Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI)



Cornell University developed the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) model for residential care as part of its Residential Child Care Project in the early 1980’s. The foundations of this curriculum are in research based literature and programs. In 2007 Cornell responded to requests from various Board of Cooperative Education (BOCES) Centers and other public schools and adapted the TCI curriculum to meet the needs of schools. Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools (TCIS) gives WFL BOCES a framework for implementing a crisis prevention and management system that reduces the need to rely on high-risk interventions, complements the Response to Intervention (RTI) approach and includes aspects of trauma informed care.

There are three main competencies taught in the TCIS Training:

Competency 1: Prevent and de-escalate potential crises with students.

Competency 2: Safely and therapeutically manage crisis situations.

Competency 3: Be able to process with students to help improve their coping skills.

There are three levels of certification:

Level 1: Verbal de-escalation skills including the Life Space Interview (initial training of 21 hours)

Level 2: Verbal de-escalation, LSI and TCIS protectives (initial training of 24 hours)

Level 3: Verbal techniques, protectives and physical restraint techniques (initial training of 28 hours)

Furthermore, TCIS requires between 10 and 12 hours of refreshers annually, including on-going evaluation and formal assessments to maintain certification.

WFL BOCES believes that every opportunity should be a learning experience for our students and we see crisis and conflict as another opportunity to teach our students how to overcome obstacles and challenges within their environment. Therapeutic Crisis Interventions for Schools (TCIS) provides the framework for staff to be able to process with students and help them improve their coping skills. WFL BOCES has made a commitment to provide and maintain TCIS training for all staff working with students in our K-12 programs.

The TCIS model provides a framework for implementing a crisis prevention and management system. The Goals of Crisis Intervention are to SUPPORT: environmentally and emotionally to reduce stress and risk and TEACH: students’ better ways to cope with stress. The main goal of the TCIS system is to capitalize on a crisis situation by turning it into a learning opportunity and restoring the student, staff, Program and Organization to a higher state of functioning.

Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCIS) trainers provide initial instruction in the TCIS curriculum which leads to Certification. Furthermore, TCIS trainers develop and offer refreshers which provide opportunities to the staff in order for them to maintain their certification. After the initial training staff are required to successfully complete required hours of refreshers annually in order to maintain certification. The trainer’s role is to function as a mentor and coach. Trainers provide feedback on the skills taught in the TCIS curriculum. They may do this through private conversations or during the required Post Crisis Response (PCR) meeting. The PCR meeting is an opportunity for staff to share their dynamic risk assessment.

Mary Evans | TCI Coordinator | (315) 332-7556 | mary.evans@wflboces.org