How CPI Helps Me as a Least Restraint Champion

By Erica Howard | 0 comments

Last month in Toronto, I had the absolute pleasure of attending training to renew my certification as a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Certified Instructor.

Global Professional Instructor and blogger Dan Lonigro was my trainer, and I was so inspired and moved by his passion for teaching, and his dynamic personality, that I decided to write him the email you can read below.

I’m excited to share this with you because I want people to know what I have learned, what I have the honor of teaching, and how it directly impacts not only the people that I work with, but more importantly the people who need our care and support.

. . .

Morning, Dan!

I wanted to touch base to say thank you so much for the training last week.

I’ve always had a love for CPI techniques, and with the enhanced content, I’ve been absolutely giddy to come back to my organization and teach.

In particular, I love, love, love the idea that crisis is an opportunity for learning.

I’m meeting with a group of ICU nurses throughout August who at times have little patience, time, or empathy for some of our psychiatric patients. Some of these staff feel that the ICU is meant for medical emergencies and those that are frail, not for our patients in Mental Health. I’m meeting with them to help them understand that when these patients act out, get upset, or are on the call bell every five minutes, there is a reason for that, and I cannot wait to pull in the crisis is a need and an opportunity for learning piece.

Last week absolutely flew by, and that was largely due to you. Your dynamic teaching style made things flow so easily and so quickly, and I loved all of the stories that you shared. Thinking of the example of the little girl clutching her Hello Kitty backpack, I just can’t look at Hello Kitty without laughing and feeling sad at the same time now.

You have a passion for what you do, and that definitely comes through in how you teach. You mentioned on the last day that you share stories with your parents when you return from a training, about the people you meet, and the work that we do. It moved me to tears when you said how humbled you were by us, and thanked us for the work that we do.

But YOU are the reason we are able to do the work that we do. You are the reason that I come home to my family each and every night. You are the reason why I have stayed in the mental health profession for 19 years. You have taught me to keep myself safe, and protected me from the physical, psychological, and emotional blows that I sometimes experience working in this field.

But more importantly, you have taught me to take these same techniques and teach my staff and our patients how to keep themselves safe too. For these things, I am eternally grateful.

I wish you well, wherever your training takes you next, and I hope that our paths cross again one day soon. Seriously thinking I might take the dementia course next.

Thank you again for an incredible week.


Erica-Howard-1.jpgErica Howard, OTA, SSW works as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in the Greater Toronto Area. A CPI Certified Instructor since 2013, she teaches hospital staff techniques for enhancing person-centered care and keeping everyone safe in a crisis. Erica is a strong advocate for Least Restraint initiatives, and sits on various committees within the hospital she works at, all focusing on reducing and one day eliminating the use of restraint in a hospital setting. In her free time, she is a wife, a mother of two, and loves spending time with her dog, working in her gardens, and enjoying a good bottle of wine with friends.

Check out a case study detailing the results Erica and her colleagues have achieved with CPI. And if youre a Certified Instructor, meet up with Erica in the Instructor Community, where she's started the new Mental Health group!


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