NDIS and Medicare therapy

Learning Reflections: Dealing With Distress Related To Psychotic Experiences

In the Moment When Distress Is Experienced

  • Follow company protocols and procedures for dealing with these situations.
  • Affirm and validate the person’s feelings.
  • Be empathetic, saying the sense of conflict and distress is understandable with what is being experienced.
  • Listen to what the person is saying, letting him or her speak.
  • Remain calm, control your emotions and use a soft gentle voice.
  • Show you have understood by paraphrasing
  • Ask relevant open-ended questions to show you care and keep a dialogue going.
  • Ask how you can help.
  • It may be useful to remain seated to not add any pressure or tensity to the already tense situation.
  • If possible ask the person to sit down and tell you what is frustrating him or her
  • Explain you are there to talk through these conflicting voices and to help
  • If the person is experiencing positive auditory hallucinations, ask the person where s/he thinks the positive voice is coming from.
  • Gently invite the person to contemplate that perhaps the positive voice is coming from within and he or she is creating the positive voices as a way of self-support.
  • Encourage the concept of acceptance and kindness towards the self and the hallucinations. This may include raising awareness of hallucinations and acceptance of them for what they are, sending kind, compassionate feelings, and letting them come and go without becoming too engaged in them.

How To Deal With Distress?

  •  Access if the person would feel more comfortable with a male or female worker present.
  • See if the person would like to go for a walk outside.
  • If the problem escalated and the behavior become more distressed or aggressive, it may be useful to want to remove anything that could be used as a weapon or for self-harm
  • It is important to put the staff and clients’ safety first. For this reason, dual visits with another staff member may be useful and may include a carer and support worker in the client’s place of residence or a co-worker.
  • In a situation of risk to staff or other people, it is important to leave the area and call 000 immediately for assistance.
  • After the incident:
  • I would reflect on the situation and my performance. And assess what I did well and what I could have improved on.
  • I would do all the required documentation and reporting.
  • Would inform the person’s immediate support of the incident and put a safety plan into action in case of future incidences.


  • Challenge or threaten the client. This could be through words and body language.
  • Do not raise your voice, get angry or lose control of your emotions.
  • Rush the client.
  • Prevent him or her from talking about their concerns.#psychosocialsupport #emotionalhealth #psychotherapy #mentalhealth #wellbeing #anxiety #hallucinations #selfsupport #mentalhealthstudents #Schizophrenia #psycosis #psychoticbehaviour

Written by Ellie / Student 0 Certificate IV Mental Health

Copyrights H-L Therapy.

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