Online Workshop

De-Escalation: Strategies to Manage High Stress Interactions

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Distressed woman with head in hands

About this Online Workshop

There has been a noticeable shift in the interactions between clients, customers, tenants, citizens, and the staff who support these individuals calls for service and support. Whether it is related to mental health, substance use, crisis, or a sense of entitlement, the effects of these negative interactions leave can leave a negative impact on the staff of many organizations and the services they provide. 

Although we may not be able to prevent these interactions from initially occurring, we can reduce the intensity and escalation of individuals to far more manageable levels while we remain focused on the necessary outcomes. 

This De-escalation workshop will provide the foundational tools for intercepting the harsh start-ups while also supporting staff from many departments in reducing the intensity and length of negative interactions across population demographics. This workshop also includes the importance of self-care post de-escalation and helpful tips for staff to regulate their emotions during negative interactions. 

NOTE: This is an interactive, virtual workshop, which is different from a webinar. Participants will be expected to participate through voice and video, and to engage with each other and the facilitator in large and small group discussions, to learn from each other and practice skill development.

Learning Objectives

  • The logic of de-escalation 
  • C.A.F. De-escalation model  
  • Creating respectful space for de-escalation  
  • Working towards resolution and the real ‘win win’ 
  • Verbal Versus Non-Verbal Communication 
  • Verbal Strategies to intercept an aggravated, escalated, or high conflict person 
  • Your greatest tool – your genuine empathy 
  • What is unconditional positive regard and why this is important 
  • Acknowledgement:
    • The other individual’s goals, roles, limits, and stressors 
    • Your role, your goal, and your opportunities 
  • The art of reflective listening and how this contributes to shared control
  • The But factor 
  • Stating Facts and Offering Realistic Options 
  • What not to say 
  • Strategies for frequently encountered situations 
  • Self-care post crisis de-escalation 

Who Should Attend?

Any staff or manager in a human, social, or community services organization.

Format and Duration

Virtual – two, three and a half hour sessions or a full day in person. 

Workshop Dates and Registration

All sessions in Eastern Standard Time.

May 13 - 14, 2024

  • Part 1: Monday, May 13 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

  • Part 2: Tuesday, May 14 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

Registration is now closed.

June 13 - 14, 2024

  • Part 1: Thursday, June 13 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

  • Part 2: Friday, June 14 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

  • Registration Cut Off: Tuesday, June 11

Register Today

September 12 - 13, 2024

  • Part 1: Thursday, September 12 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

  • Part 2: Friday, September 13 | 8:30am - 12:00pm 

Register Today

November 25 - 26, 2024

  • Part 1: Monday, November 25 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

  • Part 2: Tuesday, November 26 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

Register Today


  • Members: $250 + HST

  • Non-Members: $325 + HST

  • Non-Member Education Level 1 & 2: $260 + HST

Bring This Workshop to Your Staff

OMSSA can work with you to deliver this workshop to you and your team in an in-person format at a time that works for you. We can also customize the content of each workshop to meet your specific needs. Contact OMSSA's Director, Education Christie Herrington to learn more about bringing this workshop to your staff. 

About the Facilitator

Megan Phillips is a Registered Psychotherapist with over 18 years of experience working in multiple roles within community and social services. As a former Case Worker and Manager with Ontario Works, as well as a Concurrent Disorders Specialist in a community mental health program, Megan utilizes her additional award-winning experience in instructing post-secondary education to bring captivating, illustrative, relevant, and humorous educational seminars to a variety of non-profit agencies and organizations.

As an experienced presenter, Megan has dedicated herself to the educational advancement and enhancement of her fellow colleagues and community professionals in areas such as Motivational Interviewing, Burnout, Resiliency Building, PTSD, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue and Working with Clients with Multiple Barriers.

Technical Requirements

OMSSA will be hosting this virtual workshop using Zoom, an online, interactive platform that you can join straight from your web browser, or by downloading 'Zoom Client for Meetings' on your computer or tablet

Participants will be expected to join the workshop via both video and audio. Participants should therefore have access to a desktop computer, laptop computer or tablet with:

  • a webcam or built-in camera

  • a built-in microphone or a headphone jack where you can plug in a headset or earphones

We strongly recommend that participants use a headset or earphones with a built-in microphone in order to limit background noise. 

System requirements: Click here for more detailed information on system requirements from Zoom.