I have been an advocate of the Mandt System since I was first a student in a local class in 2005, and even more so when I became a trainer for Mandt in 2010. All parts of the Mandt System played a significant role in my professional life, as I worked for a non-profit agency offering psychiatric services to children and families. But it was a personal experience about one year ago made me realize that the principles of Mandt span across my life and can make a huge difference in the most critical of moments.

On August 13, 2011, my 2-year-old son was rushed to the emergency room after a violent canine attack. He had significant lacerations to his face and needed immediate medical care. Given his age and heightened emotional state, you can imagine how difficult it was to keep him calm and safe during the process. My son struggled against the nurses and doctors, making it nearly impossible to clean or examine the wounds and causing the situation to become unsafe for all involved. At this point the doctors determined that the only option would be to sedate him or strap him down to the bed. Both of these options seemed traumatizing and could have created a lasting negative affect on our son’s life.

Luckily my husband and I were both trained in Mandt and knew exactly what we needed to do to maintain the safety of the situation and get our son the care he needed. We placed him securely in the modified restraint for a person of small stature. This restraint not only kept him from grabbing and thrashing, but it is a comfortable and non-threatening hold that actually eased my son’s distress and allowed him to de-escalate. The nurses and doctors were able to do their jobs, and my son got the care he needed.

This incident was a very scary and unfortunate situation for my family, but I know it would have turned out much worse had we not been trained in the Mandt System. It is impossible to know what circumstances life will bring, but being prepared to safely manage a crisis situation is a skill that everyone should have. I write this today as a proud Mandt Trainer, but even more so as a thankful mother.

Peggy Somerville, LMSW, Certified Mandt Systems Trainer