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  7. Enable individuals to develop strategies to manage their...

Explore with the individual ways of coping with situations and circumstances which trigger behaviour they wish to manage

Study Notes

NOTE: This page also relates to 4.5 Work with the individual to identify and agree strategies and 4.6 Support an individual to develop and practise the agreed strategies

Having identified the triggers of a behavioural response and the motivation to change it, you will want to work with the individual to find ways of coping with the difficult situations and circumstances that cause it.

To be completed…

Support an individual to identify situations and circumstances which trigger specific behavioural responses

Study Notes

To change negative behavioural responses to more positive ones, it is essential that an individual is able to identify the specific situations and circumstances that trigger them.

For example, an individual may tear up their clothes when they are hungry as a way of communicating to their staff that they would like some food. This behaviour may have come from their past history whereby they were inadvertently neglected by care staff but learned that when they tear clothes up their care staff give them attention which invariable ends up with asking if they would like a snack.

You would support the individual to identify that this behaviour occurs when they are hungry and a more appropriate behaviour would be to inform staff that they are hungry or even get themselves some food. If the individual has difficulty communicating verbally, it may be necessary to teach them the Makaton sign for food or invent their own sign that their staff will understand.

Other situations or circumstances that may trigger behavioural responses can include:

  • Basic needs not being met (tired, hungry, thirsty, cold etc.)
  • Boredom
  • Feeling a lack of freedom
  • Wanting something e.g. toy, sweets, ornament etc.
  • Others being too loud
  • Others not understanding
  • Feeling isolated

Explain to an individual the positive outcomes of managing behaviours

Study Notes

The previous post discusses working with an individual to find motivation for changing behaviours. It will also be useful to discuss with them some of the positive outcomes that you envisage from them managing their behaviour in a more positive way.

Some examples of positive outcomes include:

  • Having more friends/better relationships
  • Intrusive interventions will not have to be used
  • Better health and wellbeing
  • Better financial situation

Work with an individual to identify and agree the factors which will motivate them to manage their behaviour

For an individual to successfully make adjustments to manage their behaviour, they must have the right motivation. They must have a good reason to make the necessary changes because changing habits is difficult so there must be some sort of incentive in them to put in the requisite effort.

Motivation will vary between individuals and the right motivation for a particular person will depend a lot on the things that are important to them or what makes them ‘tick’. You will need to discuss with the individual what they think will be the right incentive for them to encourage behavioural change.

It is also useful to ensure that the motivation is directly related to the behaviour change (e.g. if an individual washes themselves and their clothes regularly, they are more likely to get a girlfriend). There are times when it may be necessary to have an unrelated incentive (e.g. if an individual washes themselves and their clothes regularly they reward themselves with an extra chocolate bar each week), however for long-term success it is important that the motivation comes directly from the behaviour itself.

Some examples are:


Behaviour to manage betterMotivation
Telling liesPeople will be more likely to believe them in future
Assaulting othersWill not be detained under the MCA again
Damaging own propertyWill have more money to buy other things
Verbal abusePeople will be more likely to listen

Encourage the individual to consider the impact of their behaviour

Following a behaviour by an individual, it will be useful to encourage them to consider the impact that their behaviour has had on themselves and others as part of a debrief.

This can help an individual understand the consequences that their behaviour has and can build motivation to manage it better in the future.

Some of the repercussions of the behaviour may be:

  • Injury to self or others
  • Exclusion from activities in the future
  • Friends/family/staff not wanting to associate with them
  • Embarrassment
  • Damage to or loss of property (own or others)
  • Financial costs
  • Police intervention/prosecution/litigation
  • Upset, anger or sadness to themselves or others
  • Being late for an activity or the activity being cancelled
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased health or hygiene

Support the individual and others to recognise their behavioural responses to different situations

Part of your role as a health and social care worker will be to support individuals (and others) to recognise their behavioural responses to different situations.

To do this, you will first need to have spent time with an individual and understand the kind of situations that may result in an inappropriate behaviour. This information could be obtained from observations or previous experiences as well as from the individual’s family, other professionals and their care plan.

You can help an individual recognise their behavioural responses before, during and after a situation has occurred.

If a behaviour is regular you can discuss it with them using their preferred communication methods whilst they are at baseline. You may want to discuss the triggers for the behaviour, the behaviour itself, the negative consequences of the behaviour and what they might like to try in future to manage the behaviour and obtain a more favourable outcome.

When a situational trigger occurs, you can help an individual to manage it by offering support and guiding them through the alternative behaviours that you may have previously discussed.

After a behaviour has occurred and the individual has returned to baseline, it will be useful to have a debrief and discuss the repercussions of the behaviour (this could include positive reinforcement if they have managed the situation well).

Describe why it is important to establish a professional relationship

Study Notes

It is important to establish a professional relationship so that the individual understands that although you would like to help them, there are professional boundaries that must be maintained.

This can include things like disclosing information that has been told to you in confidence for safeguarding purposes and not meeting up outside of work. The difference between personal and working relationships can be found here.

Initially some individuals may not want to have a relationship with you at all – they may be disengaged or confrontational. It is important to work hard on these relationships and over time build rapport, common interests and trust to increase the efficacy of the support that you provide.

The more time you spend with an individual to help and support them, the more trust you will establish and this will pave the way to the individual being more accepting of any ideas you have to help them to manage their behaviour.

Describe the potential effects of the environment and the behaviour of others on individuals

The potential effects that the environment and the behaviour of others can have on individual include:

  • Discomfort e.g. too hot, too cold, too noisy, too quiet, too cluttered etc.
  • Other’s behaviour may scare or intimidate
  • Other’s behaviour may be mimicked
  • Boredom, under-stimulation
  • Unexpected circumstances
  • The communication of others
  • Level of support and guidance

Explain how factors relating to the individual can affect behaviour

Study Notes

There are many factors relating to an individual that can affect their behaviour. Some examples include:

  • Self-image/self-esteem – if an individual has a low level of self-esteem they may be caught up in a viscious of cycle of having behaviours because they feel everyone hates them and feeling everyone hates them because they have behaviours.
  • Health (mental and physical conditions) – illness and disease may make individuals feel weak, angry, upset, depressed etc. unless they are able to find a way to accept and manage it
  • Communication skills – if an individual cannot communicate their needs using appropriate methods such as speech, the may resort to inappropriate methods such as aggression
  • Psychological state – if an individual is in a high emotional state (e.g. angry, upset, frustrated etc.) about something they are more likely to display a behaviour
  • History/Learned behaviours – if an individual has learned that a particular behaviour results in their desired outcome, they are more likely to do it again. Similarly, if they have had an upbringing where inappropriate behaviour was considered ‘normal’ they are likely to use these methods
  • Personality – introverted or extroverted individuals will display different behaviours

Describe the methods and approaches available to help an individual manage their behaviour

Study Notes

There are several methods and approaches available to help individuals manage their behaviour. Sometimes it may be necessary to try a number of methods to identify what works best for each unique individual.

Some examples include:

  • Discussion of possible consequences of behaviour whilst individual is at baseline
  • Risk perception – helping an individual assess risks realistically
  • Modelling – displaying appropriate behaviour in situations can help individuals learn (from example) how to manage those situations themselves
  • Be open and honest with indivduals
  • Encourage independence and choice
  • Use breathing techniques or meditation
  • Identify at the need (tangible, escape, attention, sensory) and teach individual more appropriate behaviours to fulfill that need
  • Help individual recognise early warning signs and triggers
  • CBT
  • Encourage use of prescribed medication (as per doctor’s instructions)
  • Support individual to set goals
  • Use praise when individual manages behaviour appropriately

Describe the relationship between legislation, policy and practice in relation to supporting individuals to manage their behaviour

Study Notes

Legislation is the legal framework upon which policies are based. Care practitioners must ensure their practice adheres to local and organisational policies to ensure that they remain within the law and bet practice.

Legislation such as the Human Rights Act means individuals are free to make their own choices even unwise ones.

Policies such as safeguarding policy will mean that carers cannot agree to confidentiality with clients for certain information passed to them (such as disclosure of abuse) because they have a duty of care to pass this information onto relevant agencies or person(s).