Working with Involuntary Clients

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Working with Involuntary Clients
There may be times when you will need to assess clients who have been ‘coerced’ to attend the session. They may not be willing to negotiate or to participate during the session. The involuntary client may be reluctant to provide any information at all during the initial assessment. Clients who are involuntary may present as pre-contemplators, and the worker may need to consider other methods of counselling or defusion. Understanding involuntary clients’ behaviours

Challenging behaviours
Six Steps for Dealing with Involuntary Clients
If the situation escalates to violence
Following up the incident
Organisational support
What is best practice when working with involuntary clients? Principles of best practice
Useful approaches to counselling practice
In summary

Understanding involuntary clients’ behaviours
At times a client may behave in ways that challenge the worker. Most of these behaviours are simply an irritation; however, there will be times when clients may become threatening or abusive. They may refuse to comply with rules or may become agitated or aggressive during their assessment. At this point it may be difficult to obtain any information from the client until the worker can successfully defuse the situation. It is important to acknowledge and recognise that not all clients will be responsive to questions. Adopting appropriate skills and techniques to successfully deal with this type of behaviour is important. top

Challenging behaviours
Clients may display resistance for a variety of reasons. Some challenging behaviours can include: Verbal aggression
Intimidation or threats
Self-harming behaviour (or threats to do so)
Physical aggression and/or violence
Passivity/withdrawal – superficial compliance
Non compliance or silence
Changing the subject
Helplessness
Bragging about their drug use and behaviour
The key to dealing with these behaviours is to understand why they might be...
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