The research on behavior disorders (Loeber et al., 1998) shows they are characterized by the difficulty of controlling and managing emotions, and by a compromised capability of facing the external world.
Trainings based on coping strategies (Meichenbaum, 1988) and emotional states’ mentalization (Bateman & Fonagy, 2010) have demonstrated their effectiveness by reducing behavior issues, aggressive conducts, and by preventing substance abuse amongst adolescents.
This intervention focuses on a small group of adolescents aged 14 to 17 years diagnosed with a behavior disorder; it aims at increasing the emotional and behavioral self-regulation, the abilities of identifying, validating and expressing emotions and facilitating self-control over maladaptive behavior.
The intervention is divided into 14 meetings: the first session focuses on the enhancement of assertive abilities and emotions’ mentalization; the second session concerns the increment of coping strategies, through the use of role playing, problem solving and circle time techniques.
We will present and discuss the results regarding the growth of mental state's consciousness of one self and of others’, the adoption of adaptive coping strategies and the achievement of a more adaptive behavior.