Physical Intervention

HWC’s is the most comprehensive and versatile physical intervention program in the world.  There is no other program that comes close.

Handle With Care’s physical program is an extension of its verbal program, and comes from the same intent, namely, to assist the student/client to gain mastery over his/her emotions and behavior so that they will be able to manage their emotions skillfully without the assistance of staff.  HWC’s training teaches that physical holds are not something you do to someone, it is something you do for someone.  You hold someone so that they do not harm themselves or others.  You hold someone so that they can regain control over their emotions.  You hold someone so that they do not engage in actions that could have long term ramifications as a result of a momentary loss of control or lapse of judgment.  You hold someone to protect them and others from the physical and emotional consequences of out of control behavior.

Expert Reviewed & Field Tested

HWC’s program went through 10 years of field study, development and overview under the supervision of some of the most accomplished and experienced medical minds at Pennsylvania Hospital before the program was offered to the public.  Since then, HWC has been extensively evaluated by leading forensic (forensic pathologists) experts, state policy makers, chief medical examiners, law enforcement, schools, doctors, nurses, paraprofessionals, licensed social workers, teachers, principals, superintendents, state approval boards in Juvenile Justice, Education, Human and Family Services

Handle With Care Physical Skills Training can be divided into 6 main components:

  • Understanding personal space
  • HWC’s Personal Defense System: Self Defense and Defense of Others (including third person saves and breaking up fights).
  • Physical holds
  • Escort/Transport
  • Letting Go
  • Specialized & optional intervention: i.e. time out , seclusion, pregnant females, pre-school & early elementary aged children.  See our brochure for a complete list.


HWC Holding Method: The Primary Restraint Technique® (PRT)®

The appropriate use of physical restraint is a natural and sometimes necessary extension of the therapeutic relationship.

The Primary Restraint Technique

The PRT is an easy to learn, orthopedically safe and powerful standing method that offers unprecedented mechanical advantage without pain or injury.  A standing PRT communicates therapeutic control so effectively that a takedown is usually unnecessary.  When a takedown is unavoidable, ours is brilliantly engineered to account for all of the kinetic energy extant with a takedown to the floor.  There is no impact.

  • The PRT holding method can be used in standing, seated, prone and supine configurations.  We have options that conform with the requirements of every state jurisdiction.
  • The PRT is the only physical technique or method ever granted a Patent in the history of the U.S. Patent Office; for its constellation of safeguards to prevent chest compression and the possibility of positional asphyxiation.  First and foremost is the “Tripod Modification�?.  The Tripod Modification is a “weight bearing bridge�? the enables your smallest and largest male and female staff to perform a safe prone floor hold without placing any weight on the client’s back or chest.
  • We also offer non prone restraint options, including a seated hold used primarily with pregnant women and our “Two Person Supine (or face-up) method
  • We have a special holding method for use with smaller children as young as 3 and other modifications for clients with orthopedic and physical conditions that would otherwise preclude the use of a restraining hold including:
    • Holding methods and strategies for persons in geri-chairs, wheel chairs and beds.
    • HWC can be adapted to special needs of your clients, including clients who are confined to wheelchairs, amputated or broken limbs, casts, medical conditions, pregnancy, clients with head injury, developmental and learning disabilities, personality disorders, major psychiatric disorders, dementia and autism, etc.

Team Approach

A team approach is always the best approach.  We believe that the use of single person restraint methods, even one as effective as the PRT, should be limited to emergencies when there are no other options.  Our two and four person team restraint components are engineered around the PRT to address a wide range of behaviors and situations.

HWC training de-escalates and creates a calm state of mind – faster

A staff person or educator who lacks confidence in the methods that he or she has been taught will be tentative and unsure when attempting to de-escalate or restrain someone in a “real�? situation.  This tentativeness reflects the fear, apprehension and absence of commitment of the person or people performing the hold and results in the loss of his confidence in the people involved in the hold.  This quality of intervention also overstimulates, excites, and produces more anxiety and continued agitation of the person being held.

HWC’s holding methods are engineered to be definitive, which is the quality of touch inherent with a comfortable and secure therapeutic holding method.   If your current physical holding method is ineffective, tentative or it does not produce the quality of touch necessary to reliably produce a faster recover arc, you should consider replacing it with a method that does.  It took a while, but the research is finally catching up.  There is a reason why using HWC results in less holds, less injuries and faster recovery arcs.

The science behind the results:

  • The Autonomic Nervous System is comprised of two main parts.  The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS); and the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). Think of the SNS as the gas pedal and the PNS as the brake. The PNS is responsible for the “rest-and-digest�? response that calms the body down.  It allows us to relax, become calmer, more clear and focused.  The SNS is responsible for the “fight-or-flight�? response which activates and stimulates the body.  The body is designed so that it is difficult for both to be activated at the same time.  They inhibit each other.  This means that when we increase PNS activity i.e. rest, relax and calm, using deep pressure/definitive touch, the SNS system responsible for flight-or-fight or stress, is inhibited.
  • Definitive touch activates the PNS producing a calming, focused, relaxed, balanced effect.  It gives the receiver the ability to feel safe, comforted and grounded to the world.
  • Definitive touch when it activates the PNS increases the production of serotonin – the neurotransmitter that is relaxing, sleep regulating and mood supporting.

This is exactly the biochemical/physiological reaction one would want when using a physical holding method.   This is exactly why schools and organizations using HWC’s program experience less injuries, less incidents and shorter hold times.

HWC’s Small Child Program: We have the only program offering training specifically tailored to pre-school and early elementary school students.

Specialized Interventions: If you use locked or unlocked seclusion (time out or quiet room) or mechanical restraints we will teach you our methods of application and make solid recommendations regarding their use.  See our brochure for a more detailed list.