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  • Social Worker Safety Tactics

    “Mindset for Survival”

    Tim Pupke

    Ryan Armstrong

  • Why are you here?

    ▪ A 2014 online survey (Community Care) of 446 social workers revealed 85% had been physically assaulted, verbally abused or harassed in the past year.

    ▪ In most cases the abuse was carried out by a service user or service user’s relative.


  • How safe are you in the office?

    ▪ Door control access using proximity cards or coded locks?

    ▪ Do subjects arrive at your office with bags, purses or backpacks?

    ▪ What’s on your desk?

    ▪ What about teeth?


  • What’s the difference between an angry person and a violent person?

    ▪ Signs of Anger

    Raised Voice Shaking

    Rapid Speech Balled Fists

    High Pitched Voice Erratic Movements

    Fidgeting Wild Gesturing

    Pacing Aggressive Posture


  • Dealing with the Angry Person

    ▪ Five Universal Truths of “Human Interaction"

    ▪ Inside The Cranial Vault






  • Can a Predator Spot your weakness or a weakness in the system?

    ▪ Always in Play

    ▪ Entering a room or building

    ▪ Walking down the street

    ▪ Choosing a seat

    ▪ Responding to another


  • What should your relationship be with the client?

    ▪ Be Professional!

    ▪ Treat them with Dignity and Respect!

    ▪ Actively listen & empathize

    ▪ Assist & provide a service

    ▪ Always look for solutions

    ▪ Go the extra mile

    ▪ But…

    ▪ In your mind you must be prepared for the violence


  • Communication

    In the vast majority of cases, before people attack you....what will they do?


    Conscious vs. Subconscious

    The conscious mind is the place of cognitive learning, logic and understanding.

    The subconscious mind is the place of experiential learning.


  • Leakage

    ▪ The tendency of true feelings, intent, attitudes, etc. to leak out through body language, paralinguistic behavior, and verbal communication.


  • The key is learning to read

    ▪ Timing

    ▪ Leakage

    ▪ Pacifiers

    ▪ Clusters

    ▪ Conversational cadence change


  • Pacifier Behavior

    ▪ Follows Limbic response, especially a negative one

    ▪ Serves as a calming response

    ▪ They are REAL TIME!


  • Pacifiers

    ▪ Touching or rubbing head, neck, face, shoulders or arms

    ▪ Playing with hair

    ▪ Puffed cheeks / licking lips

    ▪ Rapid gum chewing or excessive smoking


  • Legs, Head, Posture, Gestures, Eyes & Objects

    All Say Something….


  • Negative Physical Behaviors

    ▪ Slouching or uninterested

    ▪ Fake smile

    ▪ Lack of movement

    ▪ Unnaturally rigid

    ▪ Overly dramatic movement

    ▪ Persecution


  • ▪ Rubbing of hands

    ▪ Elbows close to side of body

    ▪ Runners position

    ▪ Closed / Hidden palms

    ▪ Pre-fight stretch or shifting weight


  • The Change Cues

    ▪ Closing your safe space

    ▪ Stepping off of parallel

    ▪ Adjusting clothing

    ▪ Hands and feet

    ▪ Pre-fight stretch

    ▪ Weight shift


  • Mindset

    Mindset is 80%


  • The Subconscious

    ▪ It is a repository for every thought, every visual, every emotion, and every incident that has ever occurred in your lifetime.

    ▪ “If you haven’t done your mental homework in training, then you don’t have anything to fall back on when you run the race.”


  • Elements to Strengthen your Mindset and Performance

    Sleep Intoxication

    ▪Slowed reaction time

    ▪Cognitive degradation

    ▪Spatial errors

    ▪Decreased vigilance

    ▪ Impaired memory 19

  • Balanced Meals

    ▪ How exercise can reduce stress?

    ▪ Why is that important?


  • Guided Imagery

    ▪ The Components of Guided Imagery

    ▪ Develop vivid images

    ▪ Control those images

    ▪ Understand your perspective of imagery

    ▪ This will improve your focus control and reaction time


  • Fear

    ▪ What happens when fear controls you?

    ▪ If fear controls you during a VIOLENT encounter, you will not perform


  • Ways to control Fear

    Diaphragmatic breathing

    What’s your commitment?



    Please feel free to come and talk with us after the presentation or email if you have any questions.

    Email address –