Hindsight Improves Foresight℠
Prevention is the preparation before an event
to ensure it doesn’t happen.
Postvention is what you learn after an event
that allows you to prevent it from happening again.
Maybe you were unable to foresee or prevent this incident from happening this time, but what you learn from this incident you can use to prevent it from occurring in the future. Postvention prevents problems because you can only prevent something from occurring when you can foresee it.
This means you need to assess what has already occurred and decide what should happen next time. This is a critical turning point in always having the right response. You are most likely to know what to do in an event when you have already planned for it. In a long-term approach, this will be your most critical work.
The best problems are the ones you don’t have anymore!
How to Make Problems Go Away
For a problem to go away, you need to either, hope it doesn’t happen again, or do something about it. You are on your own if you go through door #1, but we can help you with doing something about it! A dedication to Postvention Learning and Teaching will allow you prevent known behavioral and aggression problems. Every situation is different, but the Postvention process is the same.
When you take the time to find out what happened and why, you take that time because you care to avoid that situation in the future. The surprising key to making prevention happen is the process of Postvention. By having an open mind and learning from our actions in the pursuit of growth and success, we can overcome behavior and aggression problems more effectively than by trying to control the behavior itself.
Post-crisis learning allows us, as individuals and as teams, to assess our response to the crisis in order to learn what we were doing well. The process will also help us to make plans to change any of our potentially ineffective thinking, verbal responses and behavior responses.
“Does this problem feel like it is getting worse or is it just me?”
“When did it start again? Was it last February or March?”
Creating Documentation allows you to:
- Assess progress (or lack of…)
- Identify patterns
- Predict problems
- Identify specific causes (antecedents)
- Identify needed resources
- Justify needed resources
- Measure the success of your interventions (RTI)
- Provide evidence in event of investigation
- While Documentation is a tried and true tool of behavioral intervention professionals, it is commonly not used!
Documentation doesn’t just appear. It must be created reliably on an ongoing basis. Some planning is needed to determine what needs to be documented and how. Effort is required to organize a system of consistent collection. Regular review times must be set aside in order to assess collected data.
Yes, this is work. But, if you consider this effort as an investment, you will be able to measure your payoff! Having Documentation is the difference between making informed decisions and just making guesses.
The purpose of post-crisis teaching is to help the person who was in crisis learn from the crisis. Our role is to teach the person about themselves and how to better manage their emotions and problems, so that the crisis is less likely to reoccur. Post-crisis teaching is a non-judgmental process and the key is that we tune into the specific needs of the individual.
Post-Crisis Teaching is only effective when the person in not escalated. To be effective, the person needs to be in a learning frame-of-mind in order to benefit from Post-Crisis Teaching.
The skills for post-crisis teaching are as follows:
- Interview the person to understand their perception of the event/situation.
- Give them time to communicate in the best way they can.
- Explore and actively listen to the person.
- Attach behavior to feelings with observations.
- Connect actions to consequences and discuss alternative strategies for the future.
- Help the person re-establish relationships and re-integrate into the environment.
Post crisis teaching is no less important for individuals who do not have verbal language. After the crisis, it is important to spend time with the individual and demonstrate your unconditional care. Paraphrasing what we believe to be the person’s feelings about the crisis can also be helpful. Teaching the person to respond in more productive ways to the events that triggered the crisis is a critical aspect of Postvention for the person of any language ability and particularly for those with communication impairments. Setting clear and consistent expectations for the future in a non-judgmental way can help establish a climate where the person can learn more constructive ways of acting.
Positive Behavior Support