De-escalation of Those Experiencing Crisis & Emotional Disturbances

De-escalation of Those Experiencing Crisis & Emotional Disturbances

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Webinar Date: May 12, 2021

Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Eastern Time

Eligible for: 1.5 CEUs

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Description: De-escalation is the use of verbal and non-verbal strategies intended to reduce the intensity of a situation without the application of force, or, if force is necessary, reducing the amount if reasonably safe to do so. De-escalation and non-escalation are a consideration in every police interaction with the public and not just in encounters where Use of Force is the outcome. Central to every encounter with the public is an officer’s ability to make critical decisions and perform actions that are reasonable to the situation at hand. Due to the dynamic nature of these interactions, they may not require force at first. However, it is possible that the officer’s actions or situational factors beyond the officer’s control may escalate a situation to the level in which force is justified under the Law. In some cases, however, the force used may have been avoided by the application of de-escalation or non-escalation practices. The goal of this presentation is to discuss practical ways of de-escalating a high stakes situation as well as reviewing the studies to better understand the effect of complex motor learning and psychophysiology on risk assessment and decision making.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss crisis recognition and crisis communication.
  2. Describe the basics of critical thinking and the de-escalation of crisis situations.
  3. Review active listening skills, empathy, and rapport building that influence a positive change in behaviour of the person in crisis.
  4. Discuss the literature on the role of the physiology of decision making and resilience.

Presenter Biography: Peter Collins, CD, MD, MCA, FRCP(C), is a forensic psychiatrist with the Complex Care and Recovery Program at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health in Toronto and an Associate Professor with the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He has been the operational forensic psychiatrist with the Criminal Behaviour Analysis Section of the Ontario Provincial Police since 1995 and a member of the Toronto Police Service Emergency Task Force crisis/hostage negotiation team since 1992. Over the past 32 years he has instructed police officers in Canada, the United States, and internationally on crisis communications and crisis/hostage negotiations. He has attended approximately 400 crisis calls to assist negotiators and occasionally to negotiate with the person(s) who are in crisis. These calls generally involve barricaded emotionally disturbed individuals; individuals threatening harm to themselves and/or others and armed barricades. Given the size of Ontario, he has also advised the police on crisis calls, by phone, hundreds of times. Dr. Collins is a contributing editor of the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, published by the American Psychological Association and the co-editor of the text The Psychology of Crisis Intervention for Law Enforcement Officers, published by Carswell Thompson Reuters, in 2012.

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