Frequently-Asked Questions

Why should our staff be trained in Therapeutic Options™?

Because it makes sense.

In 1998, the Hartford Courant published a series of investigative articles entitled "Deadly Restraint" in which it exposed hundreds of tragic deaths as a result of physical or mechanical restraint in institutions and other human services centers across the country.

These numbers do not even begin to account for the incidence of non-fatal injuries suffered by individuals in mental health, mental retardation, and educational care settings. The Courant cites inadequate training as one of the most common factors in these tragic deaths, and proper training as one of the simplest, most cost effective solutions to this widespread problem.

In addition to the human cost, the financial cost of staff or service recipient injury can be exorbitant once the medical, compensatory, staff re-deployment, rehabilitation, environmental restoration, and investigative expenses are factored in. Add to these the potential cost of litigation and it’s not hard to see how a single serious incident can financially level an agency or facility. When compared to the enormous costs of a serious injury or death, the comparatively modest price of providing quality training is a wise investment.

For what kind of service setting is Therapeutic Options™ most appropriate?

Because the curriculum is founded upon the fundamental concepts of respect, support, prevention, and the therapeutic relationship, Therapeutic Options™ can be used in virtually any setting where aggression or violence places people at risk. Therapeutic Options™ is being used by staff in group homes, hospitals, classrooms, habilitation centers, and in community settings. The curriculum can be easily tailored to meet the specific needs of particular setting.

We are implementing Psychiatric Rehabilitation at our hospital. How does the Therapeutic Options™ program fit in with Psych Rehab?

Therapeutic Options™ is completely compatible with the Psychiatric Rehabilitation model, and shares many key concepts and philosophies. Both Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Options™ stress merging perspectives, serving the whole person, supporting role recovery, building skill repertoires, and developing environmental supports. Therapeutic Options™ also believes strongly in the growth potential of persons receiving services, in partnering with persons served, and in respecting people's choices and preferences.

Our system has adopted person-centered planning. Does Therapeutic Options™ support this philosophy of service delivery?

Therapeutic Options, Inc. believes strongly that person-centered and recovery-based approaches are the only responsible way to provide supports and services to people with developmental or psychiatric disabilities, and enthusiastically endorses any such planning process that provides meaningful outcomes for people’s lives.

We are an inpatient psychiatric hospital with an acute care (admissions) unit and a secure forensic unit. Despite our best efforts at prevention, sometimes a patient becomes violent. How effective is Therapeutic Options™ at managing seriously violent behavior?

In addition to providing a practical theoretical framework and methodology for understanding and preventing aggression and violence, Therapeutic Options™ provides staff with an array of effective violence containment skills that are designed to (1) prevent injury to staff and people receiving services, and (2) preserve the helping alliance. All the physical skills have been extensively field tested and proven to be both safe and effective. Because the training details the body mechanics and attack dynamics present in violent encounters, participants acquire meaningful personal protection and physical control skills in an efficient way.

Who makes the best Therapeutic Options™ instructor? How should my agency select a person to provide this training to our staff? Does the person have to be credentialed? Do they have to be athletic?

Therapeutic Options™ Instructors include direct service, administrative support, and paraprofessional staff, as well as psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, occupational and recreational therapists, social workers, program managers, classroom teachers, and others. Professional licensure or credentials are not necessary, nor is a particular level of formal education. What is necessary is the ability to teach well.

Therapeutic Options™ also includes a comprehensive physical intervention skill curriculum. Instructors do not need to be athletes, but do need a reasonable level of fitness and physical coordination to be able to perform the physical techniques well enough to provide clear and credible demonstrations for their students.

Therapeutic Options™ Instructors should be:

    1. Able to thoroughly understand all the content areas of the course and be able to convey them clearly.

    2. Effective communicators who are respected by other staff.

    3. Able to create a supportive learning environment for training participants.

    4. Strong advocates for people receiving services and be fluent in people-first language.

    5. Confident, credible trainers and solid professional role models.

    6. Committed to using positive and non-coercive practices.

    7. Experienced in providing services and supports.

    8. Knowledgeable about issues involving people whom they support.

    9. Enthusiastic champions of the curriculum.