to a person as “being challenging” we see their behaviour as negative and the individual is in control of what they are doing.


When its believed an individual is controlling their behaviour, people generally respond in a confrontational manner, assuming they should be able to stop what they are doing. However, our support should come from a place of care and trust.


We must realise that the person is in crisis and experiencing or has experienced trauma. When we think like this our reactions to how somebody presents is very different. We start from a caring mindset wanting to support and help the person in crisis. It helps us see individuals from a positive perspective and understand their behaviours, not as problematic, but as a result of previous or ongoing trauma.


This is the basis of all the training we provide and is now part of the culture at The Adventure Service and to ensure this remains one of our top priorities, we have appointed a Team Leader, responsible for overseeing that Positive Practice in Care is at the heart of all we do.


Annie Hickling took up this post of Team leader for Positive Practice in Care in the autumn and has already completed the Crisis Prevention Institute’s Safety Interventions Licenced Instructor course to teach positive crisis support for our team.


If you would like further information on how we do this on a day to day basis please get in touch with me via email at terry@theadventureservice.com.


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