Addressing the Impacts of Workplace Violence: An Exploration of Supporting the Diverse Needs Population, Workplace Violence and Its Psychological Effects
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Workplace violence is an unfortunate reality for many different professions that are involved with helping people. Until recently, the impacts of workplace violence on psychological distress were unknown, and a lack of awareness of these deleterious effects persists in some professions. Workplace violence can impact both the individual and the environment they are employed in, both short and long-term. Workplace violence exists in both physical and verbal forms or intertwined experience of both. This capstone seeks to recognize the existence of workplace violence experienced by frontline workers who support the special needs population, to identify the psychological effects of these experiences, and to suggest possible methods of support within the counselling realm. The literature review demonstrated the existence of workplace violence in this employment sector in school systems, care homes and in independent care at the clients' houses. It demonstrates that anxiety, sleep disturbances, and post-traumatic stress disorder are all psychological consequences of workplace violence. This project further explores somatic-based therapy as a possible theoretical frame that could be used when working with this form of psychological distress.