FEBRUARY 16, 2022

10AM-11:15AM PST


When you register, you will be added to the CalTrin mailing list so that we can communicate with you about the training. You will also receive 2 CalTrin Connect newsletters each month.


Calming the Storm: Foundational Skills in Verbal De-escalation


It is inevitable that, as helping professionals, we encounter individuals who are frustrated, angry, and dissatisfied and who unleash these emotions onto us. These interactions can range from uncomfortable to frightening and can leave us feeling frustrated, fearful and “on edge.” Without the skills and confidence to handle these situations, we run the risk of damaging our relationships with others as well as contributing to our own emotional exhaustion and burnout. Verbal de-escalation is a set of practical skills that reduces the level of emotional and behavioral agitation, leads to a safer workplace, and results in less emotionally damaging outcomes.

Learners will:

  • Escalation from the Inside: Understand the psychological & behavioral aspects of emotional escalation
  • The Four Cornerstones: Learn how to implement the four critical components of verbal de-escalation
  • Traps & Pitfalls: Learn how to identify common challenges and how to avoid them


Who should attend: All staff of family resource center (FRCs), child abuse prevention councils (CAPCs), and other child- and family-serving organizations. 


John Borthwick, BA, MDiv

Empathic Strain and Moral Distress Specialist, TEND Academy



John Borthwick is an experienced leader, communicator, teacher and facilitator.
John’s specialty is coaching leaders, inspiring innovators, and working with individuals seeking to change themselves or the systems that they
serve. He is an engaging teacher specializing in the areas of trauma,
resilience and compassion fatigue as well as conflict mediation, coaching
skills, and leadership development. He has worked with non-profit boards,
universities, faith communities, and Emergency and Police Services.
John is an ordained minister in The Presbyterian Church in Canada currently
serving the congregation of St. Andrew’s in Guelph, Ontario.

 John has a BA in History from McMaster University, Hamilton and a Masters of Divinity from Knox College, Toronto. John holds a Certificate in Conflict Management and Congregational Leadership from Conrad Grebel University College. He is also trained in Mental Health First Aid, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills, and Critical Incident Stress Management. John is a certified Community and Workplace Traumatologist through the Traumatology Institute of Canada and completed the Secondary Traumatic Stress Educator Program at TEND. 
John describes his work as creating space for meaningful conversations to
occur. He does this through his naturally curious spirit and good sense of
humor. Along with a deep appreciation and gift for listening, John
brings a calming presence into sometimes challenging circumstances.