HWC provides philosophical models that serve as the framework for practice. There is no framework like HWC’s in any other program.
HWC’s Philosophical Models:
The problem is not with conflict/tension itself, but when it is not directed properly. Unprocessed, uncontrolled anger, conflict or tension is disorienting. It takes over so completely that we are consumed by it, and when it is unable to be managed internally, it discharges externally. HWC training teaches staff how to recognize escalating conflict/tension and how to use their relationship to assist the client or student to regain control of and redirect their tension into constructive and positive channels. HWC developed two philosophical models that serve as the framework for this practice:
- Tension/Tension Reduction Cycle (T/TRC): The T/TRC illustrates the dynamics of escalating and de-escalating tension in individuals and groups. The laws of physics state that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. HWC’s model teaches staff how recognize when tension levels are rising. This allows staff to intervene early in the process so that the energy can be transformed into more productive channels before escalating out of control.
- The Solid Object Relationship Model (SORM): SORM is based on the observation that a person in crisis will attach himself to a more solid object to regain stability. Clients who are out of control at some level know that they are out of control and need to feel that the person intervening has the capacity to bring them under control and protect them from their own impulses and behavior. SORM is a relationship-centered approach that enables faculty educators to behave in an “Affect Neutral” manner that provides clients with the emotional and environmental support needed to convey trust, security and safety. Clients test the emotional solidity of the people (i.e. staff) around them by attempting to activate a response. HWC teaches staff how to recognize the purpose of the ‘test’ and appeal to the healthy components of the client’s personality, which seeks stability or homeostasis, to form an alliance. This person is the light, the ground, the center, the calm, the person we trust when we are the most vulnerable. We call this person, a solid object.
One of the main issues is that many people chronically misbehave not because they do not want to behave, but because they have not been given the tools to gain mastery over their behavior. The dynamics taking place using HWC’s solid object relationship model, is that the staff is taught how to provide a ground for the person to step back and gain some objectivity over the situation he cannot manage himself. Until the person or student regains his footing, the staff member/teacher supports him. As the person or student regains his footing, the teacher or staff no longer has to provide the support and transfers the footing or light back to the student or person to carry. With the goal being that in time the student or person will no longer need the teacher, and when things spiral out of control, the person or student will be able to maintain his own center. HWC’s program empowers the staff/teacher who then empowers the student/client.
To teach staff how to act as a “solid object,” the model employs a practice that incorporates several self-awareness exercises where staff are asked to reflect on their own strengths and vulnerabilities. We then insert these personal assessments into the model to illustrate how staff can recognize when they are acting emotionally (not as a solid object) rather than professionally to a situation. We teach staff how to detach themselves from emotional responses like anger or fear, re-center, and re-calibrate their “affect” to become the ‘solid object’. The beauty of HWC’s program is that you do not have to be perfect to be successful — just honest and real. The intent and affect of staff is much more important than what words are actually said.
It is this combination of philosophy and practice that makes HWC’s program so effective, accessible and empowering.
HWC’s is the most comprehensive and versatile physical intervention program in the world. There is no other program that comes close.
Handle With Care’s physical program is an extension of its verbal program, and comes from the same intent, namely, to assist the student/client to gain mastery over his/her emotions and behavior so that they will be able to manage their emotions skillfully without the assistance of staff. HWC’s training teaches that physical holds are not something you do to someone, it is something you do for someone. You hold someone so that they do not harm themselves or others. You hold someone so that they can regain control over their emotions. You hold someone so that they do not engage in actions that could have long term ramifications as a result of a momentary loss of control or lapse of judgment. You hold someone to protect them and others from the physical and emotional consequences of their out of control behavior.
Expert Reviewed & Field Tested
HWC’s program went through 10 years of field study, development and overview under the supervision of some of the most accomplished and experienced medical minds at Pennsylvania Hospital before the program was offered to the public. Since then, HWC has been extensively evaluated by leading medical and forensic experts, state policy makers, chief medical examiners, law enforcement, schools, doctors, nurses, paraprofessionals, licensed social workers, teachers, principals, superintendents, and state approval boards in Juvenile Justice, Education, Human and Family Services.
HWC’s patented holding method
HWC’s proprietary holding method, the Primary Restraint Technique® or PRT® is patented for its safeguards to prevent positional asphyxia. These safeguards are additionally designed to prevent any other type of medical emergency.
Handle With Care Physical Skills Training can be divided into 6 main components:
- Understanding personal space
- HWC’s Personal Defense System: Self Defense and Defense of Others (including third person saves and breaking up fights).
- Physical holds
- Letting Go
- Specialized & optional intervention: i.e. time out , seclusion, pregnant females, pre-school & early elementary aged children. See our brochure for a complete list.
HWC Holding Method: The Primary Restraint Technique® (PRT)®
The PRT is an easy to learn, orthopedically safe and powerful standing method that offers unprecedented mechanical advantage without pain or injury. A standing PRT communicates therapeutic control so effectively that a takedown is usually unnecessary. When a takedown is unavoidable, ours is brilliantly engineered to account for all of the kinetic energy extant with a takedown to the floor. There is no impact.
- The PRT holding method can be used in standing, seated, prone and supine configurations. We have options that conform with the requirements of every state jurisdiction.
- The PRT is the only physical technique or method ever granted a Patent in the history of the U.S. Patent Office; for its constellation of safeguards to prevent chest compression and the possibility of positional asphyxiation. First and foremost is the “Tripod Modification”. The Tripod Modification is a “weight bearing bridge” the enables your smallest and largest male and female staff to perform a safe prone floor hold without placing any weight on the client’s back or chest.
- We also offer non prone restraint options, including a seated hold used primarily with pregnant women and our “Two Person Supine (or face-up) method
- Specialized interventions: We have a special holding method for use with smaller children as young as 3 and other modifications for clients with orthopedic and physical conditions that would otherwise preclude the use of a restraining hold including:
- Holding methods and strategies for pre-school thru early elementary aged children
- Holding methods and strategies for persons in geri-chairs, wheel chairs and beds.
- Adaptations for clients with special needs including amputated or broken limbs, casts, medical conditions, pregnancy, clients with head injury, developmental and learning disabilities, personality disorders, major psychiatric disorders, dementia and autism, etc.
- Training in the use of locked or unlocked seclusion (time out or quiet room) including solid recommendations regarding their use.
- Training in handcuffing, therapeutic or mechanical restraints. See our brochure for a more detailed list.
- Team Approach. A team approach is always the best approach. We believe that the use of single person restraint methods, even one as effective as the PRT, should be limited to emergencies when there are no other options. Our two and four person team restraint components are engineered around the PRT to address a wide range of behaviors and situations.
HWC training de-escalates and creates a calm state of mind — faster
A staff person or educator who lacks confidence in the methods that he or she has been taught will be tentative and unsure when attempting to de-escalate or restrain someone in a “real” situation. This tentativeness reflects the fear, apprehension and absence of commitment of the person or people performing the hold and results in the loss of his confidence in the people involved in the hold. This quality of intervention also overstimulates, excites, and produces more anxiety and continued agitation of the person being held.
HWC’s holding methods are engineered to be definitive, which is the quality of touch inherent with a comfortable and secure therapeutic holding method. If your current physical holding method is ineffective, tentative or it does not produce the quality of touch necessary to reliably produce a faster recover arc, you should consider replacing it with a method that does. It took a while, but the research is finally catching up. There is a reason why using HWC results in less holds, less injuries and faster recovery arcs.
The science behind the results:
- The Autonomic Nervous System is comprised of two main parts. The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS); and the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). Think of the SNS as the gas pedal and the PNS as the brake. The PNS is responsible for the “rest-and-digest” response that calms the body down. It allows us to relax, become calmer, more clear and focused. The SNS is responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response which activates and stimulates the body. The body is designed so that it is difficult for both to be activated at the same time. They inhibit each other. This means that when we increase PNS activity i.e. rest, relax and calm, using deep pressure/definitive touch, the SNS system responsible for flight-or-fight or stress, is inhibited.
- Definitive touch activates the PNS producing a calming, focused, relaxed, balanced effect. It gives the receiver the ability to feel safe, comforted and grounded to the world.
- Definitive touch when it activates the PNS increases the production of serotonin — the neurotransmitter that is relaxing, sleep regulating and mood supporting.
This is exactly the biochemical/physiological reaction one would want when using a physical holding method. This is exactly why schools and organizations using HWC’s program experience less injuries, less incidents and shorter hold times.
Our Instructor Certification Program is a “train the trainer” program in the truest sense. We take a core group of your most talented staff and teach them methods of instruction that provoke thoughtful participation including:
- A well defined lead and co-trainer teaching protocol that maintains an orderly and safe training environment
- ” Verbal counts” and guided movement methods that keep the typically frustrating task of correcting a student’s physical technique simple
- A “spotting system” that enables your certified instructors to teach the physical restraint components to your direct care staff safely so that your staff can use it safely with your clients
Handle With Care is fully documented in our Participant Manual, Instructor Manual and Instructor Video which are included with the training. Your instructors have unlimited access to phone and online technical support. We love “what ifs.”
A Handle With Care Master Instructor will conduct your program. They are the best professional trainers in the country, selected from the thousands of agency instructors that Bruce Chapman (HWC’s President and Founder) has personally certified over the last 15 years. They were carefully chosen on the basis of field experience, teaching ability and personal reputation.
Plus was developed for the law enforcement community including adult jails, prisons and some juvenile correctional environments that operate at a higher level of security. Plus includes the optional Self-Defense System, the “A Frame” Takedown methods and the Plus Team Restraint components; all adapted to specifics of your environment and the types physical threats and duties that your line officers and CERT teams face. The Plus System contains techniques and methods that are higher on the use of force continuum than those found in the Handle With Care System.
Handle With Care has been providing behavior management and restraint training to Juvenile Justice, Security and Law Enforcement for over 30 years.
In response to requests for additional training for those instances where the threat or behavior is so severe that it requires a higher degree of use-of-force, Bruce Chapman, founded the PLUS program. Plus is a completely separate system that was developed primarily for corrections and law enforcement agencies that require a higher level of force response capability, because of the types of threats they face.
An Officer’s [Person’s] Right to Self-Defense is Legally Guaranteed
There is arguably no right more basic than a person’s right to defend herself, her property and others. Plus self defense and intervention techniques apply far less force than what the laws in all 50 states allows. The techniques in PLUS are all non-lethal interventions designed to keep serious injury to both staff and institutional predators and criminals at a minimum in worse case self defense situations. It is not a method of corporal punishment, it is a self-defense system for staff and officers to use when other less restrictive interventions have either failed or been deemed insufficient in bodily harm, life threatening and serious bodily harm situations.
The PLUS program when used in the reasonable defense of self and others is in compliance with our Constitution and the laws of all 50 States.
Self-defense is an unwaivable right that cannot be surrendered. The Supreme Court has held A person does not surrender their right to self-defense, as guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of all 50 States just because they are at work.
Early Childhood: Pre-School and Early Elementary School Program
Early childhood teachers identify challenging behaviors as one of the most difficult aspects of their jobs and one for which they feel the least prepared. Teachers are required to manage children’s emotional and physical needs and behaviors.
HWC has been training nursery and preschool teachers and psychiatric hospitals serving children as young as three for decades. One of the basic tenants when managing younger children, is that an intervention considered to be good parenting is likely to be a successful management plan.
HWC’s young children’s program balances appropriate protection, containment and limit-setting with the child’s development of self-sufficiency and independence. Children engaging in challenging behaviors including causing injury to self or others, causing damage to the physical environment and/or interfering with the mission and function of the environment are often looking for assurance that adults are safely and appropriately in control of the environment. These children often test that the adults can safely and appropriately manage the challenges their behavior presents. It is our job to reassure the child that they are safe and the environment is under control.
If verbal intervention is not sufficient to contain the behavior, HWC offers a physical program designed specifically for young children. HWC centerpiece proprietary child holding method is the “Modified PRT for Smaller Children™.” HWC teaches this holding method because it offers far more mechanical advantage than the ‘basket hold’ with none of the its problems, including the basket hold’s inherently fatal malfunction mode and the stress that can be placed on the child’s shoulders, elbows and wrists with it if the arms are pulled too tightly as the child struggles.
The Modified PRT for Smaller Children™ is an effective method for children. In cases where staff uses a smaller child hold with a larger child, only to discover you need more mechanical advantage than our small child hold offers, HWC’s program provides training on how to transition from the Modified PRT for Smaller Children™ to our proprietary adolescent and adult holding method; the Primary Restraint Technique® or PRT®.
The purpose of HWC’s small child training is to supplement, not replace, more child-centric training. Regardless of the identifying reasons, teachers and staff need to know how to manage challenging behaviors in order to ensure for the emotional safety of all the children (and staff) in their care. The child’s job is to test the boundaries. It is our job to help him understand precisely where those boundaries are, and keep him safe in the process.