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The Supportive Staff Response Back to Course Index

During the Anxiety Crisis Development Level, it is generally most effective to use a supportive staff response. The Supportive Approach requires the staff to be empathic and actively listen to what is bothering the individual. In this mode of intervention, the staff member should avoid being judgmental and avoid dismissing the person as a “constant complainer.” The individual who is in the Anxiety Level does not need to be judged; she simply needs staff to listen.

Without even realizing it, here is where most potentially explosive situations are defused. As human service providers intervene on a daily basis, they become very adept at offering support. They also develop their own personal styles of conveying this support. It is important, however, that staff understand that although this may seem a routine interaction experienced daily, it is often the key to “nipping the crisis in the bud” and defusing the situation at the onset of crisis development. You don’t have to stretch your imagination too far to envision how a non-supportive approach at this point during the intervention can escalate the situation rapidly.