Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a relatively new therapy that is increasingly being evidenced to support individuals whose behaviour poses a challenge to services, families and carers. It is commonly used to support students with additional needs in educational institutions or individuals with advanced Dementia within care homes, whom subsequently present with Behaviours that Challenge (BtC). It can further be used within the family system.

The aim of PBS is to help develop a psychologically-informed understanding of the individual’s behaviour, based on the theory that BtC is an expression of unmet needs. PBS therefore strives to support services, families and carers to develop appropriate intervention strategies that better respond to the individual’s needs, reduce distress, and improve their quality of life.

When using PBS, all of the ‘systems’ around the individual will be invited to participate and collaborate to ensure consistency across different contexts. For example, this might include immediate and extended family members, as well as schools and other services involved in the individual’s life. Understanding of the behaviour will be developed via this multi-system approach, and strategies developed accordingly. Development of a PBS plan will subsequently equip the ‘system’ with the skills and knowledge to become the expert in understanding the individual’s behaviour, and to enable them to continuously develop and evolve these strategies.

PBS is an evidence-based approach, which has been found to be effective in working with those who present with BtCBtC may occur in the context of Learning Difficulties and Additional Needs such as may be seen in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or in Neurodegenerative Diseases such as advanced-stage Dementia.

At the Fitzrovia Psychology Clinic, a number of our psychologists are highly skilled in delivering PBS for BtC. It can be accessed as a type of family therapy or as an educational service. The number of sessions required will be dependent on individual circumstances. It will therefore be discussed following the initial assessment and reviewed regularly throughout treatment. We seek to establish successful partnerships between families/systems and therapist in order to achieve authentic therapeutic relationships and effective outcomes.

If you would like to know more about PBS or other treatments, please contact us so that you can feel confident in any decisions you make about your treatment.