(pronounced de-escalate)

Family Training

assisting those with family members in distress - physical intervention, de-escalation and positive behaviour support training


de-escalation training

for parents and other family members


Brilliant course. It has given me the confidence to remain calm when my son is very upset - keeping calm is the best thing for him.
— C.P. -parent

Working with indiviudals in distress d8.is/b2

Any relationship has stressful times and having problem behaviours within the family can be hard for others to understand and fully appreciate. When a family member is in distress it can be incredibly stressful and difficult to maintain an ongoing positive relationship. Pressure will be placed upon all relationships in the family and on all aspects of family life; your relationship with any other children in the family, with your partner as well as the relationships siblings will have with each other.

The ability to develop and build positive relationships with people in distress is the key to a successful family life for the whole household.

We feel it is right that you get help and training that fits perfectly with your particular needs. This page gives you information about our family workshops, however, some families will feel that they would like a completely personal and bespoke service in their own home. If this is the case then, please, see our Consulting for Families page.


Comments from a 15 year old sibling of individual who can display problem behaviours who attended a 2 day workshop with his parent.


D.ESCAL8TM family workshops are fully bespoke to the needs of the participants; rather than following a set syllabus we work with the particular issues of the small group of participants. Workshops are underpinned by specifically designed techniques to assist you to develop positive relationships with family members in distress.

D.ESCAL8TM run two day workshops exclusively aimed at parents and family members.

We welcome any family member over the age of 12 at the discretion of the responsible adult.

D.ESCAL8TM are proud to deliver these Parent and Family Workshops with Dr. Christianne Pollock.


Register Interest

Bespoke workshop focussed on your needs

After registering interest we will arrange a call to discuss your individual needs, you won't pay till you are happy we can assist you.

Bristol & South West

Date: TBA

West Wales

Date: TBA



host your own bespoke workshop

  • Behaviour impacting relationships within your family?
  • Supporting all ages around dangerous and problem behaviour
  • Involved in a group?
  • Interested in hosting your own workshop?

please register interest on this button & we will contact you to discuss your needs


Dr Christianne Pollock

Parent & Family Trainer

Christianne has a teenage son with severe autism who is non-verbal and has severe learning disabilities. She has a background in studying interactions of children with severe autism using a methodology called Conversation Analysis (CA) and has presented this work at international conferences. Together with Tim Auburn at the University of Plymouth she has published a chapter in a book looking at the ways children with severe autism use laughter to joke and tease.  She is now working on using CA to provide useful feedback to people working with or caring for children and  adults with severe autism. Her own experiences of managing her son’s distressed behaviours and the huge difference D.ESCAL8 training made to her family motivated discussion about providing these opportunities for other families. She is committed to working with other families to improve the lives of people living with and affected by distressed behaviours.

In her spare time she enjoys horse riding, walking on Dartmoor with the dog and surfing.

Dad and I just wanted to send a quick message to say thank you for the bespoke training course you ran around our son. Having a course aimed at children and run for children’s services made it all very relevant and specific, in a way the general course just cannot be. As you are aware things were becoming pretty tricky at home, and Dad and I were struggling to manage our son’s frequent outbursts.

It was very helpful to us that you spent so much time in our home, observing (and helping us manage) his outbursts. Consultants we have dealt with in the past have taken a step back and not been keen to spend too much time hands on in the home and it was refreshing and really very different to have someone with us not afraid to join us and really demonstrate how to manage an extreme outburst (I hope your bruises are getting better by the way – since doing the course we have not had our daily top up as incidents are just not escalating in the same way – so yours may be the last ones dished out for a while!).

Although I had tried to explain PBS to Dad, it was much clearer coming from you, and it has really helped us work together and stay calm (which of course helps our son).

I have emailed the Council Childrens Services to thank them for funding the course, and for getting the whole team together – it was incredibly helpful to have everyone involved in our son’s care across school, home and respite on the same course.

We really are very grateful for everything you have done. We’d appreciate it if you could add us to an email list for refresher courses – I suspect that at some stage we will find it handy to revisit everything we have learned.
— C.P. Parent (written prior to joining D8)

Publications & Talks-Dr Christianne Pollock

Book chapter: Christianne Pollock, Timothy Auburn, (2013), “Laughter and competence: Children with severe autism using laughter to joke and tease”, In Studies of laughter in interaction (Phillip Glenn, Elisabeth Holt, eds.), Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 135-60.

Pollock, C. and Auburn T. Joking in teaching contexts by children with severe autism. International Conference on Conversation Analysis, 4-8 July 2010, Mannheim, Germany,

Pollock, C. and Auburn T. ‘Laughter is the shortest distance between two people’ (Victor Borge). Laughter in the interactions of children with severe autism. International Conference on Laughter and Humour in Interaction. Huddersfield, 24-25 June 2009

Pollock, C, Auburn, T., Clibbens, J. and Phillips, C. (2008) Interactions of Children with Severe Autism. International Meeting for Autism Research, London, England. 15th – 17th May, 2008

I attended the two day parent and family course with my older son and my younger son’s PA. As well as having a son with autism I work in a special school, so am trained in the Team Teach approach. Before the course, I did wonder how different it would be to what I already knew. We have many strategies in place at home for trying to de-escalate my son’s behaviour, many of which work well, but the occasional times when he has been completely out of control in the last year have had an enormous emotional impact on us as a family and on the way we interact with him for a while after the event. As he is extremely sensitive to the moods of others, this then had a negative effect on his behaviour.

The most positive part of the course for me was the emotional resilience it built in dealing with physical behaviours. The idea of ‘staying in the moment’ when a child is distressed, rather than immediately employing avoidance or escape techniques, was particularly helpful.

Des is a brilliant trainer and put everyone at their ease, including my 15 year old son, who learnt a huge amount. It was also great to have Chris presenting from a parent’s point of view - the videos and discussion around them were very useful.

Perhaps most significantly, we have not had any major outbursts from my younger son since we attended two weeks ago, despite changes of staff at school and our house being upside down with building work. I am positive that this is a result of subtle changes in the way we react when he is beginning to show signs of distress. I have fed back to his class staff at school and they have also reported positively about his behaviour. He just seems more relaxed; I think because we are. So thank you Des and Chris. We are looking forward to a refresher next year!
— S.P. Parent & Teacher
I found my training experience with De-Escalate to be extremely valuable. It is evidence based, clearly explained and taught and the situation is always seen from the point of view of the distressed person as well which really helps. I would very much like to do more of this training and if I can I will definitely be back. Thanks so much.
— H.M. Parent