What is PCM ~ the History of Professional Crisis Management


Our History since 1981


Starting in 1981, Neal Fleisig, an experienced therapist and certified Behavior Analyst, structured a system of clinical physical interventions that were based on a set of ethical principles, behavior analytic teaching methodologies (including shaping and fading), biofeedback strategies, and safe bio-mechanical movements. These physical interventions were an extension of clinical client-centered therapies. They required that the person in crisis direct the physical intervention. As in the case of biofeedback therapy, the person in crisis is an active participant in the intervention and is not simply subject to it. Under these conditions individuals would often have a significantly less difficult crisis, have shorter episodes without injury, and recover quickly, thereby re-entering ongoing clinical and educational activities more easily.

The non-physical components of the system were also founded on a set of ethical principles emphasizing the importance of choice, basic human rights and behavior analytic strategies. These strategies were based on similar techniques used in main stream behavior analysis and cognitive behavioral therapies but structured for application in uncertain and unpredictable situations.

Both the physical and non-physical procedures were standardized over a number of years through clinical services conducted at the Intensive Residential Behavioral Treatment Center located in Pembroke Pines, FL, and two of the largest school systems in the United States, Broward County School District and Palm Beach County School District, with a combined enrollment of nearly 500,000 students.

Users of the Professional Crisis Management Association’s crisis management systems and services have maintained the highest level of effective and safe intervention and support services.

The effectiveness and safety of the PCM system is evidenced by research published in the only peer reviewed clinical study comparing outcomes across different crisis intervention systems.

This study was published in the Journal of Clinical Outcomes and is available here:

Crisis Intervention Systems Study