Letter From the Founder – Bruce Chapman

Greetings and welcome to the story of Handle With Care:

Handle With Care was born in May, 1973 when I, Bruce Chapman and HWC’s founder, applied for a Psych Tech position at the 18 bed psychiatric intensive care unit at historic Pennsylvania Hospital.  The unit served as the inpatient component to Hall Mercer, one of the first mental health centers established under the1966 Community Mental Health Act.

Nine months after my hiring, in January 1974, we found ourselves with a very large, agitated, threatening and psychotic young man who was court-committed to the hospital and demanding immediate discharge.  We called hospital security and had him surrounded at the door of the nurses’ station and attempted to talk him into accompanying us to seclusion voluntarily.  In his confusion, he had let the jacket he was wearing fall off his shoulders, down to the creases of his elbows.  He suddenly stooped forward to grab an upholstery-covered brick (a door stop) and glared at his target – two secretaries who were sitting in the nurses’ station.  With his jacket drawing his arms behind him, I grabbed him the only way that made sense at the time and discovered what is now internationally known as the Primary Restraint Technique®.

I then spent 12 years doing research and development on the restraint as well as engineering a comprehensive personal defense, escort, team intervention and take-down methods that all work, interrelate and build on one another.

While designing the physical components of HWC, I noted the reaction of patients to the PRT (and to me post crisis).  We found that when restraint, specifically, the PRT, was applied in an appropriately caring “affective” context, the event would actually facilitate the therapeutic relationship, most notably with patients who had been unable to establish or maintain a treatment relationship previously.  This observation led me to develop the Tension/Tension Reduction Cycle (T/TRC) and the Solid Object Relationship Model (SORM).  These models were initially taught and made part of the orientation curriculum for all first year Psychiatric Residents at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia’s prestigious psychoanalytic training institute for physicians.  These models now form the foundation for crisis intervention and behavior management for organizations, families and schools across the world.

Handle With Care’s proprietary PRT® holding method also has the distinction of being the first and only physical technique in the history of the U.S. Patent Office (US 6273091 and 6360748 “apparatus and method for safely maintaining a restraining hold on a person”). This patent was granted specifically for our ability to eliminate chest compression and the possibility of positional asphyxiation during our prone holding method.

While we may never know exactly how many “saves” can be credited to the PRT, we do know that the PRT when used with its constellation of safeguards has an unprecedented record of safety.  In over 30 years it has never been implicated in a catastrophic event with over a million plus (estimated) applications across virtually every field of human services, including over 1000 agencies in 50 States, United States Territories, Canada and Europe.

Thank you for caring,

Bruce Chapman

Our Trainings
JULY 09 - 11, 2019
JULY 12, 2019
JULY 15 - 17, 2019
JULY 29 - 31, 2019
JULY 31 - AUG. 02, 2019
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A Word From You
"Staff at the NYSUT training that have been trained in other methods of crisis prevention and intervention said, HWC and the PRT is different.  It makes you feel a lot more equipped to handle a situation. "
NY State Union of Teachers (NYSUT)