Beyond Abuse


Increasingly staff are working with service users who have a history of violence and/or abuse and who may continue pose a risk to others. Often they have to do so without any clear guidance as to how to develop an appropriate and safe relationship, how to assess and monitor the risks, or how to facilitate change.

This workshop aims to prepare participants to feel more confident and skilled in working with service users who may pose a real threat to staff and others. The workshop is delivered through a series of dramatised case scenarios, each addressing a different aspect of working with with this service user group. In each case participants are helped to explore their own reactions, understanding and skills and then to compare that with best practice.

This evocative workshop dramatically brings together the fraught tension between the needs of the service user and that of the practitioner in a way that highlights good, safe and appropriate practice.


The workshop can be run over one, two, three or more days. It is recommended that participants have attended "Difficult, Disturbing and Dangerous Behaviour" before enrolling on this course - or alternatively it is possible for us to design a workshop that integrates both courses. As a rough guide:

  • The one-day workshop is suitable for staff for may come in contact with service users who have a history of violence or abuse, but where this is not the main focus of their work

  • The two-day course is for staff where assisting service users who have a history of violence or abuse is a major part of their work

  • The longer courses are for staff who need to develop specialist skills in working with service users who have a history of violence or abuse



On this course participants will:

  • Learn about Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and their role within those arrangements

  • Explore how to establish safe and appropriate relationships with high risk service users

  • Learn how to assess and monitor the risks with the service user over time

  • Explore how to maintain one's own personal, professional and organisational boundaries

  • Identify strategies to help the service user develop alternatives to violence and abuse


This covers everything on the One Day Course, and in addition course participants will:

  • Explore skills and strategies for working with people who continue to pose a risk to others

  • Consider complications such as substance misuse, mental health issues, learning disabilities

  • Review how these insights and skills can be applied to benefit current service users


The longer courses (3-5 days) cover everything in the one and two day course and then go on to look in more detail at the specialist skills involved in working with specific client groups.