Three Day Course

Introduction to “Managing Behavior of Concern”

This course is designed to address the sorts of problems you meet every day in your work and give you better solutions and strategies to cope with them. It is not an academic course; it is practical, ‘hands on’.  The ideals of Studio 3 are to promote the management of behavior of concern in a totally non-violent, gentle and dignified way, by providing a better understanding and insight into behaviors of concern and by the use of low arousal approaches and gentle physical skills.The course is designed for 12 – 15 participants.The cost is $6000 plus tax for a course.

Low arousal approaches are research-based and have been clinically tested by Studio III Training Systems, European leaders in the field of behaviour management.

The “Managing Behaviour of Concern” course is designed to address the sorts of problems you meet every day in your work and give you better solutions and strategies to cope with them. It is not an academic course, it is practical, ‘hands on’, and we can guarantee that it will be good fun!

Studio 3 trainers have been running courses in the management of challenging behaviour for many years and our courses are based on applied research, carried out in places similar to those in which you work, so the courses are down to earth, practical and user friendly. We aim to give you the tools you need to cope with challenging behaviour so that the environment for the clients improves and you enjoy your jobs more, hopefully with less stress.

Training has encouraged support providers to focus on the person rather than the behaviour and try to understand the underlying causes of the behaviour, rather than viewing it as a problem that needs to be solved. Course participants are also introduced to a range of proactive and reactive strategies as well as being given opportunities to reflect on their own behaviour and how this may impact the behaviour of others. Time is also devoted to the development of effective coping strategies that can help support providers manage their own stress and anxieties around the individuals and behaviours they work with.

Day 1

The first day of the course explores legal issues. Understanding the nature of violence expressed by people with learning difficulties; your own reactions and tolerances to behaviour of concern; understanding causes of behaviour of concern; an introduction to the low arousal approaches (including interaction, defusion and distraction strategies); an introduction to debriefing (why it is necessary and how to do it) and finally a brief introduction to physical skills.

Studio 3 trainers have been running courses in the management of challenging behaviour for many years and our courses are based on applied research, carried out in places similar to those in which you work, so the courses are down to earth, practical and user friendly. We aim to give you the tools you need to cope with challenging behaviour so that the environment for the clients improves and you enjoy your jobs more, hopefully with less stress.

Day 2

The second day of the course combines gentle physical skills with the knowledge gained on the previous day. Your service and Studio 3 feel very strongly that physical skills are very much the last resort and no matter how gentle they are, we would prefer not to use them at all. However, being practical, there are times when they may be necessary.

Our research has shown us which physical behaviours are most common and the course goes into how to manage these. The physical skills are gentle, simple and easy to learn and they work very well because they are designed to be part of the overall ‘low arousal’ approach to help defuse an incident.

Day 3

The third day of the course allows plenty of time for practicing the ‘low arousal’ approaches and physical skills together.

The last element of the course is learning the “Studio 3 Walk-Around”. This involves learning to walk a client, who is in crisis, around in a supported and safe way, interrupting the sequence of the behaviour, allowing them time to calm down. This technique of using movement to defuse a situation, in a safe and controlled manner, has the added benefit of not employing any form of immobilization, which in itself can be highly arousing and in some cases at cross purposes to the needs of the supported person.

We must emphasize that the philosophy of the course is not to use the Studio 3 Walk-Around (or indeed any other practice that might be deemed a restrictive practice) where less restrictive options are available. Furthermore, its use would only be considered a viable option when everything else has been tried and failed and there is a very clear and immediate danger to self or others. We believe, and have demonstrated, that if we know what to do to better support the client, we can back off and defuse an incident safely without having to resort to this or indeed other restrictive approaches. Any time that we use a physical intervention, be it the Studio 3 Walk-Around or another physical intervention, it is an admission that we have run out of other things to do. 

However, realistically until we better understand the function and/or nature of the behaviour, there may be occasions when it might be needed. The Studio 3 Walk-Around allows carers to talk to a client who has been able to calm down and so be let go of, giving the client some choice and control. Most other procedures we have seen are various ‘take down’ procedures giving the client no choice or control, often ending in a tangle of bodies.

Finally, the trainers will role-play a client with each course member, these role-plays will test the various skills learnt on the course and likely necessitate the use of the Studio 3 Walk-Around procedure.

Due to the topic covered on the course there is an emotional element and people may find some of the role-plays a little disturbing. The course tutors are there to support you throughout the three days should you find any parts of the course upsetting in any way.

Outcomes for the Three Day Course

Prevention and De-escalation Strategies

Key Learning Objective: The Participant will be able to understand the anatomy of a critical incident, identify triggers and cues that may indicate an increase in stress experienced by all parties and take appropriate reasonable measures to avoid, decelerate and de-escalate crisis situations.

The learner will be able to:

    1. Define behavior of concern and describe the role and responsibilities that they and their colleagues have in both preventing and managing these episodes, all within the framework created by the Law, Policies and Procedures.
    2. Understand the terms Proactive (Primary), Active (Secondary) and Reactive (Tertiary) Supports within the context of supporting distressed individuals.
    3. Understand that both our thoughts and feelings play a role in the way we will choose to either react or else respond to an individual in distress.
    4. Understand that the thoughts, feelings and therefore reactions/responses of others may be different to those we feel ourselves.
    5. Understand that changes in any person’s behaviour are caused by many factors.  Some of these factors are external to the person becoming distressed, others will be internal.
    6. Understand that stress will cause changes in behavior as a person tries to cope.
    7. Understand that stress is always transactional.
    8. Understand coping in terms of healthy or unhealthy rather than in terms of good and bad.
    9. Understand that coping depends upon the development of a range of different strategies.
    10. Describe the “Anatomy of an Incident” in the context of an understanding of arousal.
    11. Understand the concept of a Low Arousal Approach.
    12. Will be able to explain what we can do and consider changing in the environment, in the support offered,and in our own presentation to a distressed individual that helps to reduce the arousal load due to avoidable demands and reduce the likelihood that a person will become distressed.
    13. Recognize that when a person has already become distressed,we need to switch to a reactive set of plans that manage the crisis safely for all.
    14. Understand the socio-emotional cost of a crisis for all and how this can lead to further incidents in the future.
    15. Understand that there are different models of wellbeing and the use of PERMAH in creating better supports for ourselves and those we support.
    16. Understand how the development and control of movement and therefore behavior is affected by the other domains of development.
    17. Understand trauma and the principles of a trauma informed approach.

Decision Making in Managing Risk Using Appropriate Low-Tariff Physical Skills

Key Learning Objective: To be able to proactively and dynamically assess risk arising due to the escalation of distress and make safe and appropriate decisions to safely manage that risk without jeopardising the relationship between themselves and the supported individual.

The learner will be able to:

    1. Understand how to apply a Low Arousal Approach in real time in supporting a cared for individual.
    2. Explain the difference between proactive, active and reactive support.
    3. Understand why it is best to plan how to avoid, manage and recover from critical incidents and why this should always be person centred.
    4. Describe the principles of risk assessment and risk management.
    5. Understand the risks (legal, physical, emotional, social and psychological) in undertaking physical management of behaviours of concern.
    6. Understand the limit to relying on the physical management of behaviours of concern.
    7. Provide clear rationale for decision making and understand burdens of proof in relation to the use of all restrictive practices including the use of physical interventions.
    8. Explain the ongoing importance of professional values from a reflective social validity perspective ensures that the safety and welfare of all parties involved in a critical event.
    9. Describe what is meant by an aversive approach and therefore avoid their use and a solution to the management of critical events.
    10. Appreciate the role of state dependent learning in the development of safe to use and professionally appropriate physical skills.

Decision Making in Managing Risk Using Disengagement, Planned Escape and/or Appropriate Intermittent Physical Holding Skills (if taught)

Key Learning Objective: To be able to use safe and appropriate disengagement skills or to be able to facilitate safe planned escape to reduce the reliance of having to use unnecessary restrictive practices, including appropriate intermittent physical holding.

The learner will be able to:

    1. Describe why the use of any physical holding should only ever be considered when everything reasonable has been tried and failed to avoid or de-escalate the crisis and there is a clear and immediate danger to self and/or others.
    2. Understand the history of restraint and the use of physical interventions
    3. Appreciate that there are gentler models of restraint than those traditionally taught.
    4. Appreciate that the use of any form of holding may be contra-indicated for some people or in some situations.
    5. Demonstrate the ability to use de-escalation skills through both verbal and non-verbal skills to avoid the use of restraint.
    6. Demonstrate that the decision to use a significant restrictive practice, including all forms of restraint, must be the response to a presented and significant risk.
    7. Demonstrate the use of taught physical skills that are consistent with the psycho-physiological principles of a Low Arousal Approach.
    8. Describe risks associated with the use of physical interventions.

Post Crisis Supports and Approaches

Key Learning Objective: The learner will be able to identify the impact of crisis events and describe a range of post-event supports and responses which can be used for personal and/or organisational support and developing reflective learning.

The learner will be able to:

    1. Describe the potential impact that crisis events may have on both themselves, their colleagues and the people they support.
    2. Describe and use a model of Post Incident Emotional Debriefing as the first step in providing themselves and others (including the supported individual) with “emotional first-aid” that will promote closure, facilitate reflective practices and promote the re-establishment of better PERMAH for themselves and others (including the supported individual) involved.
    3. Understand the socio-emotional cost of a crisis for all parties involved in crisis events.
    4. Understand that developing and maintaining good post-incident support for all helps to create the optimal conditions to create resilience and fortitude for self, others, and the organization.
    5. Describe the absolute importance of recording and reporting key information that must be documented following a critical event and how this is not only a key legal and professional responsibility, but also a crucial part of developing good reflective practices.

Who is the Three Day Course For

For Carers

For carers the Low Arousal Approach emphasizes collaboration and consistency across settings, which can help ensure that interventions are effective and sustainable over the long term. Overall, the Low Arousal Approach can help health professionals to promote positive outcomes and improve the quality of life for the individuals they serve.

For Professionals

The Low Arousal Approach is an evidence-based and collaborative tool that can be highly beneficial for health professionals who work with individuals with behavior of concern. By focusing on de-escalation and prevention, the approach can help reduce the risk of physical harm to both the individual and the staff.

For Families

The Low Arousal Approach is a valuable tool for families who have a member with challenging behaviors. By using de-escalation techniques, the approach can help families to prevent the escalation of behavior of concern, thereby ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone in the household.

Information for the
Three Day Course

Low Arousal Approach training, developed over 30 years ago in the UK, has been offered in Canada through Autism Awareness Centre Inc./Studio 3 Canada for 9 years. This training is for professionals, support workers and EAs, carers and family members.

Training Space Requirements

The training space should be 1200 – 1400 sq. ft and have no obstructions in the room such as pillars or furniture that can’t be moved.

Participant Health Concerns

Since you will be expected to learn a few physical procedures, if you have an physical ailment, old injury or are pregnant, please speak with your supervisor before starting the course.

Attendance and Certificate of Completion

In order to obtain a certificate of completion for the course, you must attend all 3 days in sequence. For example, you can’t attend Day 2 if you have missed Day 1.

Successful course completion is determined by the trainer.

Course Length Per Day

The course length of each day is 7 hours which includes breaks throughout the day.

Contact Us

Low Arousal Approach training operates throughout North America as Studio III Canada Inc. and is licensed by Studio III UK.