Tag Archives: risk-taking

Podcast Episode 043: Suicide Risk [2]

IMAG1511What role does positive risk-taking have to play when someone is experiencing and expressing serious suicidal thoughts? Firstly, we have a duty to take such expressions very seriously, but the language of suicide risk can often appear overwhelming to others, and generate great fears of what might be.

Do we respond in a way that manages the other person, manages the situation, and ultimately takes over through assuming control over and for the person? Do we really take that step backwards, and give ourselves whatever time is available to listen to the person and help them explore their options in a supported relationship? We cannot eliminate risk, but do we become overwhelmed by a fear of engaging in the real conversation?

There is no such thing as a risk-free option, and in this episode I outline a case example from my own practice that illustrates how positive risk-taking was put in place through listening and acting on what the individual has to say, identifying alternatives, and exploring strengths and potential protective factors alongside the serious expression of risk.

For the full content of this episode click on the links for iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/043-suicide-risk-2/id867043694?i=333467695&mt=2

“If it wasn’t for the possibility of suicide I would have killed myself a long time ago.” [Unknown source].

Podcast Episode 042: Suicide Risk (Interview case example)

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2This episode is an interview with Satsanga (Lawrence Borish) reflecting on a case example of Alice, who he worked with whilst on a family counselling placement in his Masters Degree Social Work training in the US back in 1968. The placement was focused on cultural awareness, and the specific referral emerged through neighbourly concern for a woman whose behaviour and appearance was deteriorating. However, on engaging Alice, Satsanga discusses how, as a young inexperienced social worker, he is suddenly presented with an expression of suicidal ideas.

How we respond to these immediate circumstances can have a heavy bearing on the future life of another person. The interview explores issues of engagement of trusting working relationships, working with instinct, exploration of genuine alternatives to suicide, genuine collaboration between a person and a worker… all of which are important components of the process of ‘positive risk-taking’. The discussion raises thoughts about how we are supported, or not, to make difficult decisions; and could a decision-making process from a bygone era remain relevant today?

For the full content of this episode click on iTunes or Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/042-suicide-risk/id867043694?i=331833222&mt=2

Podcast Episode 034: Planning your business Part 2

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Putting together a business plan is vitally important but requires some caution. We are reminded that the realities of life happen to us while we are busy making other plans.

For all the well thought out plans we still need to respond to events and circumstances. This episode explores five reasons why we should be cautious about the amount of time invested in planning, as well as the danger of becoming rigidly attached to our plans. Steve Morgan uses his own experiences through the Practice Based Evidence Consultancy in response to each of the points of caution.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/034-planning-your-business/id867043694?i=326162015&mt=2

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” [Goethe].

 

Podcast Episode 023: Wanda Rusiecki Interview Part 2

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2In this second part of the interview Wanda Rusiecki talks about the work she does as a case manager with specific service users, ‘getting on the healthy side’ and supporting people to exercise more control over their own lives. She recognises the real reasons behind the cynacism and mistrust that some people come with, and how the focus on the conversation and humble listening helps to create a different experience of services for many people.

The issue of ‘time’ is discussed; it is the service user’s time, so we need to ask how they want to make best use of it, rather than succumbing only to systems needs that serve more bureaucratic requirements. Helping people to search for satisfaction also brings greater satisfaction in the work for practitioners.

Wanda also reflects on working alongside the criminal justice system through court order treatment, the importance of integrating mental and physical health care to be truly holistic, and the role for peer services employing service users to tap into their experience and talents.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/023-wanda-rusiecki-interview/id867043694?i=318839498&mt=2

https://soundcloud.com/stevemorgan57/023-wanda-rusiecki-interview

Podcast Episode 021: Strengths & Decision-Making

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do we go about making decisions? The answer partly depends on the situations or circumstances we are in… ‘situational decision-making’ is an assessment of the situation followed by a quick mental simulation of the likely outcome of our chosen course of action. It is based in experience, responds to pressures on available time, and helps us manage ambiguous detail. It is a partly intuitively based approach to decision-making.

Alternatively, ‘analytical decision-making’ is a more structured approach applied to research, clinical and other work situations where masses of abstract data need processing, or a range of different people come together to make a decision.

Ultimately it is not so much about finding the right or wrong decision, but more about our ‘confidence’ in the decisions we have made. Confidence will be underpinned by a focus on the strengths that can be identified and productively applied as a crucial component in our approach to making decisions. An absence of identified strengths can still offer confidence, but in these circumstances it will be confidence in making the more risk averse decisions.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/021-strengths-decision-making/id867043694?i=318067222&mt=2

“When possible make the decisions now, even if action is in the future. A reviewed decision usually is better than one reached at the last moment.” [William B Given].

 

Podcast Episode 016: Risk Taking v Risk Aversion

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Are we risk takers or are we generally more conservative in our risk decision making, more risk averse? There is no blanket answer to this question for any of us, as there are different situations and circumstances that influence us in different ways.

Health and Social Care service practitioners may become more risk averse in particular situations, and some will be more risk averse depending on their own experiences. When is it ok to be risk averse? When it is the clearly reasoned decision based on careful consideration of the information available to us.

Risk decisions will be part of everyday experiences within health and social care services across all sectors e.g. mental health, learning disability or older persons services. The same principles apply to all of us in our personal lives, when we are confronted with situations that require a difficult decision.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/016-risk-taking-v-risk-aversion/id867043694?i=316511320&mt=2

“There is a short window at the beginning of one’s professional life when it is comparatively easy to take big risks. Make the most of that time, before circumstances make you risk averse.” [Joshua Foer].

Podcast Episode 015: Positive Risk-Taking

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2We live and work to varying degrees in a blame culture, which can drive us unintentionally to make more risk averse decisions on occasions. But taking risks is an essential part of a healthy life. The questions that we need to address are why we take risks, and then to consider how we go about taking risks.

The concept of Positive Risk-Taking is discussed in this episode, as something that emerged in the thinking relating to mental health services, but is equally applicable to everyone’s lives. The concept is firmly based in strengths-thinking, because we gain confidence in taking risks if we are more aware of our or others strengths. The discussion highlights the importance of clearer use of language in order to communicate more precisely what we mean.

A further message is that a risk averse option is not a risk-free option. Quotes are used to illustrate the importance of taking risks in our lives.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/015-positive-risk-taking/id867043694?i=316182597&mt=2

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” [T. S. Eliot].