What is M.A.P.A?
While usually not the most frequent behaviour staff encounter, physically aggressive behaviour is often what staff are most concerned about. MAPA (Management of Actual and Potential Aggression) training, and more specifically, Disengagement Techniques and holding skills lay the foundation for intervention during those moments of physical aggression. The Crisis Prevention Institute (C.P.I) provides the MAPA course which is taught to key staff, to help deal with, and de-escalate crisis.
It teaches a safe, non-harmful way to deal with physical aggression. Understanding the control dynamics on physical intervention techniques, will aid staff in effectively reducing the strength, energy and momentum of an individual who is showing risk behaviour.
Physical intervention should be used only as a last resort, when all other interventions have been tried. It must not be used as a form of punishment and must not be used when a less severe response might have effectively resolved the situation. When all options have been exhausted, all verbal interventions have been tried, and the individual is a danger to themselves or others, physical intervention will then be used maintaining the best Care, Welfare, Safety and Security of all involved.
Physical intervention and more specifically, Holding Skills is a safe, non-harmful way of temporarily taking control of an individual to aid calming down, and to regain rationality.
There are always risks involved in any physical intervention. Therefore, these must be considered when the danger presented by acting out individual outweighs the risk of physical intervention. Intervention may have to be used as the final course of action when other forms of intervention are impracticable, or are not working. Where the child is showing risk behaviour, staff will need to make a professional judgement, based on their knowledge of the individual, as to whether other tactics are more appropriate. Wherever possible, steps should be taken to avoid the need for physical intervention – through dialogue or diversion. A clear verbal instruction to stop the dangerous or threatening behaviour should always precede any physical intervention.