"What kids believe about themselves is more important in determining their behavior than any facts about them." - Dr. Nick Long
Life Space Crisis Intervention is a restorative process of providing immediate support for young people during the ordinary conflicts of everyday life. It helps shape the way a person gets to tell their story, avoids coercive punishment, and promotes self-understanding. The approach is focused on the skills of effective listening, decoding, discovering the reasons behind the behavior, and supporting the child to new insights.
Participants learn how to support a child in reducing the impulsive or dangerous behaviors that can result from a range of underlying reasons by exploring the following topics:
At the center of the approach is a guide to restorative dialog which includes steps to settle an upset child, learn their perspective, and help them return to their current activity while shaping the moment as a learning experience.
Through instruction and guided practice scenarios, participants learn how to notice specific patterns, the role of trauma, and skills/insight questions to support kids who struggle with:
The course is offered in one or multiple day options and may also be facilitated remotely. The full certification course includes a certificate from the Life Space Crisis Institute and optional graduate credit in psychology (PSYC 620RY) or special education (SPED 620RY) from Augustana University through a partnership with Reclaiming Youth at Risk.
This course is provided around the world by the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute and was created by Drs. Nick Long, Frank Fescer, and Mary Wood, authors of Life Space Crisis Intervention: Talking with Students in Conflict. Its roots reach back to Fritz Redl and David Wineman who developed the ‘marginal interview’ at the Pioneer House in Detroit, Michigan and highlighted the role of adults who spend the most time with a young person – and their ability to use the ordinary conflicts of everyday life as moments of opportunity – as a core therapeutic component of care. William Morse integrated this ‘life space interview’ in his work at the Fresh Air Camp at the University of Michigan and co-authored Conflict in the Classroom: Positive Staff Support for Troubled Students with Ruth Newman and then student/camp counselor Nick Long who went on to develop the approach as his life’s work.
Ongoing research has demonstrated the effectiveness of LSCI in reducing disruptive behavior (Grskovic & Goetze, 2005), replacing coercive and exclusionary interventions (Beck & Ricciardone, 2003), and promoting social-emotional development (White-McMahon, 2009).
James Freeman is a certified Master Trainer for the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute and is authorized to mentor and certify new LSCI trainers.
Reflections on the development of the conflict cycle by Dr. Nick Long, founder of the LSCI Institute