All New LIFE School, staff members are trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI). This is a “prevention and intervention” model formulated in 1980 by the Cornell University Family Life Development Center. The goal of TCI is to provide a safe environment, while promoting opportunities for learning and growth. TCI’s strategies include training staff members to use tools such as active listening, caring gestures and managing the environment. This is done to assist students who are in, or at risk for, crisis. Staff members attempt to verbally de-escalate agitated students and help them find more appropriate ways to manage their emotions. This process provides an opportunity for students to learn through experience, with staff support, ways to better manage their emotions.
At all times, the physical safety of the child is of utmost importance. In extreme situations (when there is a clear danger to the student, others, or the physical environment), staff members will maintain safety by using a therapeutic hold, in which they have been specially trained.