Once Upon a Time . . . The Coming of Age for CAPS


Over the past 4 years, this blog has endeavored to inform you about aggression, its effects with an emphasis on how to prevent it. Over the past six months we have been shared our new system referred to as Critical Aggression Prevention System or CAPS. We thought you might wish to better understand of how we came to develop this unique and vital system.

The Center for Aggression Management’s founder and CEO, John D. Byrnes, D.Hum-hc established the Center in 1993 in response to a request from law enforcement leaders for a more effective, lower impact method for confronting aggressors and de-escalating aggression. Research and training in those areas brought our founder, to the realization that workplace, campus and school violence could be prevented by applying the methods developed by the Center.

Predicated upon the realization that the only possible predictor of violence was to identify someone “on the path to a violent attack.” The Center for Aggression Management provides training and systems for use in avoiding and preventing emerging aggression and violence in today’s complex workplace, campus, and school environments.

A wide range of companies and educational institutions responded very positively over the years to the many Aggression Management training programs provided by the Center. From dialogue surrounding those programs and the request of clients, the Center developed a comprehensive system for recognizing and managing aggressive behavior in an empirical way; this unique system is referred to as the Critical Aggression Prevention System (CAPS). Because it was not practical to train all people with all skills and fulfill the critical need to record and track aggressive behavior, the Center developed a three component system.

  1. Aggression First Observer Training (provided in a one-day workshop to identify and call in objective observables.)

  2. Aggression Manager Training (the brains of the system, trained to measure and manage emerging aggressors)

  3. Meter of Emerging Aggression Software Service (record and track all aggressive behavior on campus or in the workplace.)

There are five reasons why our Critical Aggression Prevention System (CAPS) methodology is so unique and effective in preventing violence in the workplace or on campus.

These five elements come together to make CAPS truly differentiates us from all other methodologies:

  1. We distinguish between Primal (adrenaline-driven) Aggression and Cognitive (intent-driven) Aggression. Once this distinction is made, aggressive behavior can be observed and measured in real-time using scientific cause and effect principles through the reflection of aggression in a person’s body language, behavior and communication indicators.

  2. Our Aggression Continuum, according to studies, demonstrates the only true means to prevent violent behavior is to get-out-in-front of it. These studies demonstrate that the only reliable predictive means of preventing violence is to “identify someone on the path to a violent attack.” Our Aggression Continuum is the only methodology that uses scientific cause and effect principles to achieve this objective.

  3. Realizing that it is not practical to train all people with all skills, our methodology involves scalable training of two types: Aggression First Observers (AFOs), individuals trained to identify “objective observables” of aggressive behavior. AFOs will call these objective observables into a small core group of Aggression Managers (AMs), the brains of the methodology, who are trained to measure emerging aggression, applying the appropriate corresponding skill sets to maximize their aggression diffusing/preventing results.

  4. We have developed the Meter of Emerging Aggression (a software service) used by Aggression Managers (AMs) to input behavior. This software illustrates in real-time the level of an individual’s aggression so that Aggression Managers can better determine what resources are needed to maximize their result.

  5. Finally, the Meter of Emerging Aggression is then used to record and track aggressive behavior so as to validate that these users are doing everything possible to make their client, facility or community “as safe as possible,” better referred to as true “Best Practices.”

Other programs attempt to replicate CAPS but none achieve its empirical results. We have developed a 3-minute CAPS Impact Movie offering a summarized understanding of how and why CAPS works. At the end of the movie you have three options: (1) share this CAPS Impact Movie with other colleagues you deem appropriate, (2) go to our website where there is a wealth of information or (3) register for a free one-hour CAPS Webinar to gain more information. The CAPS Impact Movie can be viewed at www.AggressionManagement.com/movie/

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