Tag Archive: behaviours

Targeted behavioural programmes are provided to help young people learn new behaviours and ways of managing themselves. These are reviewed regularly and adjusted so as to maintain the momentum of treatment. Access to dedicated clinical psychology time is invaluable in this task.

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The specialist team is experienced in treating a range of complex conditions and challenging behaviours including: Self-harm; eating disorders; learning difficulties; psychosis; schizophrenia; depression and anxiety; anger; and substance abuse.

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We work to involve young people in discussions and reflections on their maladaptive behaviours (although we don’t always call them this!). When done with empathy and sensitivity, staff can offer ways of understanding why they need to act in this way. This is a much more therapeutic and productive approach verses punishment and blame, which they have sometimes experienced elsewhere. Having new options and gaining different perspectives can be really powerful.

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If young people show signs of behaving in a disturbed/ violent way, staff should make every effort to try to help them calm down. To help with this staff should make themselves aware of what specific things upset and calm them. To do this they listen to what young people say is upsetting them and this should be noted in their care plan. If they have not been able to calm down, staff may need to do something else to stop the situation getting out of control.

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Exploring Ideas – a cognitive behavioural therapy group. Explores everyday adolescent issues and links thoughts, feelings and behaviours in order to establish coping mechanisms.

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Being admitted to a ward can feel exposing and can lead young people to feeling scared and vulnerable. They often don’t know how to manage their feelings resulting in maladaptive coping mechanisms, which are often displayed as risky behaviours. One-to-ones give them a safe space to talk about their thoughts and feelings. We ask them at the start of the day when they would like their one-to-one.

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Constructive activities

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The ward places a high value on constructive activities such as craft, music, outdoor play or toys that stimulate imaginative play, since keeping young people active and engaged improves their self-esteem and mood and reduces the risk of unhelpful behaviours.

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Ward Community Rules Expectations

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Ward Community Rules Expectations (whereas rules are often one-sided and imposed, expectations are inclusive and promote a culture of mutual respect)

This is an example of an impressive list of social expectations everyone is encouraged to stick to. What’s truly fab about it is that young people themselves, working alongside staff, came up with it. Such an idea-generating activity can be a notably remedial and neutralising activity in its own right:

  • Be respectful to others.
  • No bullying behaviours.
  • Violence to others or property will not be accepted.
  • Attending your education sessions or purposeful activities.
  • Going to bed on time.
  • Looking after your personal hygiene and keeping your bedroom tidy.
  • We expect that everyone, both staff and young people, will treat everyone with respect and encourage positive interaction.
  • Use words to express the feeling or impulse, otherwise the ‘violence’ will be split off or acted out.

Source: tewv.nhs.uk – see more here

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A culture of reflection and enquiry

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“We create a culture of reflection and enquiry. Opportunities to think about feelings, behaviours and thoughts are offered following all events, like home leave or difficult situations. The aim of the discussion is to help the young person reflect on the experience and learn from it and feel acknowledged.”

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