LSCI is trauma-informed care in action! Alex Cameron, Director of Clinical Services, Pressley Ridge

What is LSCI?


LSCI is a brain-based, trauma-informed interactive therapeutic strategy for turning problem situations into learning opportunities for children and youth with chronic patterns of self-defeating behaviors. LSCI views problems or stressful incidents as opportunities for learning, growth, insight, and change.

LSCI teaches professionals and parents the therapeutic talking strategies they need to help young people during stressful moments, as well as the self-awareness and skills to manage their own feelings and counter-aggressive tendencies when intervening with aggressive or out-of-control behaviors.

LSCI believes that the process of helping involves having the ability to listen deeply to the personal stories of young people and to recognize that their message often is not in their words, but in their underlying thoughts and feelings. A core strength of the LSCI program is its emphasis on modeling and practicing specific interviewing techniques to help adults de-escalate and debrief a problem situation or critical event.

LSCI is a non-physical intervention program that uses a multi-theoretical approach to behavior management and problem solving.

LSCI is rated as a Promising intervention by the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse. Click here to learn more.

Learn what to do when a youth:

  • Acts out in stress toward unsuspecting helpers, sparking explosive and endless power struggles
  • Makes poor decisions based on distorted thought patterns and perceptual errors
  • Has the right intentions and motivation but lacks the social skills to be successful
  • Is purposefully aggressive and exploits others with little conscience
  • Acts in self-damaging ways due to being burdened with shame and inadequacy
  • Becomes entangled in destructive peer relationships and is vulnerable to manipulation

Real Examples

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How Does LSCI Help?

LSCI is a set of skills that helps adults turn problem situations into learning opportunities for young people with self-defeating patterns of behavior. The skills explored in all LSCI training courses provide professionals and parents with a roadmap to understanding of the following –

  • the dynamics of conflicts,
  • the use of problems as opportunities to teach new coping skills, and
  • the ability to form more positive relationships with troubled youth.

How Does LSCI Fit with Existing School- and Organization-Wide Interventions?

Life Space Crisis Intervention is a strategy that is being used in pre-schools, schools and districts throughout the country as a part of their PBIS/RTI/MTSS initiatives. It provides a systematic, non-physical, comprehensive approach to addressing escalating behavior. This approach can be used for students of all ages across all three tiers of the PBIS/RTI/MTSS model in General Education as well as Special Education settings.

In the LSCI model, children and youth in crisis:

  • are valued and treated with respect
  • learn to trust caring adults and use them for support in times of crisis
  • become aware of their patterns of self-defeating behavior
  • acquire strength-based social skills
  • learn to accept responsibility for inappropriate actions

LSCI teaches children and youth to:

  • Identify sources of stress and manage them effectively
  • Adopt more accurate ways to perceive and understand their world
  • Develop and practice social skills
  • Demonstrate social responsibility
  • Practice self-regulation
  • Seek out and develop positive friendships
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Interested in LSCI theory and how it works?

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