Questions to uncover the true source of anger

The following represent some typical questions or responses that could be used during the interview. Rapport building

• 'It concerns me that you feel so strongly about this.'


• 'I get the feeling that you are upset with ...'

Facilitation, clarification

• 'I find it puzzling that you are angry with me.'

• 'I would like you to enlarge on this point—it seems important.' Searching

• 'Do you have any special concerns about your health?'

• 'Do you relate to anyone who has a problem like yours?'

• 'If there's any one thing in your life that you would like to change, what would it be?'

Some important guidelines are summarised in Table 6.1 . Table 6.1 Guidelines for handling the angry patient



Touch the patient Meet anger with anger Reject the patient

Be calm

Be comfortable

Show interest and concern Be a 'wimp'

Be conciliatory Be genuine

Allay any guilt

Be sincere Give time

Talk too much

Evade the situation

Be overfamiliar

Be judgmental Be patronising

Arrange follow-up

Act as a catalyst and guide

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