Guidelines for Interviewing

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TALKS: GUIDELINES FOR INTERVIEWING, INTERACTING & RESOLVING DISPUTES WITH THOSE WHO HAVE INJURY/DISABILITY/ILLNESS

  • An extreme degree of denial, not only of the presenting problem, but also of the presence of a medical condition that contributes to the problem.
  • Subject to have difficulty finding words or an explanation for the behaviors in question.
  • Speech to be slurred and difficult to understand.

These symptoms may be residuals of language or memory problems from injury, disability or illness and not necessarily indications of substance abuse.
Uncontrollable gestures, involuntary movements and verbal outbursts may be signs of disabilities from traumatic brain injury or other forms of traumatic injuries causing loss of function or to persons with disabilities caused by diseases affecting the brain or central nervous system.

  • Speak slowly and do not use complicated language.
  • Remain calm, state the reason for your presence and your plan of action
  • Attempt to make sure that all who are involved understand the reason for the intervention and what behaviors have to occur to end authority presence.
  • When asking for explanation of subject’s appearance and circumstances, expect resistance and verbal abuse because the subject will feel challenged.
  • Explain:
    a) What behaviors are expected and what will be tolerated.
    b) How accountability is determined and consequences for noncompliance with expectations.
  • Remain as calm as possible
  • Speak in a firm but restrained tone of voice
  • Give simple, short directions for immediate resolution of situation.
    WRITE THEM DOWN SO THAT THERE IS NO MISUNDERSTANDING!
  • Expect confusion, hostility and anger.
  • Keep to the plan of involvement that you have already stated, keep resolution steps simple.
  • State plan and resolution steps again if there is any doubt.

EXPECT: HESITATION – CONFUSION – UNCERTAINTY – INDECISION

Psychiatric, societal and vocational problems will most likely be present in the support system of the subject involved in the incident that required authority involvement. Often this individual will have limited emotional, financial and community resources.
THIS IS NOT AN EXCUSE, SIMPLY AN EXPLANATION!