Posts tagged LSCI

How to Help Students Navigate Conflicts

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Recently, I was asked by Education Week’s Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo to weigh in on the question:

When two or more students are having a conflict, what are the most effective ways teachers can respond to the situation?

Here is my answer, along with the thoughtful responses of 5 other professionals:

 

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2018/02/response_ways_to_navigate_conflicts_restore_relationships_between_students.html

 

 

LSCI Training Uses Problems Situations as Opportunities to Connect

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In the year 2000, as a young clinical social worker just two years out of graduate school and trying to find ways to effectively connect with tweens and teens in a residential treatment center, I lucked into attending an LSCI Certification training. To say that the advanced skills of LSCI changed my life would be an understatement.  18 years later, I can honestly say that I use LSCI skills every. single. day. in my work as the Director of Counseling at an Independent School, as a Mama of two daughters, and as a colleague.

It is the most practical set of skills I have ever learned, but more importantly, it is a way of thinking about young people.  LSCI taught me to always LOOK BEYOND BEHAVIOR and to focus my attention on discovering the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that underlie a young person’s challenging behaviors.

LSCI keeps foremost in my mind that every person has a story and that my most valuable role can be in connecting with that young person so that I can help them put that emotional story into words–rather than expressing themselves through self-destructive behaviors.

That’s LSCI in a nutshell–though the 4-day certification course offers so, so much more in terms of practical, step-by-step skills to reach and teach young people with patterns of self-defeating behaviors.  I’m always happy to tell you more about what LSCI offers.  Please feel free to email me at signewhitson@lsci.org or check out LSCI’s website at www.lsci.org

In the meantime, today I’m thrilled to say that LSCI is thriving not just in the U.S., but throughout Canada, Europe, and beyond!  Check out these images of LSCI training in Flanders, Belgium last week:

 

Hurt Students Hurt Students

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I saw this meme online today and just love it:

 

LSCI training, the certification program that is the basis for most of my professional interactions with distressed kids,  offers the skills we all need to reach out to hurt-filled children. For more information please visit the LSCI page on this site or check out www.lsci.org today. I can very honestly say that I use the skills of LSCI every single day in my work and have for the last 17 years since I was first certified in LSCI.  I’m happy to answer any and all questions about LSCI training.

 

Training opportunities are available online at your convenience or year round at any of LSCI’s international training sites.

Interview with Signe Whitson on NativeAdVantage

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Earlier this month, I had the honor of being interviewed by The Native Society, an online global health & wellness platform.  Here’s a piece of our conversation:

Signe Whitson: author, international educator on Bullying Prevention, & Director of Counseling, The Swain School in Pennsylvania

Bio:

Signe Whitson is an author, international educator on Bullying Prevention, and Director of Counseling at The Swain School in Pennsylvania. In her articles, books, and workshops, Signe provides down-to-earth, practical advice for navigating the daily challenges of living and working with children, tweens and teens. As a mother of two daughters, Signe relates to parents on a personal level.  She is also the Chief Operating Officer of the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute, an international training and certification program for turning crisis situations into learning opportunities for children and youth with chronic patterns of self-defeating behaviors.

 

What Do I Do Best?

Since I was young, I could always count on having the perfect response or comeback…ten minutes after it was needed in a situation.  As a writer, on the other hand, I’m better able to collect my thoughts and present them in-the-moment.  I can’t say I love writing, but I do love having written and think I am most effective when I use the written word to share knowledge, insights, and strategies for helping young people cope with conflict, manage anger, and solve social problems.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Coffee and red wine?

Or maybe compassion, empathy, and a determination to look beyond surface behavior and aim to understand the thoughts and feelings that underlie a young person’s actions.

Probably a combination of all of the above.

 

For more of the interview, please visit:

http://thenativesociety.com/nativeadmission/2017/12/11/signe-whitson-author-international-educator-on-bullying-prev.html

“Turning Down the Heat” Course Gives Teachers Skills to Manage Classroom Conflict

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More than 80% of classroom problems are caused by 10% of students who challenge and undermine teacher authority. These students are skilled in frustrating adults and pushing the emotional buttons of even the most competent teachers.

Most teachers are irritated by the behavior of select, challenging students. This is to be expected. Few teachers are trained to understand and acknowledge these normal counter-aggressive feelings. Problems develop when competent teachers stay angry at a student. When a conflict develops, teachers are less likely to perceive accurately, think clearly, and reason coherently. Though competent teachers rarely initiate conflicts with students, they often keep them alive though their unintended, counter-productive reactions.

Turning Down the Heat documents four of the most common reasons that teachers become counter-aggressive with select students. This unique training programs also offers specific skills to manage conflict in the classroom.

Turning Down the Heat is a unique opportunity and the missing piece of most professional training programs. This course is about you and not your students. It leads to powerful insights which will change the way you think and behave when you are angry.

For more details or to find a training in your area, click here or email swhitson@lsci.org

LSCI with Hurt Children: A Red Flag Intervention Example

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Ever wonder what LSCI really sounds like, when put into action with children and youth? Here’s your chance to “listen in” on a Red Flag intervention, conducted in Belgium by one of our Master Trainers, Gerrit deMoor.

 

Life Space Crisis Intervention with Hurt Children:
A Red Flag Reclaiming Intervention

By: Gerrit deMoor, LSCI Master Trainer
Master Facilitator of the International Virtues Project
MFC Sint-Gregorius, Belgium

 

Introduction & Background
Kenny is an 11 year old boy. He has been in our residential care center for six years and I have been working with him, mostly on an individual basis, for about 3 years.
Kenny grew up as the oldest of six children and has been a witness and a victim of domestic violence. He was abused by his father and later, when his father was no longer allowed to have contact with his wife and children, Kenny was the victim of violence by his mother’s new partner. Being the oldest of the children, it seems Kenny is the scapegoat of the family. All the children are severely punished when things are not working out as mama’s partner expected, but Kenny usually suffers the most.
Once, when he was in crisis and overwhelmed by emotions, he told us that he is forbidden to talk about the situation at home, otherwise he would be punished even more. He never talked about it afterwards.

Kenny is verbally not very strong and mostly bottles up his feelings until he explodes. On these occasions, he often must be physically restrained due to his dangerous level of aggression. Even then, he only calms down due to fatigue. When an adult tries to use LSCI after a crisis situation, Kenny has typically gotten himself back under control and lets no one come close to his inner world. This story is about an LSCI I recently did with Kenny. It was the first time ever that he reflected upon a crisis and that he really could formulate insight into his behavior.

Stage 1: Drain Off
I was called by a colleague to restrain Kenny because he was physically aggressive and he was a danger for other children and for the adults. Two colleagues and I brought him to the quiet room. I stood in the doorway in order to show some nearness towards him and to try to get connected with him. He seemed to calm down and I asked him if he had enough self-control to go to his room with me. He agreed. When we were in his room, I asked him if he was all right. He affirmed. I told him I was glad that he settled down quiet quickly. I saw he relaxed physically.

Stage 2: Timeline

I got back to his anger and asked what happened that made him that angry.
Normally he blocks such questions, but now – to my surprise – he started talking: He told me that he and John had a quarrel over a football. It was not clear who was the owner of the ball they were playing with. Kenny told John that it was his property, while John was convinced that the ball belonged to the group. While telling this, Kenny tells me that he had found the ball a couple of weeks ago and that he went by all of the groups to ask whose ball it was. It belonged to no one, so Kenny considered the ball to be his.

But as he is talking to me, it turned out that the fight with John started earlier: the children were playing soccer and at a certain moment John had taken the ball and told the other children to run away from Kenny. Kenny ignored the teasing, but he told John to ‘give my ball back’. And then John said the ball belonged to the group and was not Kenny’s. That was the start of the quarrel about the ball.

The educator had heard the discussion, but as she was a temporary staff member, replacing someone who was ill for a couple of weeks, she didn’t know the real owner of the ball. So she told the children that she would put the ball aside in order to find out the real truth about it when other staff members would show up. As a result, Kenny got angry at my colleague and pushed her away in order to get his assumed ball. For safety reasons, we have a procedure that children that are physically aggressive are brought to the quiet room. So that is what happened to Kenny.
I asked Kenny what my colleague tried to obtain by putting the ball aside. “Was she trying to hassle you like John did?” He kept silent for a few seconds. I could see he was thinking and wondering if he could take the risk of being honest with me. “No” he said.

“What was her goal?” I asked.

Silence again.

“She was trying to stop the fight between me and John?” was his rhetorical question.
I acknowledged his courage to think things over and share his thoughts with me.

Stage 3: Central Issue
Then, I summarized his story: “So Kenny, you were playing football with some other children. At a certain moment John takes the ball and orders the other children to run away from you. To me, this looks like teasing. But you ignored the teasing. That is really thoughtful and strong. But you want your ball back and you say that to John. When John says it is not your ball, you both end up in a huge discussion. Right?”

He affirms.

“Now, Ms. Kathy hears about your fight. She’s not sure about the ball. She wants no fight between the two of you and she decides to put the ball aside and ask her colleagues. But then you start a fight with Ms. Kathy.”

I summarize with a neutral voice; like I am reading the news bulletin.
He is clearly embarrassed with this summary.

Stage 4: Insight
There is again a moment of silence and suddenly he says: “This happens often to me.” I asked for more details about this statement. “Well, it often happens that I am angry at someone. But when I get angry, I get angry at everybody who is in my neighborhood.”

Now, that sure is a hell of an insight when we are dealing with a Red Flag Reclaiming Intervention. I am surprised and happy with so much insight.

To be sure, I asked him: “So you were in fact angry at John, but you acted your anger out at Ms. Kathy. But you are not really angry with Ms. Kathy. Do I understand this well?”

He nods.

Stage 5: New Skills

Immediately, Kenny wants to apologize to Ms. Kathy. But as it turns out that he doesn’t know very well how to do that, so we practice how to make a sincere apology together. The plan is to tell Ms. Kathy the insight phrase he just told me.

And then, I invite him to look at the future. “If this often happens to you, how can we prevent this from happening?”

We think together and we come to the conclusion that when he senses that he is getting angry: pounding heart, fast breathing, etc, he asks to go to the quiet room by himself, with no restraining by the adults.

Stage 6: Transfer of Skills
With all of this insight and future plans, we go to Ms. Kathy. I made the introduction and he had a good talk with my colleague.

Hopefully, this is the start of a profound behavioral change for Kenny together with a stronger connectedness between him and adults he can trust.

About the Author:
Gerrit De Moor is a Master Trainer for the LSCI Institute, working in Belgium. Gerrit graduated as an industrial engineer in 1987 and started working in this field. He says he never felt at home in the industrial world, however, believing their view on man and the world made it hard for him to fit in.

In 1990, Gerrit started a course on orthopedagogics and four years later earned his degree in this field. By ‘coincidence,’ he started working with children and youth with EBD. Gerrit soon became a specialist in developing individualized programs for prosocial skills.

In 2001, after 9/11, Gerrit says he was searching for a more positive framework to utilize with these children. He studied and implemented the paradigm of non-violence by a Belgian anthropologist: Pat Patfoort (http://www.patpatfoort.be/ENG-Pat.htm). One year later, his team was invited by Dr. Franky d’Oosterlnck to take part in the first European LSCI-training in Europe. The LSCI method turned out to match perfectly in the paradigm of non-violence.

Gerrit was invited by Dr. Franky D’Oosterlinck to assist at his trainings and in 2007, Gerrit traveled from Belgium to Columbus, OH to become certified as a Senior LSCI Trainer.

Since then, Gerrit has successfully conducted many LSCI Certification trainings and is actively involved in the EFeCT group (www.efect.be). In 2013, he was honored by the LSCI institute as a Master Trainer.

Gerrit is also a Master Facilitator of the Virtues Project. (www.virtuesproject.com) and author of a book on the issue of punishment. He is currently working on a translation in English of the Dutch book. For more information on Gerrit, please visit: https://be.linkedin.com/pub/gerrit-de-moor/50/920/154

Contact information:
Gerrit De Moor
e-mail: gerrit.de.moor@outlook.com

For more real-life examples of LSCI interventions, please visit https://www.lsci.org/learn-more/real-examples-of-lsci-interventions-with-kids/

SUNDAY STRATEGY: Listening & Building Self-Regulation in Kids

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Last week, I had the joy of bringing LSCI Certification training to the staff at my “home” school–Circle of Seasons Charter School in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.  We spent four days learning about, talking about, watching videos about, and role playing various situations about how to effectively reach and teach challenging children and youth.

One of the things that makes LSCI so powerful of a strategy with students is that it gives adults very specific skills with which they can learn to LOOK BEYOND SURFACE BEHAVIOR and understand the unique beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings that drive disruptive or disrespectful behavior.  LSCI teaches that effective listening is the path to self-regulation in students and show adults the importance of how to listen in order to:

  1. de-escalate
  2. understand a child’s perspective
  3. build insight and understanding
  4. cultivate trusting relationships
  5. teach new skills
  6. create long-term changes in behavior
  7. and so much more!

If you’d like to learn more about this powerful training experience, I invite you to visit www.lsci.org, contact someone who has recently attended an LSCI training, or email me at swhitson@lsci.org.

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LSCI Essentials Training at Collegiate Academies in New Orleans

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New Orleans Aug 2016

What a joy it was earlier this week to travel to New Orleans (my old graduate school stomping grounds) to work with this smart, sharp, dedicated, compassionate, insightful group of educators, social workers, coaches, counselors, and leadership from the Journey Program at Sci Academy and GW Carver High School.

 

We are just starting to offer a 2-day version of the LSCI certification, called LSCI Essentials.  In this course, we teach the foundations of LSCI, including the Conflict Cycle paradigm, Listening Skills, and De-escalation strategies along with teaching the Red Flag and Reality Rub interventions.  For more information on this course, please email me or visit www.lsci.org to learn more about our full certification.

LSCI Training offers trauma-informed intervention for students

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“At Lincoln, the teachers and staff follow a few deceptively simple rules: Don’t take anything the student says personally and don’t mirror their behavior with an outburst of your own. The teachers give students time to calm down, often in the principal’s office or a special “quiet room.” Later, they inquire about what might be bothering them and ask if they want to talk about it.

Such seemingly straightforward techniques are actually based on hard science. In contrast to the fight-or-flight response triggered by perceived threats, seemingly minor acts of kindness, such as a few caring words from a teacher or a quick hug, can activate a cascade of Oxytocin, sometimes called the “love hormone.” In highly traumatized kids, such simple acts can have an outsized impact.

Kelsey says she was “shocked” when, after precipitating a violent fight with another girl during her freshman year, she wasn’t immediately arrested and kicked out of school. Instead, she went to the principal’s office to cool off. “I was given a bottle of water, a gentle pat on the back and time to reflect on my behavior,” recalled Kelsey. “Even the school cop talked to me calmly and helped me discuss what I had done.”

There were consequences: Kelsey was suspended for three days and charged with assault.  But she never got into a fight again. “I saw that there were people in the building who cared about me and realized I could have gone to any of them to resolve the issue without a fight,” she said.”

Read on for more of this incredible article from The Atlantic. THIS is what LSCI practitioners have been doing for decades–allowing kids to Drain Off their intense emotions first, THEN using specific strategies to help them talk about their problems and learn new behaviors.  THIS is the work that drives me and the reason I am so proud to be affiliated with the LSCI Institute!

 

To learn more, email me or visit www.lsci.org today to get certified in the skills of LSCI before the new school year begins!

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/teaching-traumatized-kids/490214/

 

LSCI text

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

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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.

P6 - LSCI Logo_Page_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P6 - LSCI Logo_Page_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P6 - LSCI Logo_Page_3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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