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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 4, No. 1
February 1999

Calming a Client

What do you do when a person is getting more and more upset?

  1. Remember, the person who is feeling anger will attempt to regain power by making you mad as well. He or she will insult you and challenge you in any sensitive area that might get to you.

  2. The first step is to isolate the person so as to take away their audience. Only one person should deal with the client in order to minimize confusion or mixed messages.

  3. Do not participate in a power struggle. You have to keep your own ego, fear, and anger out of the situation.

  4. Present yourself with calm, controlled, caring, professionalism. For some people, using mental imagery helps (i.e., imaging a plexiglass wall between you and the client, or pretend that you are an actor in a play).

  5. Remember, the client isn't yelling at YOU, you are just the target.

  6. Do not challenge or dare the person to act. Help the person see non-violent options.

References
Besharov, D. (1990). Crack children in foster care: Re-examining the delicate balance between children's rights and parent's rights. Children Today, 19, 21-25.

1999 Jordan Institute for Families