Life Space Crisis Intervention Training

Advanced reclaiming skills for children and youth involved in self-defeating patterns of behavior.

What Is Life Space Crisis Intervention?

LSCI is a therapeutic strategy for using crisis situations as opportunities to help students learn alternatives to patterns of aggressive, disrespectful, or self-demeaning behavior. LSCI is being successfully used by teachers, counselors, alternative and special educators, mental health and juvenile justice staff, residential child care professionals, administrators, and others who deal directly with youth in conflict in family, school and community.

LSCI blends psycho-dynamic, cognitive, behavioral and pro-social methods to develop powerful teaching and treatment interventions for our most challenging youth.

Short History of LSCI:

This therapeutic strategy was called "life space interview" by Fritz Redl and David Wineman, co-authors of  The Aggressive Child. Their model was refined at the University of Michigan and the National Institute of Mental Health by William Morse and Nicholas Long, co-authors of  Conflict in the Classroom.  In 1992, Mary Wood of the Developmental Therapy Institute co-authored with Nicholas Long, Life Space Intervention: Talking to Children in Crisis. Currently LSCI research and training for certification is conducted by the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute of Hagerstown, MD.

Crisis as an Opportunity for Learning

Students in crisis, whether angry, manipulative, anxious, fearful, or depressed need skilled and caring adults who can help them disengage from conflict cycles and conduct problems. Managed ineptly, a crisis leads to devastating cycles of disruptive behavior, hostility, violence and alienation. Handled well, a crisis provides a window of opportunity to learn new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. The youth learns to disengage from self-defeating patterns and to develop responsible, pro-social values and behavior.

The Need for Positive Behavioral lnterventions

Traditional crisis intervention relies on de-escalation, restraint, exclusion, and zero tolerance to manage volatile behavior. Such methods may establish order, but these interventions alone do not help youth correct their chronic patterns of self-defeating behavior. The serious and shocking problems caused by a decay of families and communities no longer respond to a curriculum of control. Educators and other youth professionals are now being challenged to develop positive behavioral interventions. LSCI provides the next generation of advanced reclaiming skills which enable professionals to move beyond a narrow dependence on containment, coercion and exclusion.

Use Powerful Reclaiming Strategies

Successful completion of this course leads to certification in Life Space Crisis Intervention. Graduate credit is also available. LSCI training is grounded in 27 specific competencies for resolving crisis and reducing disruptive behavior. Problem-solving strategies target these six patterns of self-defeating behavior:

Red Flag: Stress in a child's life space is carried to another setting where it sparks conflict.

Reality Rub: Distorted perceptions and thinking errors lead to chronic emotional and behavioral problems.

New Tools: Problems are caused by inadequacy in social skills and self-management competencies.

Body Boundaries: Youths entangled in destructive peer relationships are vulnerable to manipulation.

Massaging Numb Values: Youths who feel worthless or guilty and lack self respect act in ways damaging to self.

Symptom Estrangement: Youths may be comfortable with bullying or delinquent behavior and show little conscience.