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Managing protest behaviour: from coercion to compassion

Managing protest behaviour: from coercion to compassion

Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 7(3): 269-275

The compulsory detention and involuntary treatment of mentally disordered offenders is fraught with conceptual difficulties relating to liberty and the protection of others from harm. It is often the case in forensic psychiatry that patients consider themselves unjustly treated and unfairly judged, which may result in some engaging in protest behaviour. This paper is concerned with setting out some philosophical positions in relation to such loss of liberty and forced treatment, and views the protest scenario as a form of hostage situation. This perspective shifts the management of protest behaviour from strategies of coercion to those based on negotiation. Finally, four models of management are set out to facilitate the understanding of protest, and these refer to: (a) crisis bargaining by tracking relational paradox; (b) negotiation as psychotherapy; (c) bio-behavioural dimension; and (d) protest as post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Accession: 046618594

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PMID: 11249321

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