Improving Family Life Through Education, Knowledge, and Understanding

Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Families (TCIF): Overview

It is the aim of Cornell University’s Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Families program to provide caregivers with the skills and knowledge so that they can become the catalyst through which the child changes old habits, destructive responses, and maladaptive behavior patterns.  The goal of this training program is to train adults to help children develop new responses to their environment that will enable them to achieve a higher level of social and emotional maturity. 

The techniques presented in this training program are designed to provide the skills, knowledge, and confidence adults need to deal with children in crisis and to be in control of the situation so that change and growth will happen.  The main competences that are taught in TCIF core training are:

Competency 1: Prevent and de-escalate potential stressful situations with children

Successful participants will gain the capacity to identify stages of problem situations with children; learn to assess each situation in terms of personal strengths and weaknesses, the child’s needs, and additional environmental factors; and develop intervention strategies that decrease risk of emotional and/or physical harm.

Competency 2: Safely and therapeutically manage stressful situations

Successful participants will gain the capacity to assess safety risks in stressful situations with children; gain an understanding of how to engage a child who is upset; and to stay in control of self.

Competency 3: Be able to work with children to help improve their ongoing coping strategies

Successful participants will learn the importance of positive relationships with children; learn to identify precipitating factors to problem situations, apply emotional first aid, to conduct a Life Space Interview – a method for teaching children better coping skills, and to learn from problem situations.

This training is typically delivered in seven (7) sessions, each lasting three (3) to three and a half (3.5) hours.  Adjustments to this schedule may be made based upon need.