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Management of Aggressive Behavior.

According to the title page, Management of Aggressive Behavior is "A comprehensive guide to learning how to recognize, reduce, manage, and control aggressive behavior." The book does not disappoint the reader. With twenty-two chapters covering nonverbal and verbal communication skills, personal defense and safety skills, and physical control techniques, supplemented by numerous photos, illustrations, and charts, the presentation is both comprehensive and authoritative.

The most important aspects of the first section, nonverbal and verbal communication skills, are the chapters on space, cornering, and eye contact. Here Ouellette has assumed a pioneering role in the use of proxemics. Proxemics is the study of the space that individuals naturally maintain between themselves and others and how this separation relates to the environment and culture in which those individuals live.

Information about proxemics is not readily available in defensive tactics and crisis intervention literature or in sociological and anthropological literature. This is unfortunate as most human interaction takes place on the nonverbal level. Ouellette, however, fills this gap, helping readers avoid the crucial nonverbal mistakes so often made when dealing with resistive and abusive subjects.

The personal defense and safety skills section of the book features chapters on defense against holds, mental conditioning, myths, and assaults. Most notable is the portion on stationary defense options, which covers defending oneself while on the ground. This is essential knowledge, but most self-defense texts and course neglect it.

In the chapter on defense against holds, Ouellette presents various options for dealing with grabbing attacks. These options are both simple and effective, but more importantly, by providing alternatives, the author addresses situational differences. Every self-defense situation calls for a different approach, and it is important for protection officers to be trained for all situations.

Some readers may take issue with the use of striking techniques against a grabbing attack, as described in the book, but a dangerous situation must be analyzed realistically. A person who is grabbed forcefully and destabilized will have a difficult time escaping from chokes, headlocks, and bear hugs. A strike may be the only way to get loose. Some of these attacks are deadly force encounters, and the use of a disabling strike would be justified legally and socially.

The final section on physical control techniques offers chapters on the blanket hold, the escort position, entering the personal zone, and decentralization techniques. Knowledge of these techniques is essential for those who may be faced with controlling a violent person. The author provides comprehensive, understandable explanations.

With his focus on proxemics, Ouellette effectively marries the psychological and physical aspects of controlling violent individuals. He also provides some simple, practical options for breaking up fights--another serious problem that is commonly ignored by the literature. Management of Aggressive Behavior is highly recommended for anyone who faces the challenge of dealing with aggressive, disruptive, or violent persons. It is by far the best book on the topic to date.

Reviewer: Christopher A. Hertig, CPP, CPO (Certified Protection Officer) is an assistant professor at York College of Pennsylvania. He is certified to teach nonviolent crisis intervention and is the author of Protection Officer Survival. He is a member of both ASIS and the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Hertig, Christopher A.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1993
Words:531
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