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Physical restraint - a thing of the past


The application of the Low Arousal approach is nearly always associated with reduced restraint.

Restraint Reduction 

Physical interventions training and clinical holding techniques are still widely used throughout the caring industry. Whilst we accept that there may be some extreme circumstances in which people may need to be restrained to keep them or other people safe, there are so many times where restraint becomes part of an established routine and people accept it as common practice. One of our major goals at Studio 3 is to reduce and eradicate the use of all forms restraint. We passionately believe that in order to manage challenging situations we must first look at our own reactions to crisis situations, and what we could do to prevent them from re-occurring. The de-escalation and crisis management training we provide at Studio 3 is informed by low arousal approaches, and focuses on non-aversive strategies to reduce stress and tension in the moment, as well as prevent crisis situations from occuring. Our primary priority is the welfare of the individual we are supporting, especially as those individuals are often vulnerable, traumatised, and highly distressed. That is why we have never taught one-person restraint holds, as they are unsafe to use in practice. The physical interventions training provided ensures that situations are managed only by trained professionals in safe and socially-valid ways, for example using the walk-around method, or facilitating the individual's escape from a stressful or hyper-arousing environment. 


The following outlines the Studio 3

approach to restraint and its reduction:


1. Restraint should only be a last resort.

People often say this, but in reality the last

resort can often become the first resort

(Deveau and McDonnell, 2007)

2. Always teach alternatives to restraint

3. Never accept restraint as inevitable

4. Restraint is never therapeutic

If you are interested in reducing your own or your staff's use of restraint, take a look at our training courses to learn more effective and humane ways to de-escalate challenging situations.

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