Managing Aggression

By Ray
Routledge and Community Care
ISBN 0 415 243380 7

This simple, easy-to-follow textbook gives
both organisational and individual responses to aggression from
clients and bullying from colleagues.

Through case studies and exercises, it aims to
enable anyone in the social care field to reduce the likelihood of
aggressive behaviour and respond correctly if faced with an

In many ways it succeeds in its aims and most
of the activities can be adapted for use in both training and
brainstorming scenarios.

My main problem with the book is that it
focuses too much on the response that individuals are expected to

As such it contradicts the approach that has
been promoted by the Health and Safety Executive, which believes
that the emphasis should be on developing systems to prevent
violence rather than focusing on ensuring that individual employees
are both trained and competent to react to violent situations.

Teaching people to read body language or how
to use techniques to defuse violent situations is not the solution
to aggression – safe procedures and risk assessment are.

It is in that context that the book should be
used, and it is in these sections that its strengths lie.

Hugh Robertson is head of bargaining
support and health and safety, Unison.


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