For those who work in a helping role, it can be very challenging when clients are vulnerable, stressed-out, or quick to engage in conflict. Complicating matters is that difficult dynamics in the relationship are often amplified by different styles of communicating. This workshop reviews what contributes to these challenges, including the intra-personal, inter-personal, and organizational factors. By looking at case studies, participants will learn how to alter their interactions with clients they find difficult in order to transform unhealthy relational patterns into more positive interactions and outcomes.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • What Makes a Person Difficult?
  • The Cycle of Escalating Difficult Behavior
  • Shift the Problem from Person to Pattern
  • Shift from Judgment to Curiosity
  • Assessment of Problems: Is it Mine, Theirs, or Ours?
  • Strategies for the Passive Aggressive Pattern
  • Strategies for the Chronic Anger Pattern
  • Strategies for the Chronic Resistance Pattern
  • Considerations Around Challenges Related to Mental Health
  • Creating a Cycle of Cooperative Behavior

Target Audience

This is an introductory level workshop intended for social service and health care personnel, support workers, school personnel, and anyone working with people who exhibit challenging behaviors.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, experiential practice, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Identify patterns of escalating difficult behavior
  • Describe common patterns in communication that cause conflict
  • List the external and internal factors that contribute to difficult client relationships
  • Describe effective communication with someone who is experiencing mental health challenges
  • Practice key interventions with three common patterns of difficult behavior
  • Know how to facilitate a cycle of cooperative behavior