How-to Tips for Working with Psychiatric Barriers
The following are some basic tips for those working in educational or training settings.
- Interpersonal strategies
- Providing supports to students with psychiatric disabilities
- Make personal contact to develop a working alliance with students.
- When you don't know what to say, say nothing--listen.
- Avoid advice and premature problem solving.
- Do not assume you know the student’s feelings, thoughts, and reasons for behaviors.
- Avoid relying on questions; attend, listen and try to summarize thoughts and feelings instead.
- Be as clear and concrete as possible.
- Separate the person from the problem.
- Agreement does not equal empathy; disagreement does not mean disconnection.
- A good working relationship does not require approval or shared values; you can have differences. How to deal with differences:
- Balance reason and emotion
- Demonstrate understanding
- Use good communication techniques
- Be consistent and reliable
- Negotiation builds respect and works better than coercion.
- Genius of good communication is to be at the same time as honest and as kind as possible.
- Pay attention to gender and racial/ethnic issues.
- Document your communications and interactions.
- Know yourself:
- Why do you teach?
- What do you like/dislike about working with students?
- With what emotions are you uncomfortable?
- How will you deal with your students feelings for you?
- What your "hot" buttons? Who can usually press them?
Providing supports to students with psychiatric disabilities
- Identify presence of disability.
- Maximize use of current, existing campus support services.
- Recognize and anticipate periods of academic inactivity (stops-outs versus drop-outs).
- Clarify campus policies regarding acceptable student and classroom behavior.
- Identify and consult with school or college's disability services office and /or Section 504 officer.
- Separate treatment issues from education issues.
- Apply same behavioral expectations/code of conduct to students with psychiatric disabilities as you would any other student.
- Help students to become aware of their behavioral responsibilities in the classroom by setting concrete guidelines and clear academic requirements.
- Do not refer students with disabilities to support services in lieu of disciplinary measures. Referral to support services at the request of a student with a psychological disability who is disruptive is appropriate, but not as a disciplinary measure.
Created: March 10, 2009 @ 01:19 PM
Last Modified: March 17, 2009 @ 08:09 AM