Dealing with Difficult Behaviour Training

Our Dealing with Difficult Behaviour Training can benefit all who work in the helping professions including charity workers (paid and voluntary),nurses,social workers and other support workers.

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The training introduces Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution Principles, and practises that arise from them, to help staff respond to difficulties with clients and patients.

These Principles are derived from the experience of mediation and conflict coaching and are explored and practised via role plays, small and large group work and other experiential learning activities.

The training is very much 'hands on' and practise based with opportunities for review and group discussion after each activity.

Previous comments about the training include:

"100% of our attendees said they had enjoyed the course and they would recommend it to colleagues."

Setting Boundaries

Workers in the helping professions can experience difficulties when service-user/client/patient expectations do not 'match' the responsibilities of their role.

As well as effective communication and conflict resolution, the training also looks at the extent to which staff can make themselves vulnerable to unnecessary additional workloads (and stress) because of difficulties with setting personal boundaries and professional boundaries to their role.

This is often described as 'Rescuer Syndrome' and arises when staff do more for service-users/clients/patients than is necessary, even to the extent of disempowering them, leading to a potential 'dependency' developing.

Our Dealing with Difficult Behaviour training explores the ways in which this can occur. Once this awareness has started to develop, more effective communication practises can enable staff to set clear boundaries to their professional role.

Stress in the workplace often occurs when staff feel overwhelmed by their workload and the emotional demands of those who come to the helping professional for support. While the difficulties the clients experience in their lives are the very reason they are coming for support, a response that maximises the possibilities of empowerment for the client is a more sustainable, long term response than one that can often be a 'quick fix'.

These interactions can be the root cause of difficult behaviour both by clients and by helping professionals. The dependent state of the client is one of fear and anxiety and the seemingly excessive demands of the client, without an indication of how it will end, lead to stress, guilt, worry, exhaustion for the helping professional.

Our training is focused on how the attendee can support themselves more effectively in their interactions with clients, and in turn be more able to support clients.

Our Dealing with Difficult Behaviour Training is a 1-day course, usually based in London but we can travel to provide it for groups if a venue is provided.

How much does the training cost?

Our starting rate is £90 per attendee however discounts can apply for group bookings and for attendees from organisations with 4 staff or less and turnover of less than £100k.

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This is what people say about CAOS training...

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"In my 20 years experience as an academic this is the best ‘in-service’ training I have experienced. The quality of the training team’s preparation and the skill with which they conducted the course was impressive."

Dr Meretta Elliott -Senior Lecturer-School of Arts-Brunel University - speaking about a 6-day Mediator training course run by Alan Sharland and colleagues.


"This was not an easy course; the challenges involved in working outside one’s usual mode of operation were considerable, but the upbeat attitude of the trainers and the calm and supportive atmosphere they created meant that I was free to work outside my comfort zone in developing an approach to assisting others deal with their own situations."

Dr Mary Richards - Subject Leader for Drama - Brunel University - also speaking about the Mediator training course.


"This was a very successful workshop, feedback described the day as “fun”, “interesting” and “informative” with a “superb” trainer who had a “very thoughtful approach”. 100% of our attendees said they had enjoyed the course and they would recommend it to colleagues."

Tania Murrell - Business Development Manager, Hillingdon Association of Voluntary Services - speaking about the workshop 'Dealing with Difficult Behaviour' run by Alan Sharland.


"Very good course, glad we went on it. In fact 2 more persons on our Committee would like to go on the next one!"

MS - Sheltered Housing Residents Association Committe Member who attended a series of Committee Skills courses run by Alan Sharland.


"Alan provided excellent training for mediators at Common Ground Mediation which was challenging but also thoroughly enjoyable.

He led us through various interactive exercises to help us reflect on the mediator's role and impartiality. I would highly recommend Alan as a trainer for mediators."

Morag Steven - Director of Common Ground Mediation, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Here's a Handbook to help you practise more effective communication and to review and improve how you are responding to unresolved conflict:

The CAOS Conflict Coaching Clients Handbook

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