Life Space Crisis Intervention

Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) LOGO Contest is Open. Vote now!


I need your help! As many of you know, I am the COO of the fantastic Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute–a training program whose elements I use every single day in my work with young people.

We are in the process of updating our logo and have narrowed our designs down to these three choices. Please let me know which one of the images below you find most visually appealing and which one you think best communicates LSCI’s work with professionals, parents, and kiddos.

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Simply identify your vote as being for Image 1 (ALL Capital letters), Image 2 (lowercase lsci), or Image 3 (handprints). Everyone who votes in the Comments section below will be entered in a random drawing to win a free copy of the LSCI text: Talking With Students in Conflict.


LSCI text

Winner announced on 6/15!

LSCI and Crisis Intervention in Schools


Dear Colleagues,

It goes without saying that all of our hearts are heavy after the devastating school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.  As helpers, many of us thought right away about what we could do to make a difference for young people—whether in Newtown or in our own communities, organizations, and schools. 

There are no easy answers to problems as big as the ones made horrifically clear at Sandy Hook Elementary but the nation is in agreement on the importance of effective mental health treatment and crisis intervention for young people.  Life Space Crisis Intervention has something of real value to add to this national conversation. 

To that end, we have created this brief video to let you know more about what we do and how LSCI training for educators and mental health professionals can contribute to the national effort to find positive solutions for kids.  I am writing to invite you view the video and also to share it with your colleagues in the fields of Education, Mental Health, and Juvenile Justice so that we can all work together on behalf of young people.   The direct link for you to share is:

Our goal is to find ways to be part of the discussion and solution when it comes to mental health and crisis intervention. Wherever primary prevention and early intervention programs are on the table, LSCI has a lot to add to the conversation and we hope we can be a constructive part of a nationwide voice.  Thank you for sharing your time and efforts.   

All the best—


The LSCI Institute offers Training for Parents, Foster Parents & Caregivers


Trainings from the Parents Division of the LSCI Institute help parents and caregivers learn specific skills for building positive relationships with kids, prevent and de-escalate conflicts, and utilize consistent, verbal strategies for crisis intervention. The LSCI Skills for Parents trainings:

  • Provide parents with specific skills for building positive relationships with kids
  • Encourage the use of preventative and non-physical crisis de-escalation strategies
  • Provide a framework for verbal crisis intervention that is consistent from situation to situation

Part 1: Conflict Prevention & De-Escalation
The Conflict Prevention & De-Escalation course presents foundational LSCI concepts such as the Conflict Cycle™, effective listening, crisis de-escalation, and “Timeline” skills through engaging activities and discussions that are relevant and accessible to parents and caregivers. Part 1 can be taught as a 1-day course or as a series of hour-long workshops.

Part 2: Managing Challenging Behaviors
The Managing Challenging Behaviors program identifies the six most common, chronic self-defeating patterns of behavior in kids and provides parents with a consistent 4-step process that helps families effectively address and modify each one. Part 2 of the curriculum is designed as an 8-session program, with one session dedicated to each of the six self-defeating patterns, along with an Introduction and Conclusion session.

FIND OUT what participants are saying about LSCI Skills for Parents trainings:

FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO SCHEDULE an LSCI Skills for Parents course, please click on the LSCI Training page or email me at

LSCI Helps Adults Understand Why Kids Act the Way They Do


A youth worker from Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in Texas recently wrote this about LSCI training:

“LSCI is a great tool to use to be able to gain insight into why a child acts the way he does.  It allows me to get to the root of a problem and help him make a change instead of just putting a band-aid on the problem.  It’s a great everyday tool for building relationships with kids.”


Thanks for the feedback and thanks to our great trainers at Cal Farley’s who help adults turn crises into learning opportunities for kids with self-defeating behaviors.


For LSCI training opportunities in your area or to check out our online training course, please visit the LSCI Training page on this site or visit

Is Your Child a Limit Tester? 3 Essential Steps for Closing Your Loopholes


The morning of School Picture Day, my nine-year old neighbor shocked her mother by picking out her own outfit (a mutual favorite), doing her own hair (bangs pulled back away from the eyes) and even selecting shoes that matched (a bonus, even though the school portrait wouldn’t account for this rarity.) On her way out to the bus, she called to her mom, “Is it okay if I bring a little lip gloss for the picture?”

Sometimes in our parenting lives, we look back on certain moments that seemed so innocent — so perfect even — and realize that ignorance truly is bliss.

When the school portrait proofs were sent home one week later, my Mama-friend could still hear the lip-gloss request in the back of her head, though all she could see in the photo proofs were the brightest (I never knew red could be a neon color) and biggest (I’m talking nose to chin) set of painted lips you have never seen in your entire life.


To read the rest of this story about limit testing, conflict and effective confrontation, please click here or on the link below to read it on its original home, the HuffingtonPost Parents section.

LSCI Teaches Skills for De-escalating Student Crises


In Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) training, professionals who work with challenging students learn specific skills for understanding the dynamics of conflict and de-escalating student crises.  What sets LSCI training apart from other in-service programs is its focus on the adult’s role in conflict and the opportunity professionals have to turn a crisis situation into a learning opportunity.

This video, featuring real-life footage from a high school in Boston, is a great example of how adults can sometimes escalate conflicts with students.  LSCI teaches specific skills that help professionals understand the dynamics of escalating power struggles with students and control their responses to students so that all-too-common situations like this can be prevented.



For more information on LSCI training, please visit the LSCI link on this site or the LSCI Institute’s home page at 

It’s My Parking Spot! Classic LSCI Symptom Estrangement Example


For those who have completed LSCI training and learned about how to help kids who have a pattern of justifying their aggressive or antisocial behavior, here is a hilarious example of a woman in desperate need of the Symptom Estrangement Reclaiming Intervention:


LSCI Institute Offers Training for Parents on How to Help Kids through Conflict


For the past several months, I have been working with my colleagues at the Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) Institute to develop a training series that helps parents understand and successfully manage conflict with their kids.  Based on world-renowned LSCI principles of helping adults turn conflict situations into learning opportunities for kids, the curriculum is designed to teach parents skills for effectively tuning in to kids, listening, de-escalating conflict, and relationship-building.  Parents learn about the six most common patterns of self-defeating behavior and gain skills for helping their kids overcome troubling patterns.

The LSCI Skills for Parents curriculum will be formally available in the Spring of 2012, but check out the great work that LSCI Master Trainer, Dr. JC Chambers, is already doing while piloting the course.  His work is featured in the Madison Daily Leader:


For more information on the LSCI Skills for Parents training, please contact me at or complete the Contact form with the details of your request.

When Parents Mirror Kids’ Behavior: The Conflict Cycle on NBC’s Parenthood

The Conflict Cycle™ is Life Space Crisis Intervention’s (LSCI) major paradigm for understanding the dynamics of escalating power struggles between adults and children. In our training courses for parents and professionals, we explain that in times of stress and conflict, kids can create in adults their feelings, and, if not trained, adults will mirror their behaviors.  In the heat of the moment, when adults do what comes naturally–what thousands of years of evolution have prepared their bodies to do–they often only make matters worse.  That is why understanding the LSCI Conflict Cycle is the first line of defense against fueling further conflict.


This clip from NBC’s Parenthood is a perfect example of how Kristina gets caught in a Conflict Cycle and inadvertently mirrors Max’s behavior, thus escalating their power struggle.  Ultimately, both mother and son lose out.  The look of defeat on her face at the end of the clip says it all.



For more information on the LSCI Conflict Cycle and training for parents and professionals, please visit the LSCI link above or visit 

Fine! Whatever! 8 Passive Aggressive Phrases Everyone Should Know


Do you ever feel like you are riding on an emotional roller coaster with your child? Is your little one friendly and sweet one day, then sulky and withdrawn the next? Does your teenager consistently procrastinate, postpone, stall and shut down any emotionally-charged conversation? Do you, as a parent, ever resemble that same portrait? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are good that passive aggressive behavior has found a way into your home and family.


Check out my article in the Huffington Post Parents section to learn about eight of the most common passive aggressive phrases and to figure out if “sugarcoated hostility” exists in your home and family.

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