Acute Stress Syndrome Stabilization (ASSYST) Training in Individual and Group Formats

Intended for mental health therapists, such as psychologists, social workers, and LMFTs.

Ever had a client come into your office immediately (within days, weeks or months) after a traumatic incident and wonder what you can do for them? 


In a world experiencing an increased number of crises, mental health therapists need to be able to quickly and confidently respond to those in their community and abroad who continue to experience distressing memories and symptoms related to the critical incident. This training will teach therapists an acute stress syndrome stabilization procedure that can be used within hours, days or weeks after a critical incident in both individual and group formats. It can also be used in cases where the traumatic event may have happened a long time ago, but the person is still presenting intense or overwhelming sensory input, body sensation, or emotions and needs help reducing the distress from the pathogenic memory as they move forward in their therapy treatment. 

Join trauma expert, Dr. Ignacio (Nacho) Jarero, a world pioneer in Humanitarian Trauma Recovery and Research Programs, for an insightful one-day training that will expand your clinical knowledge base. Participants will walk away with two acute stress syndrome stabilization procedures to use in both individual and group formats, which can be easily used right after completing the training. 

Acute Stress Syndrome Stabilization (ASSYST) 
Procedures for Individuals & Groups

Participants will be familiarized with Jarero & Artigas (2018) acute trauma and ongoing traumatic stress case conceptualization based on Dr. Francine Shapiro Adaptive Information Processing (AIP; 2001, 2018) model that could serve as a working hypothesis to expand the clinical and research horizons of the EMDR interventions for individuals and groups.

Participants will also learn about Rapid Response, Early Psychological Interventions, Recent Trauma Clinical Presentations, Prevention of PTSD and two AIP-informed procedures for Acute Stress Syndrome Stabilization © (ASSYST).   

The ASSYST © procedures are AIP-informed psychophysiological algorithmic approaches specially designed for persons who present intense or overwhelming sensory input, body sensations, or emotions. These procedures can be administered within the first hours or days in which the person shows severe symptoms of distress and/or deterioration in current functioning.


The objective of these procedures is focused on the person stabilization through the reduction or removal of the distress produced by the somatic-sensory components of the pathogenic memory to achieve optimal levels of activation; thus, facilitating the AIP system the subsequent natural adaptive processing of the information.

The ASSYST procedures follows the Psychological First Aid (PFA) reduction of distress and adaptive functioning objectives, and must be administered within a continuum of care context (stepped progression of health care provided in an increasingly intensified manner) to help the person achieve a state of adaptive functioning or to facilitate access to the next level of care when necessary.

These procedures have been successfully used three days after the September 19, 2017 earthquake in Mexico; 13 days after the August 3, 2019, mass shooting in El Paso, Texas; shortly after the September 1st, 2019 hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas; immediately after the October 2019 riots in Chile to provide support to hospitalized civilians that were injured during the protests; immediately after the November, 2019 riots and wave of terror in Bolivia to provide support to civilians that were injured during the protests; with immigrants in the United States three days after they escaped from 21 days of organized crime captivity; with first responders (firefighters and medical personnel) and civilians who survived the January 23, 2019 gas explosion in Villa El Salvador, Peru; and one day after the February 21, 2020 landslide in Cochabamba, Bolivia that affected 188 families. 

Dr. Francine Shapiro posits that all human beings have an innate physical information processing system in the brain naturally geared toward health. When an experience is successfully processed, it is adaptively stored in the brain with other similar experiences. However, disruptions to this processing system due to high arousal states from critical incidents or adverse life experiences result in memories that are inadequately processed and maladaptively stored in the brain. These pathogenic memories are triggered by similar stimuli/information from the present and the person reacts to the present as if it were the same situation as the past. In other words, the past is present for these persons.

Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) Theoretical Model

Psychophysiological Algorithmic Approaches

It could happen that one or more of the sensory or somatic (somatic-sensory) components of the pathogenic memory are resistant to spontaneous AIP processing. Therefore, the ASSYST procedure will help the specific reduction or removal of those particular component(s).


For example, the screams of people during a massive shooting, the rapist's smell of alcohol, the somatic sensation of having the legs or arms petrified, the fear or powerless emotions.

Pictured left: ASSYST-Group provision on September 19, 2017 to earthquake survivors in Mexico City

I feel very good. Let me tell you, something that used to cause me anxiety was going to Walmart. I had not been able to go without feeling anxious and my anxiety would grow if my son was with me. I used to ignore that feeling but yesterday when I went back again, I did not even think about it. Nothing. It was normal like before it all happened. When I left Walmart, I reflected and I said “Wow, I did not feel that anxiety.” To tell you the truth, I never thought about how much [the shooting] had affected me but now I believe little by little everything will go back to its place. I wish more people would know about this because it truly helped me, and it was only one session.

- Client Survivor from August 3, 2019, Walmart mass shooting in El Paso, Texas,
after one single session with the ASSYST-Individual procedure.

Training Objectives
  1. To identify and practice rapid response intervention.

  2. To summarize early mental health interventions and trauma from the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) theoretical model perspective (Abreactions, Window of tolerance, ASSYST procedures scenarios).

  3. To practice the ASSYST-Individual scripted procedure.

  4. To practice the ASSYST-Group scripted procedure.

  5. To identify the populations that can be treated with these procedures through case study examples.

Details and Fees

IMPORTANT NOTE: This training is designed for non-EMDR trained therapists. If you are an EMDR trained therapist, then we recommend you sign up for our two-day training by clicking here. The two-day training for EMDR therapists incorporates the ASSYST procedures from an AIP-perspective and also two EMDR protocols.


  • $150 – Interns and full-time employees of nonprofits and government agencies if received at least 30 days prior to the training

  • $175 – Interns and full-time employees of nonprofits and government agencies if received less than 30 days prior to the training

  • $185 – Standard Registration if received at least 30 days prior to the training

  • $197 – Standard Registration if received less than 30 days prior to the training

BONUS: If you get 4 other people to register, then email us with the location of the event and the 4 names that you referred and you can get a refund on your registration!!


  • Skill Level: Advanced

  • Our intended audience are: 1) Licensed Therapists or 2) Pre-licensed therapists who have graduated with their master's degree, who are working toward their clinical licensure and are under supervision.



  • Cancellations 31 days or more before the event = 90% refund

  • Cancellations 30 days or less before the event = 25% refund

  • Event no show = No refund

Dr. Ignacio "Nacho" Jarero

Ignacio (Nacho) Jarero, Ph.D., Ed.D., is the world pioneer in the provision of EMDR therapy in a group format, AIP-informed Advance Psychosocial Interventions for trauma-exposed populations, and AIP-informed Remote Assistance. He is an Expert Certified TeleMental Health Clinician. For his humanitarian services around the world with nearly 200 deployments since 1998, he has received the Francine Shapiro Award, the International Crisis Response Leadership Award, and the Psychotrauma Trajectory Award. For his research work with EMDR therapy, he received the EMDRIA Outstanding Research Award. Dr. Jarero is EMDR Institute Senior Trainer of Trainers and Advance Specialty Trainer and has conducted seminars and workshops around the world with participants of 67 different countries.

Kelly Smyth-Dent, LCSW
(Sponsor & Facilitator) 

Kelly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and the CEO of Scaling Up. She has conducted trainings on the EMDR-PRECI, EMDR-IGTP and the ASSYST in France, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India and throughout the United States. She is a published researcher and a member of Dr. Jarero's research team in Mexico. In her role as a humanitarian worker, she has partnered with organizations, such as Action Against Hunger, Fortify Rights, and Innovative Humanitarian Solutions, to provide EMDR therapy and advanced trainings to their staff and clients. Kelly was a member of the team that provided rapid response interventions within days after the August 3, 2019 domestic terrorist attack in El Paso, Texas. Her specialty area is populations living with ongoing traumatic stress. When Kelly is not traveling, she sees clients in her private practice in Reno, Nevada.

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This workshop is held in facilities which are in compliance with the Americans Disabilities Act. Please contact the Scaling Up Team at if special accommodations are required.

Audio/Video/Photo Disclosure: Some of the trainings will be audio and/or video recorded. Additionally, photos may be taken and used for website and other promotional materials. By registering for this training you are consenting that you are in agreement of and aware of this disclosure agreement.

There are no known conflicts of interests for this workshop. All grievances must be in writing to, and will be replied to within 5 - 10 business days.