It is very common for people to assume they know what we do because they say:

"I have been on a course like that!"

In some ways it is partly because of the association to the other accredited companies. However, we do things differently and while that is easy for me to say, the following testimonials highlight some differences. Every comment has been made in recently by an individual who has been on previous training by another accredited company. All the images of feedback forms were taken from a D.ESCAL8™ BILD Accredited Course in 4th quarter of 2015. More about that at the bottom of the page.


Having worked in education, care and special needs for over ten years I have been on many intervention courses. The one constant between all of the courses has been a large gulf between the training and the real world application. The D.ESCAL8 is, by a large margin, the course that has closed this gap to what I would consider the smallest possible. This allows it to be as useful and informative to both experienced professionals, and someone brand new to the field.
— A.B. Teaching Assistant
This course truly is the gold standard, encouraging participants to reflect upon their own practices and experiences, to expand upon their understanding of ‘duty of care’ in their chosen field and that there is always another way to handle difficult situations. I have been on several courses and this is the first that focuses entirely on the individual in distress and how to support them in the best way possible. If you have the opportunity to attend, take it as you and your practice will benefit greatly.
— H.L. Morgan Postgraduate Student / Personal Family Assistant
It was very interesting to be invited to attend a course in something I teach myself. The first thing I noted was a welcome recognition that any form of physical intervention should be the last possible resort, when everything else has failed. It was very clear that this was a bespoke course tailored exactly to the students and their workplaces.

The students were learning a new system, replacing one from another provider. No time was devoted to denigrating their previous training or trainers even though the previous system used included types of restraint that are now considered dangerous.

Skills were layered on each other in ways that made it easy for students to learn. Techniques were not overtly complicated making recall under stress conditions is more likely. Students were mildly stressed in training, simulating real life conditions.
Demonstrations were clear, practice sufficient. The pace was exactly right, neither too fast nor too slow.

All in all, this is one of the better systems and more competent trainers in the market today.
— Physical Intervention Trainer
I found the course to be invaluable. I particularly appreciated that the techniques and philosophy behind de-escalation are very focused on the individual in distress. Helping our clients in distress should always be the main priority.

The course was delivered fantastically, with a very realistic approach & Des was incredibly engaging. Unlike other courses of a similar nature that I have attended previously, the philosophies and techniques were taught and then finally put into practice during a very realistic roleplay. I found this to be very beneficial in that the roleplay helped to consolidate everything we had learned during the three days and really highlighted how stress & arousal levels play a part in determining an individual’s behaviour.
— B.L. Registered Behaviour Technician
The course was absolutely fantastic and I believe everyone in the care industry should receive this training as standard. I felt particularly empowered by the whole philosophy of de-escalate and its client centered approach. The course encourages you to challenge personal beliefs and societal presumptions which could be unhelpful when assisting an individual in distress. Instead it allows you to develop confidence in knowing how to act in a high arousal situation which you may find challenging, this confidence then in turn assists you
to respond in more helpful low aroused ways rather than resorting to touch and restraint which is likely to distress clients further.

Des is a fantastic trainer who delivers course content in an engaging way which meets all learning styles. His knowledge of the subject was above and beyond including psychology, law, case examples, research and much more! I particularly enjoyed the role plays which was an invaluable way of learning, I don’t want to give too much away but let’s just say the pressure you’re put under compares to VERY realistic situations which was an invaluable learning experience!
— E.H. Psychologist
Training was amazing! The most person centred training I have ever attended.
Learnt a lot. The course gave me a confidence to work with clients in distress, to look for simple but effective solutions to support individual.
It has changed both my work and personal life in such a positive way already. I have been able to employ the skills and tips I learnt, with great results almost immediately.
Would recommend!!
— M.N. Manager
I was very pleased with the training that you provided for us. it was very professional, you were interesting to listen to and the role play sessions certainly kept our attention. It gave all the staff food for thought and led to a lot of deep discussion. I will certainly be making sure that all staff access De-escal8 training with you.
— N.S. Head Teacher - Special Needs School
It’s been a term since we received training in De-escalate and the impact of the training is really showing in a number of areas. The whole Inclusion Centre feels calmer and our staff are more confident in dealing with difficult situations where pupils are displaying distress. All staff are being more proactive and creative in trying to de-escalate situations before intervening physically.

We still do have situations where staff need to intervene physically but by using De-escalate the interventions are much shorter and don’t tend to intensify as they often have done in the past. Staff also report that they are able to work with the pupils involved much more easily having used De-escalate instead of our previous methods which often led to upset and anger.

Having worked as an Educational Psychologist for 10 years I thought I had a good knowledge and understanding of positive behaviour management and reinforcement theory, however, this course challenged my beliefs and those of my colleagues. As a team we have spent the last term reflecting upon and changing our practice for the better of our students as a consequence of this high quality training. We are gradually changing the ethos of how we perceive and manage the behaviours of the young people within our centre. We work with pupils aged 11 to 19 years with a wide range of abilities and needs including ASC, SLD and PMLD. In the current financial climate it is difficult for many organisations to find the funding to pay for training. I would highly recommend this training to any school or organisation that work with children and people who have learning difficulties, the impact measured against cost is well worth it. I would be happy for other schools and organisations to get in touch to discuss De-escalate and how it has helped both staff and pupils within our Inclusion Centre.
— R.D. Head Teacher- Inclusion Centre Manager
Reading the Testimonials from other course participants I thought Des had cherry picked the best for a positive opinion. Having been on the course I know that the Feedback is genuine and if you are in doubt go and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed !

Having been an instructor for another Physical Intervention Method for many years . I approached the course open to suggestions and methods to improve the quality of care given to pupils and to provide a positive outcome for the individual. I attended the course with an open mind and hopeful to pick up one or two points to help staff and pupils alike. I have re-evaluated my whole approach to physical interventions and feel that all the staff I work with would benefit from attending the D.ESCAL8 course. The course would provide an up to date method to develop future relationships with pupils in our care and a less restrictive option if physical intervention is needed.
— A.W. Teacher & PI Instructor
I have just completed the 3 day D.ESCAL8 course. I am a BCBA who currently works both in the U.K. and abroad. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. For me, this course provided the missing piece of the puzzle. I would encourage all ABA practitioners, and indeed all others involved in the care or education system in general, to attend this course. It encompasses the ABA approach whilst providing valuable crisis management techniques.

Des as a trainer is engaging, knowledgable and compelling. He challenges preconceived ideas and provokes mind set change with astounding efficiency. I have attended other “physical intervention” courses in the past. D.ESCAL8 provides an alternative so far superior you will wonder why it isn’t the only option.
— A.I. BCBA
If there is one word I would use to depict this course it would be REAL. Being occasionally put in a high stress situation, slightly outside your comfort zone, makes it not only real but also more likely you’ll remember the experience and retain the skills later on in your job. I feel that having experienced the course whilst I’m still relatively new to the industry gives me a great start. Having learned the right mindset and belief systems gives me a solid understanding how to develop and maintain a positive and supportive relationship with any future client in distress.
— N.R. - RBT
I was pleased that all of the staff members attending the course with me understood and appreciated the different approach offered by D.ESCAL8. The focus on positive relationships rather than on managing challenging behaviours complemented the core values of our organisation while ensuring skills and knowledge were appropriately delivered to all.
— R.C. - Service Director
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
I have just attended the 3 day course with Des Cooke. I walked in thinking I have done this before and won’t get much out of the course, how wrong could I be!

Des was so receptive to our needs and provided useful information that applied to our setting and didn’t just deliver a syllabus.

The course really focuses on a child centred approach and gives you the confidence to not use physical intervention! A lot of the previous courses I have attended focus on the use of physical intervention and restrictive practice, not D.ESCAL8! To be honest this is the only one that I can be confident it will do what is best for the children I work with. There are no restrictive restraints used and that has to be good for our relationships with the young people we work with.

Des used his extensive knowledge and not just from books, but from practical application in front line roles. He has done what he teaches and knows it works. That knowledge gave me the confidence to really engage with and learn throughout the course. I have had very similar training from Des’ previous work place (Studio3), but Des has taken his prior knowledge and improved the whole course content. He has thought about the impact of even the slightest movement and how it can impact negatively on the people you work with and changed it for the better. Relationship between staff and pupil has to be the most important element of this kind of intervention, with D.ESCAL8 and Des it is. I know as an organisation we will be working closely with D.ESCAL8 and Des to ensure all staff have the benefit of the training I have had.
— A. G. - Teacher (School Behaviour Lead)
The course was everything I expected and more. We have previously used a different company, however we decided to change providers because following the previous training, on the rare occasion a team member had needed to use the techniques, they had been unable to remember them. Following this course, all staff felt confident they would remember the procedures! This was mainly because they had actually practised all of the techniques during ‘as close to real life as possible’ role plays. I highly recommend this course!
— R.S. - BCBA & Director
Really excellent course and Des is an exceptional Facilitator and Trainer. The three days were extremely challenging and thought provoking but also really enjoyable and clearly vital for anyone working with vulnerable individuals. Des puts the relationship first and his techniques help to question established approaches where the needs of those in the care of others is sometimes lost due to behaviour or environments that can be challenging. Highly recommend it to any employer providing care services to vulnerable individuals.
— A.P. - Director
I have had the opportunity to attend courses that updated me on current legislation of managing individuals with challenging behaviour. These courses told me how to respond to negative and unwanted behaviours. Whilst protecting myself from physical harm. Information outlined enabled policies and procedures to be reviewed and updated. If this is what you are looking for Descal8 Training courses are NOT for you.

However, if you want to experience an enthusiastic, positive, supportive and effective approach to supporting behavioural issues, then I recommend you find time to spend three days in the company of Mr Des Cooke. Descal8 developed my confidence to change my way of thinking; question my actions and alter my working practice when faced with an individual who had the need to communicate their emotions physically. I learnt how to be proactive rather than reactive to a situation, and learnt strategies that I have found effective and can implement in the commotion of a heightened situation.

Des provided me with the insight to support my colleagues and reflect on each incident with an objective, practical resolve. Enabling me to examine each event with the team, using the key principles to reduce physical interaction and significantly reduce the stress that physical engagement incurs along with the risks faced by clients, colleagues and myself.

The passionate presentation was refreshing, engaging and memorable. Descal8’s ethos continues to have a positive influence on my working practice 6 months on. I have recommended this training to professional colleagues on several occasions because of the positive behavioural changes I have experienced as a direct result of the training. If you have any doubts in your current management of behavioural issues, then you need to complete the three-day training course as soon as you can.
— K.R. Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
Fantastic 3 day workshop! Learnt many new skills, strategies and different approaches, enabling people to work more effectively in supporting the varied needs of students. Very knowledgable course tutor with a person centred approach, that made each step of the course entertaining providing unforgettable experiences!
— R.M. Teaching Assistant
Having recently taken part in a Descal8 training I am astounded by what I gained out of it. Des made the training so much fun and delivered it in such a way that it was remembered. Only today myelf and a colleague choose subconsciously to use what we had been taught and just as in the training ————————- it worked!!!!. Brilliant (if exhausting) training course, I am happy to recommend it to anyone who thinks or feels that they need this knowledge.
— C.H. Teaching Assistant
I was quite enthusiastic about the school adopting the de-escalate approach to managing our behaviour after the training as I felt the training for me had quite an emotional impact on the way we as a school manage our pupils.

When attending the training the 3 days with all the written, law and practical elements I felt that our County as a whole should adopt the approach as it not only managed the behaviour of pupils but also had an emphasis on the impact that dealing with these behaviours can have on staff and quite often this is forgotten.

The pupils are supported by our staff very well I feel but quite often I don’t think there is time spent with staff members after dealing with these behaviours and incidents properly. This training gave clear strategies for dealing with them and during the training It was also beneficial to role play active and non-active listening... a method which can be adopted in all areas of the school not just with the behaviour side.

The role play was extremely powerful and again put you in the situation many of our pupils feel daily. I felt the training tied in nicely with our attachment and nurture elements that we are leading in and by combing the two can only continue to hopefully improve our practice.

The course was delivered very well and covered all areas of behaviours that we experience in school therefore being extremely relevant.
— L. H. Teacher (Special Needs School)
Firstly apologies for my late feedback, I wanted time to reflect and digest what we learnt and how it compared to previous training i have had.

So: My previous experience of this type of training is built upon Skip and more recently PBM, in both cases I have managed packages of support that provide support to people who often found themselves in distressing situations and in all of my previous training we reverted to crisis management. When I first experienced PBM I described it as advanced compared to Skip, but essentially the results were the same - staff decide when somebody is in crisis and when to redirect them. I think the day to day work involved with PBM is spot on, establish primary and secondary responses to known behaviours and triggers does tend to keep people from distressing situations. It is the crisis management laden with defensive stances, that feels like a change. I never questioned it until d.escal8 and then it hit me like a sudden awakening. To treat a crisis in the same way as your prevention strategies makes this training truly holistic and now I have registered it it is the only way I can see physical interventions passing the ‘mum test’ - I would want my relatives treated with this level of respect.

In terms of the training I felt that Des was outstanding, he worked hard to bring the whole group off our emotional baseline and then taught us how to cope and react without affecting anybodies dignity. Initially I felt the group were hesitant and didn’t necessarily get it (myself included) but by the end of day 3 we were all engaged and mopping it up. In a previous role I was given some really great coaching by PBM tutors that were very thorough in ensuring we practised techniques over and over. However it wasn’t until my first real incident that I used any of the techniques and rather predictably my training went out the window and I reacted in my own distress. I learnt from that and adapted my approach, but with all of the teams I worked with going through similar experiences I know that scores of people would have used unlicensed techniques and justified it in the name of experience. By taking us off baseline Des gave us the opportunity to have that first experience in a safe environment and i felt that the whole group went away much more emotionally self aware.

Many thanks for an enlightening 3 day workout.
— B.M. Senior Home Manager
I have been working in care for 12 years. In that time I have been trained with a number of companies delivering training on de-escalation techniques and physical restraint procedures.
Since moving more formally into the disability sector and becoming a service manager I have been struck by how inappropriate these methods are to children with a learning disability and autism. They neither take into account the additional difficulties these children face or the impact these difficulties can have on behaviour. They also do not consider the stress that restraint puts on that child leading to possible further escalation.
As a manager I now get to decide what training to have and when D.ESCAL8 was suggested to me I admit to thinking “what’s new?” I felt that this was another programme designed for ‘naughty children’. When I spoke to Des I understood the ethos but it sounded a bit ‘pie in the sky’.
When I finally commissioned some bespoke training in September 2015 I ate my words. I was impressed with the content, the presentation, the personalisation of information and the unique ability of the trainer to humanise the work we do.
I immediately commissioned another full course to train my entire staff team to ensure that we all signed up to this way of working. To understand where behaviour comes from and how to respond appropriately and sensitively. I enjoyed the confidence that came from this and the realisation that sometimes to walk away, ‘give in’ and ‘not win’ were all considered ‘best practice’. This changed the mind-set of the staff team. They suddenly felt empowered and re-connected with the way they feel they should be looking after disabled children.
More than a month after training the staff are still buzzing. They have used this and I am heartened to hear them talking about behaviour and planning for behaviour in the way the training has taught them. Ofsted also visited us the day after we completed the training and were impressed with our decision to step outside the mould for Plymouth and commission such an innovative training course for what is and will always be a very sensitive and delicate area of care for such a vulnerable group of children.
I am delighted to say that this training has transformed a tired and anxious team into a positive and confident one.
— V.W. - Service Manager
I have just completed 3 days training with De-escal8. I am always interested in innovative practice and the consideration of new approaches which this training certainly delivers. Des (the facilitator) has extensive real life experience, as well as sound underpinning knowledge all of which he imparts in an engaging and supportive manner. This has given me the confidence to continue to think ‘outside the box’ and reduced my anxiety about situations I might encounter. Anyone who works in the care industry or education should, in my opinion, do this training as a matter of course, but it will also benefit many other independent practitioners like myself. Thank you so much, I found it a hugely enjoyable and enlightening 3 days - time well spent!
— A.W. - Tutor and Author
 
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
I have to say that in our profession we are often given models of intervention to use and the theory behind them, but applying them in reality often fails. Your course helped me challenge my own belief system in understanding the psychological impact of ‘power’ in applying re-enforcement theory for children and young people with Learning disabilities. Your course provides a realistic interpretation of the work environment and how to remain calm and it certainly tests participants! Listening to your own experience and your realistic role plays certainly causes you to reflect on your own practice and how you will go forward to help carers in their roles. Thank you.
— K.Z. - Supervising Social Worker
 

Truly great blog post from a course participant. Great stuff https://alifeunlimited.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/de-escalating-with-d-escal8/

Posted by de-escalate.com on Tuesday, 26 May 2015
I intend using you for all my staff as an essential part of our training requested by CQC
— P.R. – Service Director
I highly recommend the training to any professional who works with children where their presentation needs to be safely managed in such a way that actually supports that young person and staff. The training was very refreshing, providing new ways to manage a range of behaviours. This is done by first fully understanding the Young Persons needs through close analysis of ‘why’ the Young Person presents in a particular way. We were also able to link presentation to other issues such as sensory, communication and also routines. By fully understating this first, we are able to taylor our approach resulting in incidents being carefully and safely managed. By understanding first the person’s needs, we were able to taylor our approach to de-escalate before any physical intervention. The ethos around any physical intervention has been well thought out and tested. The training was delivered very well and has supported my ability as a practitioner so keep myself and the Young People safe.
— L.C. -NQSW/Social Worker/ASW Practitioner
 
Very worthwhile three days - gave me additional skills and a greater sense of confidence in my caring role and made some new friends too. I’d recommend this to anyone interested in providing good quality care.
— M.G. - Parent
The course was well delivered and it reinforced the low arousal approach that we advocate and support here. Highly recommended!
— M.C. – Service Director
I have attended training facilitated by Des Cooke on several occasions. I am continually impressed by his knowledge, enthusiasm and creativity. In my experience, he is an authority and an innovator in the fields of learning disability, challenging behaviour and Autism. I would highly recommend his services.
— E.M. - Psychologist & Trainer
 
 
Very good course. Trainer was knowledgeable and enthusiastic & made the 3 days enjoyable + interesting.
— D.S. - Parent
 
 
A course full of content. Realism, dramatic with interaction. A course to take forward and use as a working tool.
— K.C. - Senior Support Worker
 
I really enjoyed this course, for years I have always felt that there were more positive ways out there to deal with these behaviours. Des made the course interesting and I used some of the things I was taught on my next day at work and saw some big improvements over the next week.
— L.D. - Support Worker
 
It really was one of the best training courses I have ever attended! Des was very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and responsive to the group and business needs. The biggest part for me was the ethos that came across throughout the course- moving into the social model of care, it is vital that staff attitude is genuinely person centred and considers their own conceptions about behaviour. De-escal8 captured this brilliantly and has improved my understanding of my own emotion and behaviours so that I can truly support individuals who display signs of distress. It was extremely refreshing to have the psychological and physical impact of working with people packaged together. It made a huge impact on the way I understand the need for emotional and physical intervention. If you are looking for a thorough training needs analysis, delivery of a course that is bespoke, training that enriches service delivery, builds confidence in staff and moves towards the social model of care I would highly recommend this training.
— A.L. – Training and Development Advisor
I thought as a refresher course the content was absolutely spot on. Des was able to adapt to the specific needs and queries of the group very easily and I felt that the staff all had positive outcome from the day.
— S.J. – Service Director
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I first met Des about 15 years ago when attended a course that Des was teaching. It occurred to me during the course that my behaviour and my actions had added to, if not caused some of the people I supported to become distressed. How I had handled these situations in the past hadn’t been planned and I could of not only put the individual, but myself and others at risk. This had a big impact on me as I had always thought of myself as a good carer. I now understand that I need to have a more flexible approach to reduce distress and to de-escalate the situation.
Over the years Des has been of great support helping me find solutions to difficulties we were facing with individuals and seeing how we can meet their needs, and reduce their distress.
I am very grateful to Des for imparting his knowledge and skills and for the positive changes I have managed to achieve as a result. Lowering individuals distress as soon as you can is vital in a care setting. This will ensure the individuals in your care are more settled and the staff team are less anxious.
Des has been great designing bespoke packages and I look forward to learning more from DESCAL8 in the near future.
— R.G. - Training Officer
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D.ESCAL8™ BILD Accredited Courses:

3 day Foundation Developing Positive Relationships with individuals in distress – Adults

3 day Foundation Developing Positive Relationships with individuals in distress – Children and Young People

In house Trainers Project