Mode One: Turn off all emotions and respond to the action, concentrating only on the mechanics of the photographic process.
Mode Two: Consciously make the decision not to photograph certain subjects and concentrate on making the best of what else is there.
Those were my ways of dealing with the emotional subjects I had to photograph when I worked for a daily newspaper.
There was a change in editorial philosophy over the years where I worked. Originally, editors did not want controversial photographs which was frustrating. Later, other editors wanted photographs that leaned more toward the sensational which was also frustrating. Since I also processed my film and did my prints, I could edit after shooting if I felt I had made something that was exploitative. Mode Two was a handy way to handle certain assignments. I hated shooting funerals, especially when editors expected emotional photographs of family members. I made the conscious decision to f*** up every one of those assignments and eventually they quit giving them to me.