I want to be knowledgeable in helping others however the situation about them directs. I am concerned about assisting people to process the incidents, which are unforeseen, irritating, limiting, and transformative. These events are always meaningful and real to the person who experiences them.
In addition to CISM, I currently pursue training in a conversation-based technique called motivational interviewing. It is a method of conversation guidance to direct a person to figure out what it is they are truly motivated to change or pursue.
Another strategic response paradigm is from my training when I lead a crisis intervention team at Independence High School from 1999-2002. That program is popular in schools which may or may not require the occasional use of a prone restraint. It is Non-violent Crisis Intervention from the Crisis Prevention Institute. It promotes educating persons involved in a situational crisis about how the conflict cycle can escalate in situations.
I want to teach and promote resilience. It is a calling for me. I want to advocate real evidence based approaches to handle crisis, to manage stress, and to implement peer-supports.
Socially, I associate with helping professionals. Many are friends. They are each simply wonderful and deserving of recognition for what too frequently goes without express appreciation. Having been their colleague, I am often told of the stresses in their lives.
Instructional classes are common for mental health professionals, but the opportunity is often overwhelming and burdensome to the expense of their budget and time, work and life. I want to train persons willing to frequently practice with one another stress management techniques that can be utilized given a trauma or significant change.
I have drafted bylaws for an organization and have included the mission, participation, and policy to this website for all to see. The vision includes a template of skill sets desired in the event and post-incident care of an unforeseen critical incident: first response training, stress management techniques, and active listening skills.
I have recognized this instruction as helpful, effective, and needed. Please contact me if you would like to learn from a promoted course are interested to assist in developing and operating my envisioned service.
Brian K Long
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In my home town of Park Forest, Illinois, I hosted a poetry slam night at a café in the center of town. I aspired to be a painter and writer like William Blake or members of the Beat generation. As a teenager working as the booth technician, i.e., non-union projectionist, at a second-run movie theater in the late 1990s, my task then was to splice 35 mm film reels together and prepare them for showings so the viewing public to enjoy. Many of the films were classified as art, so my taste in the aesthetic mingled well with my delight to manage customers and staff.
Thereafter, while attending college night classes, I was hired as a substitute instructional assistant at a nearby south suburban Cook County school district for students with special needs known as SPEED Joint Agreement 802 in Chicago Heights, Illinois. At that job, my life had changed. I was assigned numerous responsibilities that required me to adapt and learn in order to best accommodate unique circumstances frequently unpredictable.
I was assigned to Independence High School, where the Principal requested that I stay. Before long, I was on the crisis response team implemented by the school to address student risk behavior. The team searched student persons as they entered the campus, supervised the alternative school day assignment (detention), and initiated response protocol as circumstance required. I was awarded the Employee of the Year 2002 by my peers and represented faculty on the IEA/NEA teacher's union.
Early 2003, I moved to the city proper of Chicago where I immediately was hired as a psychoeducational group facilitator for long term facility residents with mental illness and comorbid conditions. On weekends, I worked as a Milieu Manager at Inspiration Corporation, formerly Inspiration Café in Chicago’s metropolitan community area Uptown. Persons with housing and/or employment difficulties receive social service assistance in a café setting with dining. My job was to manage the restaurant environment volunteer staff and hired alumni workers.
Over the course of the next few years, I worked at Misericordia as a Direct Support Person, then Ambulatory Health Care Services as a residential case manager, and nights at the Sovereign Liquors and Lounge as a bartender. Burnout was a word I learned then. Later, I learned instead to call my problem fatigue.
I returned to college and earned my Associates Degree with Honors in Psychology. I visited Europe, because a lonely friend of mine asked me to visit, and I had no good reason to decline. I traveled alone to Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, Dublin, and London among others. Incidentally, I became a self-professed street photographer around this time.
Back in Chicago, I sold photograph prints at street art festivals, and developed a reputation and fan base. I was enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University focused on pursuing a double major in psychology and sociology. I took some photographs for the NEIU Independent Newspaper. Fellow classmates supported me at festivals.
On a Tuesday morning, March 2011, my neighbor mishandled a candle and accidently begun a fire. To escape, I dropped from the window, and once safe, took pictures. Every resident was displaced and demands were set on my living conditions significantly. Within a few months, I could no longer pick up my foot properly. I dragged my feet, walked with a significant limp, and was exhausted all the time. After months of testing at Rush Medical Center orthopedic department, I was finally referred to neurology for an MRI. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis one month after finally finding a residence, November 2011. I tried yet another semester, but the physical, mental, and circumstantial conditions were such that I withdrew or failed courses taken at the time, Spring 2012.
Successfully, I was able to complete the application for Social Security benefits by myself and within six months, I was accepted based on my condition and medical notes submitted. I’ve taken this knowledge and assisted peers in my community in similar situations to do the same. One such friend even had his complete private student loans forgiven considering the paperwork I assisted him to complete.
For years, I have lived trying not to play a victim to circumstance, but the trials of spirit that I have undergone in deciphering and responding to my diagnosis could take a long time to describe. I have learned how to transcend some of my limitations. It is interesting that I had previously worked so hard with others vocationally to advocate and encourage that they to do the same.
I have learned that stress management is a crucial choice to make for oneself, but necessary in a world that is unpredictable and unforgiving. I now aspire the nature of my cognitive-behavioral self. I have extensively researched diet, neuroplasticity / neurogenesis, and cannabis in order to better understand and address my multiple sclerosis physiologically. I ask, what consequence or relatedness have these elements to that condition?
After nearly 6 years of walking only with the assistance of a cane, I am thankful for the individualized team care and support at Athletico. Physical therapy is a life regimen now, and I win whenever someone I know tells me how well I am walking. I win knowing that that I keep returning, each time a little better than before.
I’ve learned that life’s difficulties are more about the pebble in my shoe than the size of the mountain I might be toiling to climb. Being the first year after six that I could walk properly, and knowing well that it could all come crashing down again, I first spent 2017 traveling to get specialized training in numerous cities about crisis intervention techniques.
Today, I am enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University studying Psychology and Human Resource Development. 2018 and 2019 have been all about finishing my undergraduate degree, and now I have the resolve and clarity to pursue a doctorate of psychology. For my undergraduate Capstone project, I propose to take measure of confidence levels of course participants in community targeted crisis intervention trainings that I am personally certified by associate organizations to teach.