Education and Treatment Alternatives, Inc. (ETA) has provided Aggression Replacement Training® since 1998. The Model is designed to assure Model adherence and sustainability. ETA provides Aggression Replacement Training® practice training, coaching and monitoring activities. Aggression Replacement Training® is an intervention designed for aggressive adolescents and children. Its component procedures are:
- Skillstreaming – which teaches a curriculum of prosocial, interpersonal skills (i.e. what to do instead of aggression)
- Anger Control Training – to teach youth how to recognize and control angry feelings “what not to do if provoked.”
- Moral Reasoning Training – to promote values that respect the rights of others, and help youth want to use the interpersonal and anger management skills taught.
ETA has been providing Aggression Replacement Training® workshops since 1998. Master Trainers Mark Amendola, LCSW and Robert Oliver, Ed.D. worked and trained with Arnold Goldstein, Ph.D., who was the primary developer of Aggression Replacement Training®. Prior to his death in 2002, Dr. Goldstein asked Mr. Amendola and Dr. Oliver to carry on his life’s work. ETA has provided 250 Aggression Replacement Trainings® during which over 5,000 Aggression Replacement Training® group facilitators have been trained. ETA has six Master Trainers and has the capacity to provide 150 days of trainings per year.
An example of the scope of work is illustrated in the State of California, ETA, since 2004, has worked with the California Institute for Mental Health to collaborate on a large evidence based practice project for the implementation of Aggression Replacement Training® that includes 73 public and private non-profit agencies, including 33 probation departments.
ETA Staff – Executive Members and Senior Master Trainers:
Mark Amendola, LCSW – Mr. Amendola trained and mentored by Aggression Replacement Training’s® primary developer Arnold Goldstein, Ph.D. and has been training Aggression Replacement Training® nationally since 1998. Mr. Amendola has over 20 years experience in clinical services provision and administration, primarily with adolescents and their families. He is currently the Executive Director of Perseus House, Inc. and the Charter School of Excellence. Perseus House is a multiservice agency that includes the Charter School and a national training site for the Life Space Crisis Institute. Mr. Amendola is an Adjunct Professor at Mercyhurst College in the Criminal Justice Program, and at Gannon University in the Education Department. He is a Senior Aggression Replacement Training® Master Trainer, providing training and supervising Aggression Replacement Training® Trainers listed below.
Robert Oliver, Ed.D. – Dr. Oliver has over 35 years of experience in youth mental health services and education. Dr. Oliver, mentored by Aggression Replacement Training’s® primary developer Arnold Goldstein, Ph.D., has been training Aggression Replacement Training® nationally since 1998. He is currently the Chief Educational Officer of the Charter School of Excellence, and has been a teacher, administrator and Assistant Superintendent in the School District of the City of Erie. Dr. Oliver is an Adjunct Professor at Gannon University in the Education Department. Dr. Oliver is a Senior Aggression Replacement Training® Master Trainer, providing training and supervising Aggression Replacement Training® Trainers listed below.
ETA Staff – Master Trainers
Lynnet Scully, B.A. – Mrs. Scully has over 10 years experience as an Aggression Replacement Training® Facilitator, and became a Master Trainer in 2000. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Mrs. Scully has been a Case Manager at the Collaborative Intensive Community Treatment Program and has over 15 years experience in youth services. She is currently the Director of Admissions of Perseus House, Inc.
Nick Viglione, Ed. D. – Dr. Nick M. Viglione is currently the CEO of the Charter School of Excellence (CSE) located in Erie PA. The CSE provides educational services to students that are 2-3 years below grade level. Additionally, CSE is a partner with Perseus House, inc. who provides residential and community based services. He is a national trainer for Education and Treatment Alternatives, providing evidence based prevention/intervention models to school districts, residential programs, probation departments, prisons and mental health facilities across the Country. Nick is also a national trainer for the Life Space Crisis Intervention institute, which has an international training consortium. He has taught as an Adjust faculty at Gannon University and is currently a member of local, county and state advisory committees. He is a published author and recipient of the 2006 Arnold Goldstein Humanitarian Award. His career has involved residential, community, home and school settings. He received his B.S. in Psychology, M.S. in Counseling Psychology, and his Doctoral degree in Education Leadership. Nick’s educational certifications include Guidance, Principal, Administration, and holds a Letter of Eligibility for Superintendent.
Paula Laughlin, LCSW – Ms. Laughlin is currently the Clinical Director and Quality Improvement Coordinator of Perseus House, Inc. She was trained in Aggression Replacement Training® in 1996, and has been a Master Trainer since 2004.
Tom Ranalli, MSW– is Director of Children and Family Services at VisionQuest. He has comprehensive experience in trauma informed care, as well as evidence based practices. He was trained in Aggression Replacement Training® as a facilitator in 2004, and has been a Master Trainer since 2012.
Evidence Based Practice Criteria
The advantage associated with the utilization of the evidence based practice of Aggression Replacement Training® is that practitioners can be mental health clinicians, or probation, mental health or other agency paraprofessionals. In selecting staff for Aggression Replacement Training®, ETA works with agencies to develop strategies that, whenever possible, allow trainees to “sign up” for training. Particularly with the first training cohort, willing and interested participants enhance the efficiency and quality of the initial implementation. Success with this first cohort goes far to elicit the interest of additional staff members. We counsel that the following attributes predict an individual’s ability to provide high quality Aggression Replacement Training®:
Knowledge of the Model
- Interest in using the Model
- Comfort level in facilitating groups with teens
- Comfort level in role-playing and related group facilitation skills
- Ability to manage youth behavior through clear directions, consequences and calm demeanor
- Ability to apply skills training curriculum as designed (without deletions, additions or substitutions)
ETA trains participants to deliver the full dose of Skillstreaming, Anger Control and Moral Reasoning group sessions that together compose the Aggression Replacement Training® program as described in the OJJDP Model Programs Guide. This is the full and complete Model.
The practice training is provided or supervised by individuals at ETA who were trained and mentored by Arnold Goldstein, Ph.D., the primary developer and researcher associated with Aggression Replacement Training®. The trainers utilize a training curriculum, along with Aggression Replacement Training®: A Comprehensive Intervention for Aggressive Youth (Glick, Gibbs 2010). To become Aggression Replacement Training® practitioners, trainees participate in a series of didactic trainings and coaching sessions, and eventually submit tapes for review by Aggression Replacement Training® Master Trainers, who look for indications that the trainee is delivering the practice with fidelity to the Model.
Frequency and Dosage
The required frequency is 3 hours per week for 10 weeks. Each component is delivered one hour per week for the 3 hours. The total number of sessions is 30 for a total of 30 hours.
Scope of Work Activities
ETA created the Model to support evidence based practice implementation in response to data suggesting that most agencies do not have adequate experience and expertise to successfully implement evidence based practices with Model adherence. A key component of the process is a careful education and planning process that ensures that agencies commit to evidence based practice implementation only when they are fully informed about the resources and commitments necessary to do so successfully. This requires that agencies understand that they must meet implementation responsibilities in the following areas:
- Clients – Assure adequate numbers of clients and efficient referral processes that will allow the practice to function once established.
- Integration into agency services – Aggression Replacement Training® must fit efficiently in the service continuum to avoid areas of redundancy or gaps.
- Staffing – Identify staff who have necessary qualifications and motivation to provide the practice.
- Supervision – Supportive supervision that reinforces Model adherent practice.
- Funding – Sufficient funding to support implementation activities, maintenance activities, and service provision.
- Assuring fidelity and Model adherence – To provide support for and to require the requisite staff to develop the Model with fidelity.
- Administrative oversight – To maintain standards for Model adherence, provide support necessary for Model adherent implementation and address barriers to successful implementation.
Our experience is that agencies arrange, on their own, for training with practice developers who frequently find that – after expending considerable resources – they were unprepared for the inevitable implementation challenges that can result in increased unanticipated costs, and delays or abandonment of implementation. The ETA planning process, which offers increasing amounts of information and technical assistance in a sequenced manner, allows agencies to fully prepare for implementation. This planning is a key factor to implementation. The following describes the process through which trainees demonstrate proficiency as Aggression Replacement Training® practitioners:
Practitioner proficiency will be recognized at the conclusion of a course of training and consultation. Initial recognition of proficiency requires completion of a course of training and consultation meeting the following conditions:
- Comprehensive clinical training and supervision in Aggression Replacement Training® from an ETA Master Trainer consisting of the following:
- Initial (2-day) clinical training
- Booster (1-day) clinical training
- Phone consultation with an ETA Master Trainer
- Submission of completed fidelity tools
- Group observations or submittal of videotapes of all three components for review by ETA Master Trainer
In addition practitioners need to meet the following experience and Model adherence requirements:
- Experience leading or co-leading Aggression Replacement Training® groups
- Lead (or co-lead) a minimum of 36 Aggression Replacement Training® groups, with at least 12 groups in each component (Skillstreaming, Anger Control Training, and Moral Reasoning Training), in a 12-month period.
- For practitioners who do not provide all three Aggression Replacement Training® components, it is possible for proficiency to be demonstrated in those components provided (Skillstreaming, Anger Control Training, and Moral Reasoning Training), when 36 groups have been led (or co-led) with a minimum of 12 groups in each component for which recognition is requested.
- Demonstrated Model adherence based on independent videotape ratings.
- Achieves a rating of “competency” (2 or higher on a 0-3 scale) on each item of the Trainer Competence Rating Scale on a minimum of one videotape submitted for review in the most recent 12-month period
ETA Aggression Replacement Training® Timeline
Months 1-3: Initial Planning Calls with Identified Sites
Month 4: Initial Clinical Training
Months 4-12: Cluster Coaching Calls
Months 3-5: Booster Training
Months 6-8: Videotape Submission and Review
Month 12: Videotape Submission and Review
If Sites are Interested for Aggression Replacement Training® Program Sustainability
Month 13: Agency-Trainer Initial Clinical Training
Months 13-16: Review of Agency-Trainer Video Excerpts
Months 13-24: Agency Coaching Calls – Agency Trainer
Months 19-24: Videotape Submission and Review – Agency Trainer
The Aggression Replacement Training® includes two group didactic trainings – the initial clinical training and the booster training. The trainings include multiple “clusters,” if necessary. Each training is limited to 5 clusters, or 25 trainees per trainer. The low trainer to trainee ratio is necessary to allow for adequate role play, observation and feedback for trainees.
Coaching calls are a necessary component of successful implementation. Calls are scheduled by cluster. Each cluster receives monthly coaching calls during implementation.
ETA has been successfully scheduling and supporting implementation activities for counties across the United States since 1998. This includes training in California in private and public agencies (in urban and rural counties), including 33 probation departments across the state. This also includes significant training efforts for both probation departments and private providers in residential, community based and school settings in Arizona, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania.
ETA has also developed the following agency trainer protocol
Conditions needed to support training of trainers include:
- Development of a Model adherent Aggression Replacement Training® program of one or more teams of practitioners who have completed all of the following:
- Comprehensive clinical training in Aggression Replacement Training® from an ETA Master Trainer.
- Monthly phone supervision calls from an ETA Master Trainer.
- Fidelity tools submitted for the first year of implementation.
- Videotapes submitted of all three components for each practitioner for review by ETA Master Trainers.
- Practitioners interested in becoming Aggression Replacement Training® trainers for their agency must lead a minimum of 72 Aggression Replacement Training® groups within their agency with at least 12 groups in each component (Skillstreaming, Anger Control Training, and Moral Reasoning Training)
- Practitioners interested in becoming Aggression Replacement Training® trainers for their agency must also demonstrate Model adherence based on videotape ratings completed by ETA Master Trainers. Specifically, the practitioner needs to achieve a rating of “competency” (2 or higher on a 0-3 scale) on each item of the Trainer Competence Rating Scale.
- Agency Trainer Training includes:
- Completion of a 2-day training-trainers training.
- Trainees conduct an on-site training within their agency to occur within 4 months of the training–trainers training (no more than 8 participants).
iii. Three 1-hour videotaped segments of this training will be submitted for review by ETA Master Trainers. It is the demonstration of teaching each component.
- Participation in a series of consultation calls with ETA Master Trainers to establish proficiency to provide ongoing Aggression Replacement Training® supervision to their agency’s team(s)
- Individuals trained as trainers will be certified as proficient when a pair of facilitators trained demonstrate Model adherence after a course of training and supervision, based on a review of videotaped Aggression Replacement Training® groups completed by ETA Master Trainers and the agency trainer.
ETA support to staff is a key component of successful implementation before, during and after implementation. This process supports implementation, as well as organizational development that eventually enable agencies to maintain and expand the program. The following is a list of ETA organizational implementation support activities independently:
- Planning – ETA reviews with sites timely planning necessary to assure successful implementation.
- Fidelity Checklists – Aggression Replacement Training® practitioners are encouraged to complete fidelity checklists at the completion of group sessions. These are self-learning tools, as well as information that can be used by site supervisors/Q.A. staff and/or during Cluster Coaching Calls.
- Cluster Coaching Calls – Each cluster of practitioners and supervisors participate in monthly calls in which Master Trainers review performance, provide targeted coaching, answer practitioner/supervisor questions, and problem-solve Aggression Replacement Training® group concerns.
- Agency Trainers – Agency Trainers are uniquely qualified to support ongoing program supervisions, fidelity monitoring and coaching, when the need is identified.
- Agency Staff Meetings – ETA encourages the establishment of agency Aggression Replacement Training® staff meetings to reinforce Model adherence.
Tools used to assess program delivery to youth include fidelity assessment tools and outcome evaluation tools. The fidelity assessment tools have been developed by ETA and are used as a self-learning tool (self-rating by Aggression Replacement Training® practitioners following each group), in the clinical consultation provided to newly trained facilitators, and as a sustainability tool (ratings completed by supervisors or QA staff). There is a separate fidelity tool for each of the three Aggression Replacement Training® components (Skillstreaming, Anger Control Training, and Moral Reasoning Training). Training and technical assistance for these tools are provided by ETA. Fidelity tools are to be filled out for the entire 1st year of implementation. For sustainability, following the first year, they should be randomly assigned to all facilitators one time each year (30 fidelity sheets completed) and reviewed by the agency trainer.
Component-specific measures include the Skillstreaming Checklists (for youth who participate in Skillstreaming groups); the Aggression Questionnaire® (for youth who participate in Anger Control groups); and the How I Think Questionnaire® (for youth who participate in Moral Reasoning groups). The Skillstreaming Checklists are public domain and are available free of charge; the Aggression Questionnaire® and the How I Think Questionnaire® are standardized, copy-righted measures that are purchased through their publishers (Western Psychological Services and Research Press, respectively).
Sites also have the option of tracking recidivism as measured by arrests or sustained petitions.
In addition to outcome evaluation measures, we recommend that sites track data on the demographics of all youth served and on the level of service delivery (number of groups completed) received by each youth (for each of the three Aggression Replacement Training® components).
Feedback on group facilitation is provided to trainees on an ongoing basis during the consultation period by an ETA Master Trainer. Using the fidelity monitoring tools, trained facilitators are provided with specific information about their level of Model adherence across multiple dimensions. Each facilitator is also provided specific feedback about their videotaped group facilitation, and deemed “proficient” when they have met the standards jointly decided by ETA.
Aggression Replacement Training® trainees receive 30 hours of direct training within ETA, which includes initial training (12 hours), one booster training (6 hours) and coaching calls (12 hours).
Initial Training Goal: To provide participants an overview of aggression with children and adolescents, introduce them to the theoretical and operational underpinnings of Aggression Replacement Training®, and fully prepare them to use the Aggression Replacement Training® intervention (facilitate groups).
- To provide an understanding of the theories of aggression, the angry behavior cycle and the etiology of aggressive behavior in youth.
- To provide experiential training to facilitate Skillstreaming, Anger Control Training and Moral Reasoning Training groups.
Practice Training – Day One
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Introduction, Why Aggression Replacement Training®?
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Scope of Aggression; Background of Intervention Procedures
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Impact of Poverty on the Youth we Serve
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Introduction to Skillstreaming; Discussion and Demonstration of
Training Procedures and Curricula
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Skillstreaming Video
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Skillstreaming: Guided Practice – Large Groups
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Skillstreaming: Guided Practice – Small Groups
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Guided Practice – Small Groups
Practice Training – Day Two
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Importance of Outcomes Reporting
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Anger Control Training
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Anger Control Guided Practice – Large Groups
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Moral Reasoning Training
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Moral Reasoning Guided Practice
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Small Group Guided Practice
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Implementation Planning
The Booster Training agenda is uniquely tailored to the needs of each training cohort, and as a result there is no standing agenda. The agenda is developed beforehand based upon the needs of each cohort. The training day is 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The instruction is largely driven by trainee role plays of advanced skills in which they recreate interactions about which they have questions or supervisors have identified as areas for growth, and Master Trainers and peers offer feedback. The training day is divided evenly between Skillstreaming, Anger Control Training and Moral Reasoning Training. Much of the instruction is then delivered in educational group conversations. Trainees participate in a series of training, coaching and monitoring activities to reach “proficiency” in Aggression Replacement Training® determined by ETA.
Ongoing Maintenance and Sustainability
- After the completion of the train the trainer program, annually, all groups should be observed 20% of the time by a trained facilitator. The observers’ observations should be then de-briefed with the co-facilitators.
- Annually all facilitators should submit, randomly assigned by the agency trainer, fidelity tools for one ten week round which, would be 30 sessions. These should be evaluated by the agency trainer for fidelity issues and model adherence.
- There should also be a one day booster with all trained facilitators to review updates and conduct guided practice.
- AGENCY TRAINERS ARE RE-CERTIFIED EVERY THREE YEARS AT A 2 DAY TRAINING
*ETA encourages agency staff to establish quality assurance processes, utilizing tools provided by the project, to maintain Aggression Replacement Training® practice quality and outcomes. Agency-Trainers or QA staff can use the fidelity tools to independently observe and rate practitioners on their performance running groups.