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true stories of life in a psychiatric hospital
a scary moment
by jane dode

There were so many times the individual’s who worked at a certain hospital had “near encounters of the death kind.” I recall one incident in particular, because of the irony of the way in which the incident occurred.
At this hospital, the staff is required to be trained annually in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI). One of the components of this training is how to defend yourself in a nonviolent way in order to escape harm from a patient, who may be exhibiting behaviors that may lead to, or already be dangerous to self and others.
One of the methods that I learned year after year in CPI class, from the trainers, was how to escape from a patient, who has grasped the hair on your head. The method, simply stated, is to get grasp the patient’s hand that is locked on your hair and squeeze his or her hand or knuckles inward as you turn and run.
Along with this training the staff was taught how to verbally deescalate a patient who had crossed the line and is in a violent state. These techniques involved talking gently, while standing in a way that lets the patient know that you mean him or her no harm. The same teacher taught this class for several years but when this particular incident occurred, was during the time that he had just passed off the baton to a new instructor of this class.
This staff member I call Woodstock, claimed to be a black belt in a very ancient martial art form derived from Bruce Lee. He was very unconventional in his ways of teaching CPI. He would openly state that this or that CPI method is crap and won’t work, and offered his personal opinion of the way he would handle a dangerous situation.
In one class that I attended in CPI that he taught, I was amazed at his suggestion of how to handle a violent patient. He asked for a volunteer and nobody would raise his or her hand. Therefore, he randomly picked out a staff member who happened to be a very kind and gentle woman. She was obviously nervous and had good reason to be. He had her simulate an attack on him in which he proceeded to jab her sharply with his index finger to the throat. She turned purple and coughed for several minutes. She lived through the experience but looked she would need therapy after this traumatic event occurred.
This was one of his last acts of “service” at this hospital. He told the CEO to screw himself when the CEO had the audacity to call Woodstock when he was at home jamming to a Jimi Hendrix album. At least this was the story that Woodstock proudly proclaimed to several staff at the hospital. He was so proud that he put the CEO in his place for disturbing his jam session. It was not much later that the CEO put Woodstock in his place by firing him.


I have two books published which are based on my fascination, education, and experience in the world of psychology. I teach psychology at the University of Phoenix and I have had over 20 years experience counseling young and old people in different settings. One of my books is under an anonymous name because I reveal the deep dark secrets of the locked down acute care mental hospitals I worked at. This is my favorite book because of the variety of humor, fright and sad stories as well as the unknown politics of the mental health system. My other book How to Get in Zone was based on my personal search of what it really meant and how to get in the zone. I studied and read the biographies of th

more about jane dode


how to get in the zone
by jane dode
topic: general
published: 6.21.10

how to get in the zone
dream theives
by jane dode
topic: general
published: 6.13.10


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