BMC Psychiatry

, 7:S146 | Cite as

De-escalation in mental health care: a review of non-physical conflict management techniques

  • Dirk Richter
Open Access
Oral presentation


Public Health Health Care Mental Health Theoretical Model Social Science 
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Until present, conflict management in mental health care relies much on physical techniques. Not surprisingly, research literature on interpersonal de-escalation in medical sciences, social sciences and psychology is rare. This presentation reviews rules and techniques that are applicable to mental health care [1]. Based on empirical data and theoretical models on the emergence of violence in psychiatry, following issues are discussed in detail: stress and anger management of staff, basic de-escalation rules, body language, facial expressions, verbal interventions. It is concluded that de-escalation in mental health care is still in its beginnings.


  1. 1.
    Richter D: Non-physical conflict management and de-escalation. Violence in Mental Health Settings: Causes, Consequences, Management. Edited by: Richter D, Whittington D. 2006, New York: Springer, 125-144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Richter; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk Richter
    • 1
  1. 1.Westphalian Hospital MuensterMuensterGermany

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