participant views
Training was amazing! The most person centred training I have ever attended. Learnt a lot. The course gave me a confidence to work with clients in distress, to look for simple but effective solutions to support individual. It has changed both my work and personal life in such a positive way already. I have been able to employ the skills and tips I learnt, with great results almost immediately. Would recommend!!

The course was absolutely fantastic and I believe everyone in the care industry should receive this training as standard. I felt particularly empowered by the whole philosophy of de-escalate and its client centered approach. The course encourages you to challenge personal beliefs and societal presumptions which could be unhelpful when assisting an individual in distress. Instead it allows you to develop confidence in knowing how to act in a high arousal situation which you may find challenging, this confidence then in turn assists you to respond in more helpful low aroused ways rather than resorting to touch and restraint which is likely to distress clients further. 

Des is a fantastic trainer who delivers course content in an engaging way which meets all learning styles. His knowledge of the subject was above and beyond including psychology, law, case examples, research and much more! I particularly enjoyed the role plays which was an invaluable way of learning, I don't want to give too much away but let's just say the pressure you're put under compares to VERY realistic situations which was an invaluable learning experience! 

E.H. Psychologist

I found the course to be invaluable. I particularly appreciated that the techniques and philosophy behind de-escalation are very focused on the individual in distress. Helping our clients in distress should always be the main priority. The course was delivered fantastically, with a very realistic approach & Des was incredibly engaging. Unlike other courses of a similar nature that I have attended previously, the philosophies and techniques were taught and then finally put into practice during a very realistic roleplay. I found this to be very beneficial in that the roleplay helped to consolidate everything we had learned during the three days and really highlighted how stress & arousal levels play a part in determining an individual's behaviour.

It’s been a term since we received training in De-escalate and the impact of the training is really showing in a number of areas. The whole Inclusion Centre feels calmer and our staff are more confident in dealing with difficult situations where pupils are displaying distress. All staff are being more proactive and creative in trying to de-escalate situations before intervening physically. We still do have situations where staff need to intervene physically but by using De-escalate the interventions are much shorter and don’t tend to intensify as they often have done in the past. Staff also report that they are able to work with the pupils involved much more easily having used De-escalate instead of our previous methods which often led to upset and anger. Having worked as an Educational Psychologist for 10 years I thought I had a good knowledge and understanding of positive behaviour management and reinforcement theory, however, this course challenged my beliefs and those of my colleagues. As a team we have spent the last term reflecting upon and changing our practice for the better of our students as a consequence of this high quality training. We are gradually changing the ethos of how we perceive and manage the behaviours of the young people within our centre. We work with pupils aged 11 to 19 years with a wide range of abilities and needs including ASC, SLD and PMLD. In the current financial climate it is difficult for many organisations to find the funding to pay for training. I would highly recommend this training to any school or organisation that work with children and people who have learning difficulties, the impact measured against cost is well worth it. I would be happy for other schools and organisations to get in touch to discuss De-escalate and how it has helped both staff and pupils within our Inclusion Centre.

— N.R. - RBT
If there is one word I would use to depict this course it would be REAL. Being occasionally put in a high stress situation, slightly outside your comfort zone, makes it not only real but also more likely you’ll remember the experience and retain the skills later on in your job. I feel that having experienced the course whilst I’m still relatively new to the industry gives me a great start. Having learned the right mindset and belief systems gives me a solid understanding how to develop and maintain a positive and supportive relationship with any future client in distress.
A.W. Teacher
“Reading the Testimonials from other course participants I thought Des had cherry picked the best for a positive opinion. Having been on the course I know that the Feedback is genuine and if you are in doubt go and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed ! Having been an instructor for another Physical Intervention Method for many years . I approached the course open to suggestions and methods to improve the quality of care given to pupils and to provide a positive outcome for the individual. I attended the course with an open mind and hopeful to pick up one or two points to help staff and pupils alike. I have re-evaluated my whole approach to physical interventions and feel that all the staff I work with would benefit from attending the D.ESCAL8 course. The course would provide an up to date method to develop future relationships with pupils in our care and a less restrictive option if physical intervention is needed.”
— K.R. Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
I have had the opportunity to attend courses that updated me on current legislation of managing individuals with challenging behaviour. These courses told me how to respond to negative and unwanted behaviours. Whilst protecting myself from physical harm. Information outlined enabled policies and procedures to be reviewed and updated. If this is what you are looking for D.ESCAL8 Training courses are NOT for you. However, if you want to experience an enthusiastic, positive, supportive and effective approach to supporting behavioural issues, then I recommend you find time to spend three days in the company of Mr Des Cooke. D.ESCAL8 developed my confidence to change my way of thinking; question my actions and alter my working practice when faced with an individual who had the need to communicate their emotions physically. I learnt how to be proactive rather than reactive to a situation, and learnt strategies that I have found effective and can implement in the commotion of a heightened situation. Des provided me with the insight to support my colleagues and reflect on each incident with an objective, practical resolve. Enabling me to examine each event with the team, using the key principles to reduce physical interaction and significantly reduce the stress that physical engagement incurs along with the risks faced by clients, colleagues and myself. The passionate presentation was refreshing, engaging and memorable. D.ESCAL8’s ethos continues to have a positive influence on my working practice 6 months on. I have recommended this training to professional colleagues on several occasions because of the positive behavioural changes I have experienced as a direct result of the training. If you have any doubts in your current management of behavioural issues, then you need to complete the three-day training course as soon as you can.

Brilliant course. It has given me the confidence to remain calm when my son is very upset – keeping calm is the best thing for him.

— R.M. Teaching Assistant
Fantastic 3 day workshop! Learnt many new skills, strategies and different approaches, enabling people to work more effectively in supporting the varied needs of students. Very knowledgeable course tutor with a person centred approach, that made each step of the course entertaining providing unforgettable experiences!

— V.W. - Service Manager

I have been working in care for 12 years. In that time I have been trained with a number of companies delivering training on de-escalation techniques and physical restraint procedures.

Since moving more formally into the disability sector and becoming a service manager I have been struck by how inappropriate these methods are to children with a learning disability and autism. They neither take into account the additional difficulties these children face or the impact these difficulties can have on behaviour. They also do not consider the stress that restraint puts on that child leading to possible further escalation.

As a manager I now get to decide what training to have and when D.ESCAL8 was suggested to me I admit to thinking “what’s new?” I felt that this was another programme designed for ‘naughty children’. When I spoke to Des I understood the ethos but it sounded a bit ‘pie in the sky’.

When I finally commissioned some bespoke training in September 2015 I ate my words. I was impressed with the content, the presentation, the personalisation of information and the unique ability of the trainer to humanise the work we do.

I immediately commissioned another full course to train my entire staff team to ensure that we all signed up to this way of working. To understand where behaviour comes from and how to respond appropriately and sensitively. I enjoyed the confidence that came from this and the realisation that sometimes to walk away, ‘give in’ and ‘not win’ were all considered ‘best practice’. This changed the mind-set of the staff team. They suddenly felt empowered and re-connected with the way they feel they should be looking after disabled children.

More than a month after training the staff are still buzzing. They have used this and I am heartened to hear them talking about behaviour and planning for behaviour in the way the training has taught them. Ofsted also visited us the day after we completed the training and were impressed with our decision to step outside the mould for Plymouth and commission such an innovative training course for what is and will always be a very sensitive and delicate area of care for such a vulnerable group of children.

I am delighted to say that this training has transformed a tired and anxious team into a positive and confident one.

— C.H. Teaching Assistant
Having recently taken part in a D.ESCAL8 training I am astounded by what I gained out of it. Des made the training so much fun and delivered it in such a way that it was remembered. Only today myself and a colleague choose subconsciously to use what we had been taught and just as in the training ------ it worked!!!!. Brilliant (if exhausting) training course, I am happy to recommend it to anyone who thinks or feels that they need this knowledge.

I really enjoyed this course, for years I have always felt that there were more positive ways out there to deal with these behaviours. Des made the course interesting and I used some of the things I was taught on my next day at work and saw some big improvements over the next week.

I have attended training facilitated by Des Cooke on several occasions. I am continually impressed by his knowledge, enthusiasm and creativity. In my experience, he is an authority and an innovator in the fields of learning disability, challenging behaviour and Autism. I would highly recommend his services.

It really was one of the best training courses I have ever attended! Des was very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and responsive to the group and business needs. The biggest part for me was the ethos that came across throughout the course- moving into the social model of care, it is vital that staff attitude is genuinely person centred and considers their own conceptions about behaviour. De-escal8 captured this brilliantly and has improved my understanding of my own emotion and behaviours so that I can truly support individuals who display signs of distress. It was extremely refreshing to have the psychological and physical impact of working with people packaged together. It made a huge impact on the way I understand the need for emotional and physical intervention. If you are looking for a thorough training needs analysis, delivery of a course that is bespoke, training that enriches service delivery, builds confidence in staff and moves towards the social model of care I would highly recommend this training.