About Training

Crisis Response Training (CRT) is about impacting communities through training and supporting many first responder networks. We're excited to host a program which introduces an intervention protocol developed specifically for dealing with traumatic events known as Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).

It's a structured and professionally recognized process for helping those involved in a critical incident to share their experiences, vent emotions, learn about stress reactions and symptoms and referrals provided for further help if required.

Find Upcoming Classes

CRC Approved Classes

Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Managing Relationships in Crisis (MPR)

Critical events, disasters, death, trauma – they shatter our lives and we feel the emotional impact in every part of our life. While we attempt to cope and adjust, we also feel the impact on our relationships. Whether the relationship was healthy or “in trouble” before the crisis, the relationship seems fragile now. Heightened arousal, physical and emotional fatigue, multi-dimensional grief, and other complicating factors make managing relationships in crisis seemingly impossible. Understanding stress reactions that result from trauma and critical events is a starting point to understanding why relationships suffer. Recognizing signs and symptoms of relationship crisis helps reduce the risk of damaged relationships. Awareness of how depression affects relationships also helps manage the relationship crisis. When relationships are damaged or even broken, there’s hope for healing, repair, or resolving the issues that cause the difficulty. Many seek personal restoration of relationships, and others will seek restoration of family and even professional relationships. Awareness, assessment, preparation, and implementation of relationship theory, principles, and practice will help manage relationships in crisis.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Building & Maintaining a CISM Team (BMT)

Critical Incident Stress Management teams are a vital part of any agency or organization. This team will respond to small or large incidents that can cause significant stress. However, building and maintaining a team can be a challenging task. In this class we will discuss the different steps in starting a team from the ground up and how to revitalize and maintain a current team. Where do you start? How do you proceed? Who are the decision makers? Where do we get funds for the team? Questions like these can be overwhelming and difficult to muddle through. In this one-day class we will address these and other questions to help solidify a team. Be prepared to come and work in open discussions; laptop and/or smartphone not required, but advisable.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Stress, Compassion & Fatigue (RES)

This course offers information and exploration of traumatic stress and how to build personal resilience and protect yourself and those around you from the most harmful effects. The course will also explore the phenomenon of compassion fatigue for caring professionals. The course will offer practical assistance for building and fostering resilience to keep first responders, chaplains, health care and mental health professionals and other caregivers healthy and functional while performing their jobs. The course will also offer insights for those in leadership to identify risk factors and warning signs of those suffering from high levels of critical incident stress or compassion fatigue. Participants will complete personal assessments and create a self-care plan to increase fitness on the job and at home to encourage a healthy work and life balance

Class Details
6 Contact Hours

Trauma's Impact on the Family (TIF)

The course will look at many different types of trauma and how exposure by one or more family members may impact every person as well how the family functions. Family members may be exposed to trauma through a critical incident such as an accident, disaster, violent attack, or sexual assault. For some, exposure to trauma comes as a part of their occupation in the military, law enforcement, fire service, medicine or mental health. In any situation, the family may be unaware of how trauma will impact the individual and most often they are not aware that the entire family will feel the effects. Understanding how traumatic stress impacts the mind and body as well as relationships and systems will equip families to cope. The class will also look are tools that can foster resilience and enhance recovery. It is not just possible for families to survive the impacts of traumatic stress, but to thrive and grow even stronger when they are educated and equipped to face it.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Operational Stress First Aid (OSFA)

Operational Stress First Aid (OSFA) is a unique program to teach psychological first aid to first responders and others who are susceptible to stress injury. The program was originally developed by Department t of Defense for the Marines is used to prevent, identify and treat stress problems caused by operations, critical events and personal or family crisis situations. The goal of OSFA is to build resiliency and awareness, and to keep personal fully functional. The program also includes tools to assist leaders and personnel to take appropriate actions to restore personnel to full function and readiness when necessary. The principles of this class are foundational to all psychological first aid and resources reference legitimate and credible crisis intervention organizations.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Youth Suicide: Awareness & Prevention (YSAP)

Suicide is a growing threat to our youth. It is the third leading cause of death for those ages 10-24 in the US. The suicide rate for youth has nearly tripled since the 1940's and continues to increase and impact younger and younger kids. Anyone who has a relationship with a young person or those who work with children and teens need to be trained to understand the threat of suicide and the best ways to protect those in their care. Our culture and the rapidly changing impact of social media are leveling new threats at young people daily.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Basic Peer Support (BPS)

Basic Peer Support and Education was established to ensure first responders involved in work related critical incidents are provided with intervention and available resources to mitigate the immediate effects of a traumatic incident. This class will provide an overview on the history of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), Peer Support Program (PSP), and Psychological First Aid (PFA). We will discuss Employee Assistance Programs and other emotional assistance recourses.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Disaster Response Foundations (DTC101)

Disasters are complicated settings that require a lot of coordination and cooperation. Many agencies respond – some are specifically invited and some spontaneously arrive. Disaster responders are usually highly trained and skilled in disaster response and ministry. Much of that training is provided specifically for disaster response by the agencies who respond. However, there are many groups and agencies who respond out of care and compassion, and they have no specific training that has prepared them for this unique experience. Their intentions are good, but good intentions are not enough. Both responders and agencies need to understand the nature of disasters and how emergency operation centers function. Who is in charge? Who gives them authority? How does the command structure operate? Who gets in behind the yellow tape? And who is responsible for all the volunteers who show up on scene? This course will fill in the blanks – give the participant a broad understanding of disasters and crises – how they operate and how the participant may be involved. There are national expectations and national guidelines for training, vetting, and responding. Everyone who responds to the disaster scene should be trained to integrate smoothly into the system in play.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Ministry in the Age of Pandemic (MAP)

What do you know about pandemics? Your experience during these past few months has probably taught you a lot about pandemic. You know that it’s a real threat. You know that it spreads easily. You know that it disrupts life as you know it. And you know that we have many unanswered questions about “what’s next?” Chaplains, ministers, and peer support personnel have been essential partners in providing caring ministry during this pandemic. Although there was little awareness and almost no preparation, we have managed to save lives, limit some spread, and learn many new things about what we “should have known.” Today, caring interventions must include effective implementation of compassionate interventions that minister to the physical, emotional, and spiritual issues of people in need. We must consider anew, what are the threats? What are the needs? What are the spiritual issues? Care providers must begin the intentional preparation that puts them on the forefront of spiritual care ministry during the aftermath of pandemic. No one person or one agency will be able to meet the needs of the thousands—the millions—that may be emotionally and spiritually affected by pandemic.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Enhancing Resilience (ER)

The concept of resilience has become a popular topic of discussion, learning, and practice in recent years. The idea of “bouncing back” from traumatic events has become imperative for first responders and others who provide caring services and ministry during and after critical incidents. Included in the concept of resilience is the ability to adapt to adversity, to cope in the face of distress, to be flexible in unusual circumstances and even to see opportunity in challenges. Spiritual Resilience may be described as the ability to use values and beliefs, a sense of hope and purpose, to sustain oneself through the difficult challenges of life. It is the soul’s ability to feel shalom in spite of difficulty and distress, through times of want and need, maintaining the sacred spaces of wholeness and well-being. In this course, learn how spiritual resilience has transformational power – the ability to change you from being negative, hopeless, resentful, depressed, mistrustful, and feeling insignificant. Crisis responders who practice habits of the heart strengthen their spiritual resilience in the face of adversity.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Spiritual Paramedics: Foundations for Chaplaincy (DTC102)

People from almost every walk of life enter into the field of spiritual care during crises and disasters. Many also serve in institutions and agencies such as corporations, hospitals, schools, police and fire departments, EMS and a myriad of other contexts. Since there is no universally accepted training program for “chaplains” and other spiritual care providers, many people who enter into chaplaincy never receive the foundational training that helps to equip them for the role of chaplain or spiritual care provider. Being a “nice person” helps. It isn't enough. Chaplains need to learn about the psychological stress that many people experience and must learn how to mitigate that stress. Helping people cope during the aftermath of bad news, civil unrest, homicides, terrorism, and other emergencies becomes one of the most import tasks for the chaplain. Facilitating adaptive functioning and access to more appropriate care are essential.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Peer to Peer Crisis Intervention (P2P)

Today, many emergency services organizations recognize the value of peer support teams and train from within their organizations to meet the critical event stress that their personnel experience. Peer support teams have almost instant rapport with their colleagues and tend to be trusted and make a positive difference in the recovery process after critical event stress. Peers have a unique advantage in making good connections with other peers in that they often have shared identity, vocation, experience, and mission. They have a unique understanding of their peers' frustrations, anger, stressors, concerns, and even reactions. They have a natural rapport that “outsiders” do not have. Shared identity is inadequate if appropriate training, supervision, and evaluation are omitted. Peers must become proficient in crisis intervention – specifically, being able to provide stress reducing interventions with impacted peers. Most interactions begin with one-on-one conversations between peers. The value of peer support is significant and peer support almost always begins with peer to peer conversations.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Crisis Care in Diversity (CDC)

Crisis intervention teams encounter people from diverse backgrounds, beliefs, values, and expectations. Understanding the worldview of those we serve is essential in providing helpful, appropriate care in the midst of crisis. Cultural sensitivity incorporates the benevolent, considerate connection with people that encourage the ability to learn about and get to know people who are different from you, thereby creating a feeling of wanting to respond and serve them better.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Psychological First Aid for First Responders (PFA)

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed modular approach to help first responders in the immediate aftermath of disasters and other critical events. First responders to such events, may struggle with or face new challenges following the event. PFA is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term coping skills and adaptive functioning. PFA is based on the understanding that first responders and others affected by such events will experience a broad range of early reactions (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, behavioral, spiritual). Some of these reactions will cause enough distress to interfere with adaptive coping, and recovery may be helped by support from compassionate and caring persons. PFA does not assume that all first responders and impacted persons will develop severe mental health problems or long-term difficulties in recovery.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Strategic Planning & Implementation (SPI)

Prerequisite: ICISF’s Group Crisis Intervention (class taken post 2007). Today, crisis responders know how important it is to have a clearly defined Mission and Purpose. They also know that having clear objectives is essential. So how do those objectives get articulated? One of the most strategic ways to articulate the plan – the organized objectives - is to create a strategy by answering the most necessary questions: Who are the impacted people/agency we will serve? What kind of crisis intervention will we provide? When is the best time to provide each of the interventions? Where is the safest and most reasonably convenient place to provide each intervention? Why are the people/agency impacted with distress? How will our team dispatch resources? By gender, age, vocation, language, skill, experience, availability, proximity, diversity issue, appropriateness of required and helpful assets.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Crisis Care during Traumatic Grief (CCTG)

Grief is a common and healthy response to the loss of a friend or loved one. Grief is also a common reaction to losses of many other kinds – jobs, marriages, homes, health, or reputation. Care providers encounter people who have experienced many losses both personally and professionally. Traumatic events complicate the grieving process. This course will present key concepts related to grief and loss, increasing awareness of how trauma impacts grieving and mourning -- emotionally, cognitively, socially, spiritually, and relationally. Learn a little about how trauma affects the brain, how the brain goes into over-drive, and what care providers can do to support in traumatic grief. This course is designed for anyone who works with people who experience grief and loss following a traumatic event. Learn about instrumental and intuitive grievers and why they struggle to comfort each other.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Line of Duty Death (LODD)

It’s hard for a department to think about the death or catastrophic injury happening to one of their members; however, not preparing for such an event can cause even more heartache and stress on everyone involved should a tragedy occur. The emergency services are good at preparing for disasters and emergencies of all kinds, and preparing for a line of duty death or injury should be no exception. Having a plan in place will help ensure that caring for the family, department members, putting together a funeral, and caring for long term needs will run a bit smoother.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Strong Foundations for First Responders (SFR)

PTSD and suicide in the first responder services have become a hot-button issue due to suicide rates being on the rise. While the need for peer support, CISM teams, and correctly trained clinicians is vital, it is also crucial to teach and encourage resiliency from day one of the academy. Combating the adverse side effects of a first responder career starts before an individual steps foot on an apparatus

Class Details

ICISF Approved Classes

Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Advanced Assisting Individuals in Crisis (AIND)

Crisis Intervention is NOT psychotherapy; rather, it is a specialized acute emergency mental health intervention which requires specialized training.As physical first aid is to surgery, crisis intervention is to psychotherapy. Thus, crisis intervention is sometimes called emotional first aid. This program is designed to teach participants the fundamentals of, and a specific protocol for, individual crisis intervention.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Advanced Group Crisis Intervention (AGRP)

ICISF’s “Group Crisis Intervention” should be viewed as a prerequisite. Designed to provide participants with the latest information on critical incident stress management techniques and post-trauma syndromes. At the conclusion of this course, participants will have been exposed to specific, proven strategies to intervene with those suffering the ill effects of their exposure to trauma. Emphasis will be on advanced defusings and debriefings in complex situations.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Assisting Individuals in Crisis (IND)

Crisis Intervention is NOT psychotherapy; rather, it is a specialized acute emergency mental health intervention which requires specialized training. As physical first aid is to surgery, crisis intervention is to psychotherapy. Thus, crisis intervention is sometimes called emotional first aid. This program is designed to teach participants the fundamentals of, and a specific protocol for, individual crisis intervention.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Emotional & Spiritual Care in Disasters (ESCD)

This course will enhance your skills to provide effective emotional and spiritual care (ESC) to meet the disaster-related needs of disaster responders and disaster affected families and individuals within disaster operations. This course builds on the crisis intervention principles taught in the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) core courses to effectively integrate these principles within ESC teams for appropriate care throughout the disaster continuum from the immediate to long-term recovery process.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

From Trauma to Addictions (FTA)

Explore the relationship between exposure to traumas and the often resulting addiction. Those individuals who work in the “helping professions” are statistically at a greater risk for developing addictions. The use of alcohol, drugs and other activities as a means of self-medicating overwhelming job-related stress and chronic exposure to emotionally charged events is often common place. Personality traits and the human culture of “helpers” are looked at, as well as issues of enabling and family dynamics. Good critical incident stress management MUST include an addictions component which addresses these dangers, and gives you the tools necessary to address these dependencies. This course is for those in the “helping professions” who are at a greater risk to crisis and the potential for substance abuse and additions and those who work with this specialized population.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Grief Following Trauma (GFT)

In the course of one's career, it is inevitable that professionals will encounter traumatic death and loss issues both personally and professionally. Professionals often feel ill prepared to provide effective care throughout the grief process. This course will cover key grief and loss concepts relating to trauma and traumatic death. Participants will increase their knowledge of how trauma impacts the grief process and will gain skills for evaluating and supporting persons who have experienced traumatic death and loss.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Group Crisis Intervention (GRP)

Designed to present the core elements of a comprehensive, systematic and multi-component crisis intervention curriculum, the Group Crisis Intervention course will prepare participants to understand a wide range of crisis intervention services. Fundamentals of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) will be outlined and participants will leave with the knowledge and tools to provide several group crisis interventions, specifically demobilizations, defusings and the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD).

Class Details
Three-Day Course: 27 Contact Hours

Individual & Group Crisis Intervention (GRIN)

Individual & Group Crisis Intervention (GRIN) is a three day course which combines both Individual and Group Crisis courses to teach participants the fundamentals of, and a specific protocol for, individual & group crisis intervention.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Law Enforcement Perspective (LEP)

Learn to identify, understand, and work with the “Blue Wall of Silence” in the law enforcement community. Designed to provide insight and understanding of the different types of stress in law enforcement culture from a systems perspectives emphasis, this course will provide practical “back pocket skills” in providing crisis intervention services to law enforcement organizations and individual personnel in crisis.The LE Perspectives course is intended for law enforcement officers, their families, mental health professionals, chaplains, and organizations that interact within the law enforcement community. It is an excellent course for CISM teams and team members who would want to enhance their understanding of the differences in the law enforcement culture as compared to other first responder cultures.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Managing School Crisis (MSC)

Designed to prepare for the inevitable crises that occur within schools and/or that effect those in schools, this training reflects the 3 most common phases of a crisis: pre-crisis planning, acute crisis response and post-crisis activities. Special attention is given to the most common pitfalls (those that pose the most threat to school personnel from a liability standpoint) associated with crisis response activities. Group Crisis Intervention is recommended, but not required.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Pastoral Crisis Intervention (PCI)

Pastoral Crisis Intervention may be thought of as the combination of faith-based resources with traditional techniques of crisis intervention. Pastoral crisis intervention represents a powerful addition to traditional community and organizational psychological support resources. The purpose of this two-day course is to assist the participants in learning how pastoral interventions and traditional psychological crisis interventions may be effectively integrated. Chaplains, pastoral counselors, mental health professionals, ministers, and anyone interested in the use of faith-based resources in healing should find this course of interest. Completion of “Pastoral Crisis Intervention” and receipt of a certificate indicating full attendance (13 Contact Hours) qualifies as a class in ICISF’s Certificate of Specialized Training Program.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Strategic Response to Crisis (SRC)

Knowing what sequence of crisis intervention processes to use for which individuals or groups, at what times, and under what circumstances is crucial to all effective early intervention programs. The course will present essential information for the assessment of both crisis situations and the effects of critical incidents. Strategic planning and tactical decision making are emphasized, as are rationales for choosing one set of crisis intervention processes over another. This course requires previous training and experience. ICISF’s “Group Crisis Intervention” and “Individual Crisis Intervention and Peer Support” should be viewed as prerequisites.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Stress Management for the Trauma Service Provider (SM)

This important course is for all who work with traumatized people. Explore the “Stress Continuum,” the levels of stress including eustress (i.e., beneficial, motivating stress), traumatic stress, burnout, countertransference, compassion fatigue or secondary PTSD, and vicarious traumatization which may occur as a result of helping others. A discussion of coping strategies for those who work with traumatized children will also be offered. Individual self-report exercises and an experiential group support session will assist the participating trauma provider in assessing their own level of stress through sharing personal experiences with others. Stress management self care techniques will be presented, experienced and discussed. This course is appropriate for all mental health professionals, emergency services personnel, and peer counselors.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Spiritual and Psychological First Aid (SPFA)

Providing effective emotional and spiritual care to individuals, families, and communities, following critical incidents and in times of crisis, requires special training, skills and understanding of the unique role of the crisis responder. This course seeks to prepare front line helpers to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of survivors by providing a basic understanding of the ministry of presence, connecting, basic assessment skills, appropriate intervention, and developing an ongoing care plan and referral.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Suicide Prevention, Intervention & Postvention (SPIP)

Why do people kill themselves? How do I ask someone if they are feeling suicidal? What do I do if they say they ARE suicidal? How do I deal with the strong emotions suicide generates? This course will provide answers for these and other questions many of crisis interventionists have about suicide. It will provide participants with basic information about suicide as well as help participants develop practical skills for prevention, intervention and postvention. Small group role plays will allow participants to apply the suggested techniques as they are learned. This course is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about intervening across the suicide spectrum. Professionals from the fields of Business & Industry Crisis Intervention, Disaster Response, Education, Emergency Services, Employee Assistance, Healthcare, Homeland Security, Mental Health, Military, Spiritual Care, and Traumatic Stress may all benefit.

Class Details
Two-Day Course: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Understanding Suicide (SUI)

Why do people kill themselves? How do I ask someone if they are feeling suicidal? This course will provide answers for these and other questions many of crisis interventionists have about suicide. Participants will learn basic information about suicide as well as develop practical skills for prevention, intervention and postvention.

Class Details
One-Day Course: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Critical Incidents in Places of Worship (CIPW)

The faith based communities have long been responders to disaster and emergencies, providing needed care to those impacted. Recent events both in the US and internationally highlight the need for crisis services for those very faith based communities when events impact their staff and volunteers. This workshop will address providing crisis services for places of worship, with an emphasis on caring for the staff, spiritual leadership, and worshipers as potential groups needing services.

Class Details
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Meet Your Instructors

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Kevin Ellers

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Jennifer Cisney Ellers

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Charley W. Gross

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K.C. Peterson

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Naomi Paget

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Jim Nelms

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Chris Brown

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Wendy Norris

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Crisis Response Care is a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax deductible. Employer ID Number: 94-2816342

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