LSCI or How adults may grow into children…

Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI)…

What is it? states that it is an

“advanced, interactive therapeutic strategy for turning crisis situations into learning opportunities for children and youth with chronic patterns of self-defeating behaviors. LSCI views problems or stressful incidents as opportunities for learning, growth, insight, and change. This non-physical intervention program uses a multi-theoretical approach to behavior management and problem solving. LSCI provides staff a roadmap through conflict to desired outcomes using crisis as an opportunity to teach and create positive relationships with youth.”

In conjunction, think of the Kanji symbol for crisis; within the symbol for crisis are two other symbols.


The symbols wēi and jī. Danger and opportunity. Together they mean crisis.

From my work in the mental health field and utilizing LSCI as a tool to, “teach and create positive relationships with youth,” I have encountered a myriad example of each one of the 7 probably crises that a child may experience at any given time.

#1 The Red Flag

To paraphrase, The Red Flag crisis is exemplified by seemingly out of place outbursts and self-created, and thus fulfilled, no win situations. A troubled child will have an outburst with an effect of breaking the nose of a classmate that has nothing to do with his troubled emotional state. Instead, what his troubled state is, for example, is something that happened on the bus, at home, in the dorm and elsewhere. The student has, in other words, carried over a red flag from elsewhere.

#2 Massaging Numb Values

This crisis leaves the youth feeling guilty, remorseful, shameful or inadequate over what they’ve done because, sadly, due to a history of abuse and belittlement, this is all they have ever been taught to strive for. Shame and guilt have always been the consequence of their actions. And this is usually the result of the parent making illogical or irrational choices for their child.

I’m reminded here of a quote from, the fictional, Dr. Gregory House, “Acting on your [emotions] is easy. Acting [logically] is hard. That is why all parents screw up all children.”

#3 Reality Rub

The Reality Rub tends to be when a youth expresses, only, a fairly subjective view and unwavering belief that their reality is not only true but also unchangeable.

And while this may be true for all, the reality that a child has may reflect a difficult, estranged, sometimes maniacal worldview that will only hinder their self growth and improvement.

#4 New Tools

Without using any names, I will take a quote regarding a student of mine in order to explain this one.

“He does try to interact with his peers in a fashion that he believes will get him what he wants. Only, sometimes his responses to his peers are ostracizing and offensive; he snaps at them, yells, he has jerks in his shoulders and arms when he is even remotely upset, when interacting with his deaf peers he attempts to communicate but drops his hands and resorts only to speech when he is angry. He does have interests that, while some kids share, are eccentrically executed. For example, his drawings are a reflection of a disjointed world that no one else can see or experience or engage in yet he tries to get others to understand them and when they are incapable of doing so- he becomes upset.”

A New Tools crisis is simply that the student does not have the proper abilities to utilize in order to act in a manner that is socially acceptable or accepted by his/her family, friends or peers.

#5 Symptom Estrangement

Simply put Symptom Estrangement is believing that it always someone else’s fault and, “I am often, if not always, the victim.” See also: the way the student next to me dresses forces me to act angry. See also: the rules you expect me to follow are stupid, and I should be able to remake them. See also: I have no remorse for insulting people. See also: I have no remorse for physically hurting you, you deserved it.

If only LSCI would have a date with Byron Katie… This whole crisis would be settled.

That was meant, partially, to be humorous.

#6 Manipulation of Body Boundaries

This crisis has always been an interesting one to me. In short, a child will lie, sneak, manipulate and cheat in order to get one of his peers to do something viz. blow-up, start a fight with someone, scream during class, break a rule in school. Because this way, a Manipulating Body Boundaries child gets to experience all of the fun and none of the trouble.

#7 The Power Struggle… The most dangerous of the crises…

The power struggle is when adults turn into children. When the adult is faced with one of the preceding 6 crises and can only cause the child to spiral further into the cycle of crisis that has been spun among them. See also: I’m the mom, that’s why! See also: screaming at the child to sit down while you’re standing. See also: telling a child that he is lying, stupid, strange, unwanted, careless etc. See also: arguing (for the sake of being right) with a child instead of listening to them.

I will devote individual, more in depth, posts in the future regarding my thoughts and work with each of the crises as defined by LSCI. Among, I’m certain, many tangents, I will specifically focus on two areas; first, how it relates to children and how they may be resolved and second, the telling signs of adults who experienced these crises growing up and the consequences behind this.


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