When dealing with a subject dealing with symptoms relating to fear, anxiety, impending doom, or terror. These symptoms depending on the subject’s prior experience/history, training, and level of stress can express the escape function of behavior can be expressed through particularly the Flight and Freeze Responses. This skill chain can be effective in guiding a positive intervention with and for the subject(s) in crisis.
It is beneficial the officer/agent/operative listen without need to respond initially to the subjects message. When we listen to respond we are not listening. Listening requires silence and concentration to the speaker’s (subject’s) overall message based on their tone, diction, frequency, rate, volume, and core message (the overall meaning of the dialogue.) Listening is the ability to process auditory stimuli into information by engaging the senses. The more senses one is able to engage the more accurately the officer/agent/operative can decide upon a skillset to implement which will meet the function of the behavior or address the speaker’s (subject’s) message in a productive (a way which promotes safety, and positive communication) manner.
When listening to the subject’s message, it is also beneficial the officer/agent/operative observes/notices the subject’s non-verbal cues (body language) as it relates to the environment, the situation they are engaged in, and the message they are communicating.
Validating and Re-Assurance
Validation being defined as acknowledging and naming the emotions being expressed by the subject in their message and their behavior. Note, we want to praise positive interactions while setting boundaries on maladaptive (problematic) behaviors. After validating the subject’s experience as it benefits the officer/agent/operative, the officer then can give re-assurance through skill implementation or verbal word’s of encouragement. Skill implementation can be as simple as deciding what type of Aftercare the subject may need in order to mitigate the occurrence of another crisis intervention. Again it is not the officer/agent/operative’s duty to fix the crises, but to control and contain the situation by providing skills which promote de-escalation through realistic aid to make the situation more manageable for the subject(s) involved.
Empathy is the bridge which connects us to another individuals humanity. Humanity being defined as the ability to come together through our differences to find our similarities. Empathy is defined as the ability to relate to another individual’s experience not because it is the same, but because there are similar threads weaved into the experience which we all experience in some way or another. Through empathy we are able to have more patience, more compassion, and more understanding for the subject and engage with them in a more genuine manner. This can be expressed through emotional validation, being authentic, and by creating a safe space.
Be kind Stay Deadly.