Positive Behaviour Support

We understand that challenging behaviours represent an individual trying to communicate a message.

The message could be that they are confused, worried, scared, frustrated, cold, or need the toilet. The Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) approach aims to find out the reasons for a behaviour and uses positive methods (such as teaching new skills) to help the person communicate in a different, more adaptive way.

This evidenced-based approach doesnt’ use any aversive techniques, such as punishment or time out, because these methods are not ethical and don’t support an individual to communicate differently.

On admission, an in-depth functional analysis of behaviour is led by the consultant clinical psychologist with support from the skilled multi-disciplinary team (MDT). This helps to identify the reasons for a behaviour, for example what message the person is trying to communicate.
It also helps to identify triggers for behaviours and what might be maintaining the behaviours.

Specific interventions are then used to reduce challenging behaviours. These interventions are devised so that they can be used in any setting and this ensures that change is maintained in the long-term.

The MDT includes;

  • physiotherapy
  • occupational therapy
  • speech and language therapy
  • clinical psychology
  • music therapy
  • dietitians
  • and nurses

They help a person work towards goals derived from their values system and ensures they are meaningful to each person and helps to improve motivation.

Challenging behaviour can lead to exclusion, so a key part of being admitted is community reintegration and taking part in in age appropriate activities.

We teach patient’s the skills to reduce their challenging behaviours and to help them get their needs met in a different way.
This might include communicating that they want to stop an activity, instead of hitting out, or expressing their frustrations in a healthier way, instead of shouting.

Data is collected on their behaviour 24 hours a day to measure the effectiveness of interventions.

Discharge planning starts on admission, so goals can be tailored to where someone wants to live in the future.

For example, for some, being as independent as possible overnight is a priority, to minimise night-time care. For others, having a role as parent is vital.

We provide comprehensive guidelines to ensure that behavioural management strategies can continue on discharge and to help ensure the success of a placement.


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