The Dfuse Defusing Conflict Programme for young people with challenging lifestyles or behaviours.

This resource provides all the background information and tools to help teachers, key & case workers and youth workers deliver an eight session programme to help young people explore their responses to conflict.

For some young people, conflict and confrontation are regular occurrences. This is particularly the case for those who are marginalised, excluded from education, lead risky lifestyles, have challenging behaviours, or are in the youth justice system. The conflicts they face, and the pressures they may feel can be complex – and many have not yet refined their approaches to dealing with such situations.

Some young people resort to aggression, as that is how they learnt to manage conflict growing up. Others use aggression as a way to assert dominance or boost their self-esteem. For young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), aggression is often a response to being frustrated that they do not understand a situation, or are struggling to communicate effectively. This programme is suitable for all young people, but Dfuse has worked with Speech Language Therapists to ensure that it also supports the participation of young people with SLCN.

The Defusing Conflict programme can help teachers and others to explore positive approaches to conflict with young people. Through the activities, a deeper insight can be achieved into why a young person responds to conflict in the way that they do. Is a young person using aggression as a tool to boost self-esteem, or are they frustrated and simply struggling to communicate?

The Defusing Conflict programme is not deficit-based. It provides a neutral, non-judgemental framework and language for workers and young people to explore potential conflict situations and to debrief incidents which have occurred (or were avoided). It does not talk about good or bad behaviours. Instead, it explores perspectives of how different behaviours can lead to better or worse consequences. This programme encourages young people to come to their own conclusions about how they will react to challenging situations and conflict in the future.


You know the young people you work with better than any external training agency, so we provide you with everything you need to deliver the Defusing Conflict programme yourself.

The Defusing Conflict programme is designed to be delivered over eight sessions of fifty minutes to an hour – but you can choose to take longer to explore each session or extend the discussions by using the additional activities provided. You could run shorter sessions by using fewer activities – or just use the activities when an opportunity arises, perhaps to create a discussion following an incident. The eight sessions are:

  1. How do you deal with conflict? How conflict becomes confrontation and what young people want to get out of the programme.
  2. What makes conflict worse? How conflict can be made worse and a look at techniques for managing conflict.
  3. What makes conflict better? The effects of conflict on the body, how these can be managed and an approach for managing conflict.
  4. How am I feeling? How personal feelings can affect responses to conflict and how to manage them.
  5. Are you listening? How to listen and use these skills to check understanding of what another person has said.
  6. Are you really listening? How to keep someone talking in order to better understand their perspective.
  7. How do you deal with conflict? Ways to resolve conflict without anyone losing face.
  8. What have you learnt? How different elements of the Defusing Conflict programme can be used in real-life situations.

Each of the eight sessions follow a similar format:

  • A visual prompt for discussion (either images or a film clip).
  • Group work activity and feedback discussion.
  • An additional activity to extend the session or expand the range of learning.
  • Feedback and reflection on the learning from the session.

For each session, this resource pack includes:

  1. Background notes, which introduce the objectives of the session and the defusing skills information.
  2. A session plan outlining each activity.
  3. All activity materials including worksheets and short films.

There are additional worksheets for young people to complete following every two sessions, perhaps as part of a one-to-one meeting with a key-worker, or similar. These help young people to reflect and are an important element of the programme.

The resource pack has been designed to keep your preparation time to a minimum. You can quickly read through the background information and then use the session plan to choose which activities you are going to use. All the materials are included so will just need printing, and film clips can be downloaded by logging onto the Dfuse website once you’ve purchased the pack.

What you get

  • A Teaching Resource with 8 sessions, each with 3 activities.
  • Background information.
  • 8 short film clips.
  • Worksheets to support the activities.
  • Evaluation tools and 6 review worksheets.
  • Tools for other workers, not involved with the programme.
  • Certificate of Attendance template.

This resource provides all the background information and tools to help teachers, key-workers, case-workers and youth workers deliver an eight session programme to help young people explore their responses to conflict.

Download Defusing Conflict - for free!

Click the image below to download the trainer’s notes and workshop materials. View the films and play them full screen when delivering your workshops (internet connection needed), or click the links to download the films to your computer for use offline.




Parking Argument - Download
Late Night Party - Download

On The Phone - Download
Broken Phone - Download

Spilled Drink - Download
Hanging Out - Download

Tree Argument (1) - Download
Tree Argument (2) - Download