Responding to a difficult statement (poor example)
Poor Example | Good Example
Occasionally, you may be presented with a situation, whereby a child or young person who has self-harmed, informs you of something you may find difficult to respond to. Exploring what has been said and seeking clarification will help create some space for your thoughts and demonstrate that you want to understand them and care about how they are feeling.
Click on the following scene to explore poor use of communication when responding to a difficult statement.
- The nurse responded to the child or young person's statement with a sense of judgement and gave the impression that self-harm is a bad thing to do.
- Through using a "why" question, (i.e. "Why would you want to do that?"), the nurse creates the impression that she is judging the young person which could lead to feelings of guilt and shame.
- The nurse did not explore how the young person was feeling. Subsequently, she did not provide opportunity for them to identify ways in which the young person could help herself or identify what support she may require.
- The nurse stated how she would 'prefer' the child or young person to behave. This potentially invalidates how the child or young person is feeling and suggests that what she is doing is somehow 'bad'.
- The nurse's demeanour and actions suggest that it is not her role to support the child or young person's emotional status. This leads the child or young person to apologise for letting the nurse know how she feels. As such, the child or young person is very unlikely to speak to staff about her feelings during the remainder of her time on the ward.