Recommendations for verbal de-escalation training in or around Seattle
November 18, 2016 10:11 PM   Subscribe

ISO: An individual or organization who can provide verbal and behavioral de-escalation training to a loose-knit group of committed safety pin-wearers in the Seattle area.

I've recently made connections with a handful of people who are interested in jointly learning some basic conflict de-escalation skills. We came together in reaction to the increases in street harassment, hate crime, and general awfulness that followed in the wake of last week's election, and at last count, there were about a dozen of us. Most are middle-aged, about half of us are POC and/or GLBT, and we have a wide variety of backgrounds.

Just to be clear: Our focus is on behavioral and verbal strategies like those illustrated here. Physical interventions, holds, and the like are well beyond the scope of what we're currently trying to learn. We are also extremely interested in making sure we know the best practices for avoiding making bad situations worse. I personally got to learn a bit of this stuff a long time ago, as part of my AmeriCorps training, but I'd like to know more, and I'd also like the opportunity to practice the techniques in a setting where I can receive feedback. I'm not completely sure how much prior training the others have, but me sense is that for the majority, it's little to none.

From my preliminary research, it appears that CPI is the go-to source for this kind of thing, but their services seem to be geared largely toward folks in regulated professions who need highly tailored forms of training, or specific certifications, and whose employers are footing the bill. (Thus, they are very expensive.) We are absolutely prepared to pay for our training, but a thousand dollars per person for a one-day seminar is completely out of the question for us.

I've also turned up dozens and dozens of smaller consulting companies, non-profits, and community groups that do work in similar domains, but it's proving surprisingly to compare the usefulness and overall quality of what they're offering-- and a number of them look more than a little scammy. For this reason, I am turning to y'all:

Has anyone had experience (positive, negative, or neutral) with verbal and behavioral de-escalation training, especially in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest? Who provided your training? What was useful about it, and what was not? Are there specific things I should be looking for, or trying to avoid?

Ideally, we're looking for something in the nature of an in-person workshop, but I'd be interested in hearing about high-quality books, videos, online educational resources, and the like.

Thanks for your help, all!
posted by palmcorder_yajna to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I can do this for you if you want, or assist. I think I probably have some old training material too if you guys are serious about organizing.
posted by corb at 10:17 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

In non me related answers, though: you want to look for nonprofits already doing work in this area, and a local trainer shouldn't cost more than 200-300$ for a short session, or they are not doing it for the right reasons.
posted by corb at 10:29 PM on November 18, 2016

Corb, I may very well take you up on that offer. Thank you!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:32 PM on November 18, 2016

Maybe looking at self-defense places, like Seven Star Kung Fu?

They are holding this Self Defense workshop, which looks like it's up your alley: Self-defense & Fear management Part I & II.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:44 PM on November 18, 2016

You might ask people in the disability field if they know of anyone who is an instructor in The Mandt System, which has just the training you need. It is the Burger King to CPI's McDonalds.
posted by ITravelMontana at 7:47 AM on November 19, 2016

we do this regularly at my place of employment. Last time it was an in house behavioral health person, but we've used outside agencies too. I can't of course remember any of them right now but can get back to you next week. This is in Seattle of course. Sorry I don't have more for you right now.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:22 AM on November 19, 2016

Ask Jordan from Fighting Chance Seattle who he knows who does this. He teaches physical self defense but when you read this article he wrote you'll understand why I think he's probably linked to a community of people who can find you what you want.
posted by matildaben at 11:12 AM on November 19, 2016

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