Care relationships
Care relationships

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Care relationships

1.6.4 Difficult communications

Audio: click below to listen further to Dev's visit to the Durrant's home.

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Transcript: Dev's visit to the Durrant's home - part 2

SOCIAL WORKER
Hallo, Lynne, are you in there?
It's Dev, Dev Shanna. Remember me?
There's no need to be frightened. You can come out now. I'd like you to come out and talk to me. Are you there, Lynne? I really think it would be a good idea if you came out. We need to talk. I hear you had a little upset, and we could try and sort it out. There's nothing to worry about.
ARTHUR
I told you she wouldn't.
SOCIAL WORKER
Lynne, we really must talk this over together. I don't want to have to make any hasty decisions. You know what happened last night could have been very serious. Your father is not a well man. It was a nasty shock for him. I'm sure you want to say you're sorry. So please come out now so we can talk it over nice and calmly. I'm going to wait for you in the next room.
She might come out. Let me get this straight, Mr Durrant, has she ever threatened physical violence before?
ARTHUR
No, nothing like last night.
SOCIAL WORKER
Do you usually get on well together?
ARTHUR
Well, yes, so-so. She goes out more often than I like really. I mean, she works full-time during the day, so when she's out in the evenings as well, I hardly seem to see her.
SOCIAL WORKER
And she pulls her weight around the house?
ARTHUR
The washing and the cooking - not that she's much of a cook - and the shopping, but I have to write out the list and give her the money, of course. She's not really all there, you see, so she can't do normal things, not properly. I mean, she should've been put away years ago, but Lil wouldn't have it. You couldn't get her put somewhere, could you?
SOCIAL WORKER
Well, it's potentially a serious situation, Mr Durrant. I mean, if you're physically threatened - or even actually hurt - we might need to look at the alternatives. There are various places ....
ARTHUR
Oh look, here she is. Mr Sharma here says you might have to be put away.
SOCIAL WORKER
.... oh, hallo Lynne. Come and sit down. We're just talking about.. ... Lynne!
Come back!
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Activity 10: Difficult communications

0 hours 5 minutes

Listen again to the audio of Dev’s attempted conversation with Lynne. Dev tries twice to speak to Lynne through the door. But what ‘script’ can you work from when someone is not even prepared to be in the same room? Think about the scene and the roles cast for Dev and Lynne and how his scripts may be locking her into her role behind the door.

  1. In his first attempt to speak to Lynne what kind of scene between them does Dev project? What kind of reply from Lynne does this script ‘expect’?

  2. He adopts a different ‘script’ the second time. What kind of scene does Dev project this time? What kind of reply from Lynne does this new script ‘expect’?

Discussion

  1. Dev is projecting a scene in which Lynne is frightened, confused and looking for a way out. He’s saying, ‘You are frightened – it’s all OK – not very serious – we can sort it all out with a talk’. He seems to be inviting Lynne to reply alone the lines, ‘Oh, all right, I lost my temper. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry and I won’t do it again.’

  2. The second time he seems to be raising the stakes, projecting a scene where Lynne is in trouble and had better co-operate: ‘You have done something bad – you need to join in sorting out what we are going to do about it, or things will get bad for you.’ He seems to be inviting a reply along the lines, ‘Please don’t send me away – I’d really sorry – I can’t think what came over me – I’ll do whatever you suggest, if it keeps me out of trouble.’

Dev’s second ‘script’ seems to backfire when Lynne storms out. Her parting insult suggests that she does not see Dev as a potential partner in working out a resolution to the situation. Did this second ‘script’ sound too much as though Dev was on Arthur’s side, and treating her threat as an extremely dangerous incident? Obviously, Dev will have to find another approach and really needs to engage with all those involved with the incident. In such an ambiguous situation assessing risk is going to be very difficult and Dev will need all the support he can draw from the other care workers involved.

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