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TACT2 program

Managing Adolescent Aggression

Therapeutic Aggression Control Techniques (TACT2) is a 3-day trauma-informed staff training program in behavior management, de-escalation, and crisis intervention. Since its inception in 1997, TACT2 has been used with over 72,000 staff in residential treatment, group homes, alternative schools, shelters, foster care, and many other settings.

Practical skills. Sound theory. Using dramatic stories, realistic  scenarios, and interactive exercises, TACT2 develops practical skills to effectively manage deliberate misbehavior, therapeutically de-escalate emotional crisis, and calmly handle dangerous situations.  Last updated in May 2019, the program is grounded in research on childhood trauma / Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), adolescent psychology, functional misbehavior, and social learning theory. It has been inspired by such leaders as Drs. William Glasser, Nicholas Long, Carl Rogers, and Sandra Bloom.

TACT2 Verbal Skills

The TACT2 verbal program first teaches staff to distinguish between deliberate, learned misbehavior and emotional, stress-driven issues. 


Trauma-Sensitive Skills & Insights. For situations in which behavior is deliberate, TACT2 offers valuable insights into social needs, functional misbehavior, and practice with effective use of logical, non-punitive consequences.  For emotional situations, TACT2 provides extensive information about the impact of childhood trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), as well as practical skills to build relationships and de-escalate crisis with children who have been trauma-exposed.  Through it all, the TACT2 course focuses on recognizing and minimizing the effects of staff's own anger and ACEs during crisis situations.

Adult Learning Strategies.  TACT2 verbal training creates a highly interactive, brain-friendly, adult learning experience.  It employs dramatic examples, colorful visuals, role play activities, powerful videos, and numerous other exercises to appeal to a wide variety of learning styles.  Competency is assured with both written and practical tests of knowledge and skill.

TACT2 Physical Skills

Despite our best attempts to avoid restraints, there are times when a youth's behavior presents an imminent danger to self or others.  During moments like these, staff must be prepared to act assertively, without creating a greater risk of harm to youth or to themselves.


Safety First.  When all else fails, TACT2 offers safe, highly effective physical techniques for self-protection, standing holds, escorts, and team restraints.  Physical and emotional safety are our greatest concerns during physical interventions, so TACT2 utilizes only well-established physical techniques, and focuses intensely on calm approaches and minimum force to avoid retraumatization.  


No Prone Takedowns, EVER. Because the dangers of prone (face down) restraints have been well-documented for a decade or more, TACT2 teaches only team restraints, and only in the seated and supine (face up) positions. TACT2 training develops essential skills and judgement based on using the minimum force necessary to safely manage the situation.   As skills grow, trainees practice in increasingly realistic "live action role play" scenarios.  TACT2 Trainers hold staff to the highest standards of safety, skill, and professionalism, and certify only those who can safely demonstrate full competency in the techniques.

For more specific details about our physical intervention skills, please contact Dr. Steve Parese by email at





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Download a 2-page summary of the TACT2 program, including a rationale, a detailed content outline, and contact information.

Download a full, watermarked sample of the TACT2 workbook. (This examination copy may not be reproduced or used in training.)

Download a comparison chart highlighting the differences between the various TACT2/TBM programs.


What Your Colleagues Have Said

“The training was well-paced, engaging and empowering.  I am so thankful to have deepened my knowledge of verbal de-escalation skills and can’t wait to share this information with my staff!”

Natalie Spehar, Outreach Coordinator
Annapolis, MD

“Dr. Parese’s material is clear and concise. The content and concepts are presented in a manner that are applicable to both seasoned professionals and new or inexperienced individuals working with youth.”

Matthew Clement, Training Manager
Nashville, TN

“Excellent training session.  Dr. Parese was a great educator with the material and delivered the content expertly.  I had been trained in schools before using TACT2, but learning it directly from Dr. Parese has made me be very confident in both his commitment in the education and safety of youth and in my main reason for becoming a teacher.”

George Keagle, Special Educator
LaPlata, MD

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