I must first say that I've read the new book twice, front to back, and I love it! I feel Andra Medea has raised the bar, once again, in dealing with sensitive, and potentially dangerous situations/people. I immediately thought while reading it, that not only does she show people how to talk the talk, but also walk the walk. I find the use of language to be very easy to understand, which to me, means that implementation is easier. The contents of this book can be read and understood by anyone, ranging from medical doctors, psychologists, direct care staff, parents and youth alike. I found that the techniques taught in the book are perfect for the more behavioral youth that were at Lad Lake, but also a breath of fresh air for dealing with kids that may be nonverbal, have behavioral and medical conditions or simply do not have the capacity to respond in an appropriate manner when they are being activated by not only the youth they're surrounded by, but burned out staff, that sadly exacerbate and instigate youth by raising their voices and ultimately flooding them to the point they need to be restrained, or given a medicinal cocktail to calm them down. The book flowed seamlessly, again giving the reader an easy and helpful understanding of how to navigate de-escalation techniques and ideas. I truly feel that the information in this book is on track to not only increase the quality of care for youth, but will undoubtedly lead to a more thorough understanding of the clients we are dealing with, which will make life easier for all of us. I've shared ideas from the book, and already have received interest from colleagues wanting to learn more about the process, as well as how to get staff on board to implement these techniques within the therapeutic milieu --Dr. Timothy E. Miller- Psychotherapist
After several school-based tragedies, national concern over school safety is at an all-time high. This book highlights what teachers and parents should know when dealing with mental health issues, typical tantrums and other issues in young people s development. Safe Within These Walls offers professional development on violence prevention, while helping caregivers and teachers deal with students aggressive behaviors early and appropriately. Bottom Line: If you re looking to deal with sensitive classroom situations, such as ones involving students with behavioral and developmental issues, and ones that risk becoming heated and/or violent, this book is the perfect resource. Safe Within These Walls provides common-sense and expert techniques to encourage positive student behavior and prevent outbursts and other disruptions. This title goes beyond de-escalating violence to address the core of good classroom management. --Education World
Medea's book, Safe Within These Walls: De-escalating School Situations Before They Become Crises (Capstone Classroom, 2014), offers classroom management advice for addressing students who are anxious, angry, or violent. The book, from a small publishing house for K-12 books, describes methods educators can use to subdue angry and violent students. One of the techniques Medea suggests for stopping fights is breaking students' eye contact by redirecting their gaze at you or away from the other student and using simple directions, like BACK UP; Medea tries to analyze past school shootings, the actions educators and students took, and methods for replicating safe behaviors.
The book includes information about how the brain malfunctions when a person is angry and how to read this body language. There are also solutions for different age groups: K-2, 3-6, middle school, and parents. Useful summaries and specific steps for educators are provided at the end of each chapter.
The best and safest time to de-escalate aggression is before it starts, Medea writes. Observe physical cues like avoiding eye contact or mocking tones. By reading situations and students, educators can intervene before situations get out of hand, she writes. --Education Week's BookMarks blog
Andra Medea, M.A., grew up in a volatile neighborhood in Chicago and co-authored her first book on violence prevention at the age of 18. Andra developed the Virtual Tranquilizer de-escalation technique, which has been adapted for the National Guard, the American Bar Association, substance abuse counselors and judges. The technique is the basis for her latest book, Safe Within These Walls: De-escalating School Situations Before They Become Crises. With Zak Mucha, LCSW, she adapted the Virtual Tranquilizer for use with potentially violent clients with psychosis. Andra has taught at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.