Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 359–369 | Cite as

Modifying the behavior of the violent patient

  • Gordon G. Ball


Different behavioral techniques are briefly described for treating the violent patient in a hospital setting. Emphasis is placed on doing a careful assessment of the situation and behavior before attempting a behavioral intervention. It is also emphasized that all staff members involved be adequately trained, otherwise the procedures tend to fail. Techniques include strategies for changing the environment, as well as using relaxation procedures, systematic desensitization, differential reinforcement schedules, token economies, response cost, time out, and social skills training. Multi-component programs are also briefly mentioned. The paper emphasizes that violent behavior can be greatly reduced if approached in a systematic way, using procedures based on sound research methodology.


Staff Member Social Skill Behavioral Intervention Research Methodology Skill Training 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon G. Ball
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PsychiatryColumbia University Medical CollegeUSA

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