Aug 022015

capmh logo2The Handling Intense Emotions intervention started from a need discovered while running a pilot trial of a treatment foster care program. A paper describing that program and the need for a supplement to address intense emotion outbursts was published last month in the journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health. A large team of folks helped on that paper and I am grateful to them all.


 Posted by at 11:23 pm
Jul 012015

Our two efforts to identify de-escalation strategies have struck gold amidst a mountain of muck. In one project led by Jill Spielfogel, professionals across disciplines nominated over 300 de-escalation strategies. We culled these down to about 90. Twenty-nine brave souls volunteered to sort and rate these strategies. Jill is now analyzing the data using concept mapping software.

Meanwhile, our effort to compile de-escalation strategies from the peer reviewed literature yielded over 1000 strategies, including duplicates!! In this photo, Jill and Sav Felix are seen in our initial efforts to make sense of them. We printed each one on a post it and started moving the post-its around my office wall. Yikes!  This is old school data analysis.

jill and sav sort

Two sorting stages later, it is beginning to make sense.  We have learned an amazing amount during these past few months. We can’t wait to get these efforts into a format that we can disseminate and eventually add into the Handling Intense Emotions curriculum.

 Posted by at 5:22 pm
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