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Coping with Aggression within an Institution

Physical aggression incidents directly confront care workers with the limits of their capacity “to be good” to the patient. The severity of these incidents is not determined by the measurable and objective facts but depends upon the subjective experience of the victim. Coping with aggression within the context of an institution means giving team members enough room to verbalize this subjective experience in order to make working with the patient possible again. With three clinical cases it is shown how team members that took the opportunity to verbalize their subjective experience discovered, to their surprise, that they had contributed to the incident.