MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR
If you work in education, health or the social sector you have to deal with different types of human behaviour every day. Situations that include challenging behaviour are common to all professionals who work with people. We have to know how to prevent situations from escalating, how to stay calm facing difficult behaviour, how to set limits verbally and how to intervene in cases of psychical aggression and violence.
In Norway Verge has developed special intervention methods for dealing with aggressive behaviour in education and social sectors. These methods were developed primarily for professionals who work with people with special needs.
Verge means in Norwegian to protect and to care and thus the techniques have been named the Verge method.
Learning our method is beneficial to everyone in caring profession, in particular to:
– teams who work with children, youth and adults with special needs
– youth workers
– teachers and all workers in educational settings
– social care workers
– teams who work with people with a criminal background
– ambulance personnel
– personnel in hospitals
– people whose work involves dealing with serious behavioural and psychiatric problems
THE PRINCIPLES OF VERGE METHOD
RESPECT AND DIGNITY
Interventions must be respectful of the human dignity, they should not be humiliating or painful.
EASY TO LEARN
All techniques are easy to learn and to execute, therefore regardless of gender and age.
SAFETY AND TRUST
Any intervention must contribute towards furthering caring and secure relationship.
Common understanding and practice is a key to prevention and mitigation of aggressive situations.
CONTENTS OF THE COURSE
– how to be aware of your own behaviour and how to interpret the others’ behaviour
– how to be more aware of challenging behaviour
– what are the basics of working with people with challenging behaviour
– what is aggression, violence and what kind of legal aspects are involved in intervening situations
– how to solve situations using verbal techniques
– practical techniques for solving physically aggressive situations alone and with colleagues
(how to intervene in case of fights, how to escort people from one place to another, how to stop a person who is harming himself/herself or destroying property etc)
– simple self-defence techniques
Courses are 80 % practical situational training and can involve also video-supervision.
All techniques are unique to the situation at hand and do not include any pain or humiliation for any of the parties.
Every course is developed considering special situations and problems which the staff of that particular place meet in their daily work.
The key is that this kind of knowledge gives the employees a feeling of safety and competence at their work and they become more aware of how to stop problematic behaviour before it escalates.
The Verge method has been practiced in Norway for 20 years and in 2012 it was also established in Estonia.
Ordinary schools, special schools, kindergartens, rehabilitation centres and hospitals are the first target-groups following the courses in Estonia.
The interest and need for such knowledge has been remarkable. That kind of approach and special techniques are innovative and new knowledge in Estonia. The feedback so far has been extraordinarily positive.
The National Institute for Health Development has supported bringing this method to Estonia and is cooperating with Verge Estonia also at the moment.
The Estonian Ministry of Education and Research has accepted the Verge course as one of the courses in continuing teacher education. Estonian Ambulance teams and social care institutions are making plans for implementing the Verge method in 2014.