developing positive relationships
I have been on a course like that!
D.ESCAL8™ (pronounced de-escalate) was formed in 2013.
While it is easy to say we are different, don't take our word for it - the following testimonials highlight the differences and the positive impact of our training.
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)
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
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
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)
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
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
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 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
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
I intend using you for all my staff as an essential part of our training requested by CQC
P.R. – SERVICE DIRECTOR
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.
J.M. - PSYCHOLOGIST & TRAINER
Very good course. Trainer was knowledgeable and enthusiastic & made the 3 days enjoyable + interesting.
D.S. - PARENT
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
Our Foundation course, 'Supporting Individuals in Distress,' is Certified by the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards that are administered by BILD - they can be found here