Crisis Intervention Training for Dealing with Distressed Persons

How to respond to a person in crisis who has Autism, Learning Disability, Mental Ill Health or any person who is presenting with distressed behaviour.


Crisis Intervention Training ensures that staff will be able to respond effectively to crisis behaviours presented by the people they may encounter in their work, regardless of the nature of the diagnosis or cause.   Staff will learn how to deploy broad strategies which help to defuse situations and prevent them from escalating even in the initial absence of complete information about the causes or drivers of the vulnerable person’s behaviour.

Crisis Intervention Training  Topic 1) Understanding Behaviour 

Staff will be able to use a common framework to describe the phases, intensity and risk level of behaviour they are dealing with.

Our aim in this session will be to ensure that all staff attending the session have a framework of understanding in relation to the escalation and de-escalation of behaviour during an incident.  We will use the Kaplan/Wheeler curve as a key touchstone upon which we will layer information about:

  • Coping Behaviours
  • Triggers of Escalated Behaviour and Cues
  • Escalation-phase characteristics
  • Crisis-phase options
  • Insights into the Post-Crisis phase
  • Post-Crisis recording and reporting

Crisis Intervention Training Topic 2) The Social Contract in your Service

Staff will show an understanding of the underlying ethos which must drive behaviour management throughout the school, fostering a common approach to interactions and communications which consistently strengthen core values of “treating each person with dignity by showing them respect” in every encounter.

  1. Establishing the Social Contract for your Service
  2. “How We Do Business” maxims for effective communication – for everyone.
  3. The goal of Voluntary Compliance, Cooperation or Collaboration
  4. The ‘Gateway Behaviours’ Concept

Crisis Intervention Training Topic 3) Staff Behaviours

Staff will explore and demonstrate fundamental models of communication which demonstrate the value-base established in the previous session.   Once we have decided “How we do business?” there must be specific verbalisation strategies which consistently demonstrate this ethos.

  1. The Platinum Rule
  2. The Five Maxims for Effective Communication
  3. The ‘Showtime’ Concept for Professional Presence
  4. Having a Pre-Planned, Practiced Response in Mind

Crisis Intervention Training Topic 4) Non-Escalation and De-Escalation

Staff will be able to apply a range of different verbal and non-verbal tactics which are non-physical, to reduce the risk of escalation or to defuse situations which are escalating.

Our aim in this session will be to establish the basic elements of good communication (how to show people respect in every encounter) and then build upon those to enable staff to use The Special Needs Strategies (from our ‘Verbal Defense and Influence’ programme) to manage crisis episodes more effectively. For example:

  1. Initial Contacts (e.g. when challenging a person’s behaviour)
  2. Dealing with Verbal Abuse or Intimidation
  3. Managing Resistance to Request
  4. Listening in order to Lead Behaviour

Crisis Interventions for Persons with Special Needs:

  1. Reduce Stimulation
  2. Isolate and Support
  3. Using Adapted Communication
  4. Manage the Unmet Need

‘If you want them to be still, be still.

If you want them keep their distance, back up.

If you want them to relax, be calm.’

This is our Crisis Intervention course for persons who will be the ‘First Person on-Scene’ at a crisis moment.  

  • Establishing consistency in response
  • Optimising Responder Behaviours
  • Adapted Communication Strategies for Non-Escalation
  • De-Escalation using Adapted Communication Strategies
  • Crisis Communications
  • Last-Resort Physical Alternatives when Words Alone Fail

WHAT:  a tailored course for your care team which is based on National Level Guidance on the Management of Challenging /Distressed Behaviour combined with a tried-and-tested programme of crisis intervention communications.

WHEN:   on a day of your choice at a time which is convenient for your team

WHERE:  at your facility, in a large open room or gym hall large enough to carry out the training safely

HOW LONG:     3-hour introductory sessions, fundamental one-day or comprehensive two- and three-day programmes.

WHO:  Any person at any level of an organisation who might be called upon to communicate with a person reaching a crisis-point.   Our typical groups are teams of up to – or multiples of – 12 staff.   We can by arrangement train large groups.

WHY:  Matched to your context and needs  Led by Professional Special Needs StrategiesTrainer  Legally Audited to match National Level Guidance   Values Dignity and Respect for appropriate communications and interventions where necessary ✓ Safeguards Vulnerable Person’s rights   Offers your Staff Practical Options for scenarios  Compliant with Government Regulations  Value for Your Investment

“Thanks gerard for an enjoyable, informative and useful training course. i now feel that i have some tools that i can use that are effective, safe and legal.  The day after the training i was in a situation which required some physical intervention. i mentally went through the check list (necessary? any other option? last resort?)    I was then able to use a technique that gerard had shown us which quickly calmed the person down and resolved the situation. great!”

Special Needs Behaviour Support Specialist – Suffolk UK – September 2016

“Gerard was very professional at all times.  Recommended to our Head Teachers’ local delivery group – this training would benefit all of our local schools.  Excellent.  Thank you.”

Deputy Head Teacher, Bedfordshire, UK

“Having participated in 3 different training providers for positive handling in my career of working with children with challenging behaviour, this was the best in terms of meeting our needs and installing confidence in dealing with the physical side of managing behaviour. Many thanks.”

Behaviour Management Consultant in Essex – Sept 2016

Course Feedback from Dynamis Learners from January to December 2016

Were your expectations about the course met?

  • Exceeded 52.28%
  • Fulfilled 47.45%

Did the trainer observe good Health and Safety practices?

Yes 98.93%

Were exercises on your training course conducted safely?

Yes 368 98.66%

How did you rate the Dynamis instructor’s knowledge and competence?

  • Excellent 75.87%
  • Very Good 21.98%
  • Good 2.68%

Were all your questions answered comprehensively by your trainer?

Yes 98.39%

Was the training delivered using a mix of delivery styles which enabled you to learn effectively?

Yes 99.46%

Was the course of the right duration for you to gain the skills and knowledge you needed?

  • Slightly too long 10.99%
  • Just the right duration 72.12%
  • Slightly too short 13.40%

Were the techniques and tactics you learned appropriate to the real scenarios you will – or might forseeably – face in your work?

Yes 95.98%

Were the theory and knowledge components of the course helpful for you professionally?

Yes 98.93%


Call 0844 812 9795 or Send an Enquiry to our team here:

  • What kind of course are you interested in and why? What kind of time have you allocated for it and when are you thinking of holding the training? Thank you!
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