Low Arousal Timeline

1987 – Andrew McDonnell runs the first pilot training course (2 days duration) in Birmingham UK for the Low Arousal approach

1988-1992 – A series of pilot training courses are run throughout the UK in childcare, adults with disabilities, autism services

1990 – First series of practitioner articles published by the British Institute of Disabilities.

1992 – Studio 3 is formed as a company

1994 – First article appears which specifically uses the term ‘Low Arousal’

1998 – First published case study of the Low Arousal approach

2002 – The Low Arousal approach formulated from a cognitive behavioural perspective

2004 – Bo Heilskov-Elvén translates some of Professor McDonnell’s work into Danish and then Swedish. 

– Studio 3 training in crisis management is now used in services widely across the UK and the Republic of Ireland

2006 – First full programme on the Studio 3 Low Arousal Approach takes place in Denmark

2010 – Andrew McDonnell’s book 'Managing Aggressive Behaviour in Care Settings: Understanding and Applying Low Arousal Approaches' focuses on the Low Arousal approach with an enhanced emphasis on reflective practice in crisis management and trauma-informed behaviour management

– Bo Heilskov-Elvén publishes (in English) ‘No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming’. This book focuses strongly on the concept of emotional contagion.

– Linda Woodcock and Andrea Page publish a practitioner book called ‘Managing Family Meltdown’. This strongly focuses on supporting parents using the Low Arousal approach.


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