Online Certificate Training: Be Ready for Challenging Behaviors

Have you ever felt unprepared for managing challenging behaviors such as yelling, aggression, tangents, or general inability to connect? MH Mediate’s Addressing Challenging Behaviors training program will help you be ready for all kinds of problems ranging from disruptions to emergencies.



Why Prepare for Challenging Behaviors?


There are four major reasons why you need to be prepared for challenging behavior.


First and foremost, your own comfort. You need to be ready for these behaviors so you are not nervous when they happen, and so you do not feel pressure to figure something out on the stop.


Next, you want to plan ahead before a behavior happens so you can maximize your ability to remain impartial. All human beings have unconscious biases that creep into their decision-making, especially when someone is acting fast and responding to gut feelings. If you prepare ahead of time, you can work out a plan of how and when to act that you are confident is not affected by your mood or unconscious biases.


Now that you have that plan, you can also share it with the people involved in the behavior. This transparency is the third key benefit to being prepared. You have choices as to how to share your way of handling challenging behaviors – upfront guidelines, a published policy, or practices you do not disclose until you take action or until someone challenges your intervention. No matter how you share it, you now are able to share some rationale for your intervention.


Finally, the process you prepare in advance is going to be safer than the one you create in the moment because preparation produces a more effective process.



Training Description


After taking a one hour training to help appreciate challenging behavior and the options for intervention, you will develop your own personal behavior principles using MH Mediate’s Behavior Principles Template. Using this template, you’ll determine your thresholds for action and preferred intervention for a wide array of challenging behaviors.


Once you’ve completed your template, you will learn to apply it in the form of behavior guidelines, action plans, follow-up processes, and process adjustments. The training consists of the three sessions detailed below, each with its own takeaway tool. At the end of this program you will have the opportunity to submit your Behavior Principles Template for feedback and receive a certificate acknowledging the work you’ve done to be ready for challenging behaviors.




Training Overview


Appreciate Challenging Behaviors

Learn the different types of behaviors and all of the potential strategies for addressing them. Explore why personalized practitioner principles are preferable to one-sized-fits-all recommendations, and learn the benefits of planning for behaviors in advance.

Take-Away Tool: Behavior Intervention Strategy Sheet

Feedback Exercise: Your Preferred Behavior Interventions



Develop Your Behavior Principles

This course revolves around MH Mediate’s Behavior Principles Template. Use this template to determine your threshold for action and preferred intervention across a variety of disruptions, emergencies, and disconnects.

Take-Away Tool: Behavior Principles Template

Feedback Exercise: Your Behavior Template



Apply Your Behavior Principles

Now we are ready to communicate our behavior guidelines, address challenges, apply our behavior principles, and adjust our boundaries on a regular basis.

Take-Away Tool: Implementing Behavior Principles Checklist

Feedback Exercise: Communicating Your Behavior Principles



Participants get one-to-one instructor feedback for each of the three feedback exercises, and are free to ask Dan questions throughout the course.



How MH Mediate Developed This Training


MH Mediate’s Challenging Behaviors training was built based on surveys of the New York City mediation community, the national community mediation community, and MH Mediate’s database of thousands of mediators in the US. MH Mediate also relied on thesis-level work at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, reviewing instruments for assessing capacity, insight, and risk of harm. The training shares a behavior-planning tool that has been tested by mediators and improved upon with focus group feedback. These are practices that have been refined through trainings in over ten states, and which were also informed by a review of the academic literature on challenging behaviors in dispute resolution. As robust as this training is in sharing principles, each mediator leaves with their own personalized take on how to adjust their practices to remain impartial and effective in responding to behavior challenges. Most recently, MH Mediate has received funding to deliver full-day Challenging Behavior trainings at three New York Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) and is in the process of bringing the training to several other states.




What People Are Saying


“This training helped my staff frame the conversation about changing our policies to have consistent, effective responses to challenging behaviors”


“This program couldn’t have taken place at a better time…I was struggling to find an appropriate way to set boundaries with a particular client…Part of me wanted to allow the client to yell at me over the phone and vent due to his unfortunate circumstances. I started to realize that letting the client vent and blame me for his circumstances was having a negative effect on me. After the program, I felt like I could set boundaries without depriving this client of our services. I was able to make a plan and set limits to what I can handle over the phone such as yelling, swearing, etc.”


“I was able to apply the feedback I received right away and it made a difference with a difficult situation we’d been having with a client.”


“Great training! The behavior template is a great tool.”




About the Trainer, Dan Berstein

IMG_6240 copy00Dan Berstein is a mediator and trainer known for his work in mediation best practices and in mental health issues in mediation. He brings his expertise in operations management, research, and systems development to the world of conflict resolution. Dan founded MH Mediate in 2012 to develop innovative trainings, programs, and tools for mediators. MH Mediate has pioneered research projects and interventions for addressing challenging behavior, practicing transparently, demonstrating impartiality, and becoming accessible to diverse party needs.


Dan sat on the Mediator Advisory Board of the New York Peace Institute where he has mediated community, school, youth-involved, criminal court cases. He has delivered trainings on challenging behaviors, mental health in mediation, and accessibility in over a dozen states and at the ACR-GNY, ACR, and APFM conferences. He has also provided trainings through NAFCM webinars as well as webinars for The Department of the Interior, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, and other clients. Dan is a Research and Programs Associate at the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center, where he hosts a variety of events including Skills Sessions for mediators. Recently, Dan’s CUNY DRC mediation training project was awarded a grant from the AAA-ICDR Foundation. Dan also sits on the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Mediation Committee, where he leads the development of their best practices toolkit as well as their diversity efforts.


Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in Operations and Information Management from the Wharton School, where he was a Wharton Research Scholar and an analyst at the Wharton Risk Center. Dan has master’s degree in Mental Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where he launched a conflict resolution training project through the university’s Social Innovation Lab. Dan is public with his bipolar disorder as part of the Stability Network’s efforts to overcome workplace mental health stigma.




Registration Details

Register through PayPal by clicking here.  All major credit cards are accepted and there is no need for a PayPal account.  Early registration price of $199 ends on March 17, 2017, after which the cost increases to $249.  Enrollments take 1-3 business days to process and you will receive 30 days of access to the course.  Enrollments are for individual use only – contact for group purchases.


Want a glimpse of this training?
Watch Dan’s introductory presentation for the Association for Conflict Resolution below: