Apr 252013

Treatment foster parents and programs will get their first glimpse of our Handling Intense Emotions curriculum at the Foster Family Based Treatment Association annual conference in July in Nashville. I will present results of our pilot work on a treatment foster care model to step down youth from residential care to foster care. This study resulted in the need to develop Handling Intense Emotions, as the foster parents wanted more skills to deal with kids emotional volatility and their emotional volatility was disrupting good placements. The presentation will end with a ten minute demonstration of Handling Intense Emotions.

 I would like to make Handling Intense Emotions the cornerstone of a treatment foster care intervention. As it is, we have developed it to be part of a residential program, to be paired with other treatment foster care interventions, or to be used with individual youth and their caregivers in foster care. ffta_logo

Treatment foster care programs too often don’t have a treatment philosophy. In addition, there are too few manualized treatment foster care programs that have undergone any research and evaluation.



 Posted by at 9:09 pm
Apr 252013

MegaphoneLast night, students in my class, Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions for Children and Families, got a bit of a preview of one section of Handling Intense Emotions. I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. But the students seemed to understand the skills we were teaching, played along with the practice exercices and laughed at the right times. Emily was in the class and told me later  she heard only positive comments.

The section I showed was on Validation Plus statements. It builds on Marcia Linehan’s notion of pairing validation statements with change statements. Example: “Of course you are upset that your Mom didn’t visit; anyone in your situation would be upset. At the same time, you have to figure out other ways to express how upset you are other than hitting the wall. It is dangerous and causes damage.” We play on that to think of all kinds of statements that can be paired with validation to help caregivers say what needs to be said and have youth be able to hear it because it follows a well crafted validation statement. After a few practice attempts, the students’ efforts were pretty good.