Therapeutic Interaction Strategies


This course discusses interaction strategies you can use to promote mental wellness and provide social support for individuals dually diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness. Today’s culture sends out confusing messages about the world, social roles, and emotional life. It does not do very well teaching people things they really need to know. It is often up to direct support providers to provide more accurate and useful information about what the world is like and to model healthier ways of relating to others and getting needs met. This course provides some simple and practical interaction strategies designed to promote emotional health. Strategies are discussed for: teaching people about the world, meeting personal needs, relaxation, building friendships, and (for support staff) responding to challenging situations. This is a video presentation from the 30th annual conference of the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed in October 2013, given by Dan Baker, PhD and Michelle Mead, MA, LAC from the Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, Department of Pediatrics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals


This activity is approved for 1.50 contact hours.

Non-Licensed Direct Care (DSP, HHA, CNA, DCW, PCA, IHA, NA)


Course Details

Course Code: REL-DD-NADD-CONF1
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2018
Learning Objectives:
Use the steps Model, Lead, and Test to provide support for individuals in coping with real-life situations in a healthy way.
Identify two strategies that can support people with intellectual disabilities getting their personal needs met.
Describe two kinds of relaxation techniques.
Explain to a small group of support staff members some positive ways of reacting to the individuals they support in different kinds of challenging situations.

1. Therapeutic Interaction Strategies A. Goals of this Training B. What are Our Cultural Expectations of Behavior? C. Teach People to Understand D. What Can You Teach E. Help People Meet Personal Needs F. What Can You Support G. Teach Relaxation H. Desensitization I. Journaling J. What Do You Say When… 2. Audience Response

Instructor: Dan Baker, Ph.D.
Dan Baker, PhD is Director of Community Positive Behavior Support, Transition, and Supported Employment Projects, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Baker's focus at The Boggs Center is on positive behavior support, models of community and educational support, transition services, and mental health services for persons with disabilities. Dr. Baker earned his PhD in Educational Psychology in 1992 and a Teaching License in 1990 from the University of Minnesota. He has worked with people with a range of disabilities; his applied work includes efforts in schools, residential settings for people with disabilities, recreational programs, and employment supports. Dr. Baker is well published in both edited books and literary journals. Most of his published work addresses strategies for teaching direct care staff to work with persons who present challenges. Disclosure: Dan Baker, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Michelle Mead, MA, LAC
Michelle is a Training and Consultation Specialist for the Community Positive Behavior Support project at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. She provides training and technical assistance to community providers supporting individuals with challenging behaviors. Prior to her employment at The Boggs Center, Michelle provided family training and support in early intervention and school programs serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Michelle received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary education and Psychology and a Masters Degree in Psychology from the College of St. Elizabeth. Disclosure: Michelle Mead, MA, LAC has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: entry and intermediate level Direct Support Professionals; in the following settings: Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.
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All courses offered by Relias Learning, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous Distance Learning with interactivity which includes quizzes with questions/answers, and posttests.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Learning Customer Support by calling (800) 381-2321 or emailing