The STEPPS program is an educational program with various levels for coping with strong emotional fluctuations taken from Nancee S. Bloom, 2012. In the original version, it is designed for adults with a borderline personality disorder, but in our institution we adjusted it to the population of children in educational institutions.
The STEPPS programme addresses the borderline personality disorder as an emotional regulation disorder. The programme uses a pedagogical approach, meaning that participants first learn about intense emotional instability; how to follow their emotional fluctuations and how to make sense of their emotions. The second, very important part of the programme (running parallel to the first one), is to teach the participants strategies and skills for effective coping with intense emotions. Our institution adapted the programme of the author, Nancee S. Bloom, 2012.The person engaged has a support person (in our case, it can be a teacher, educator) who can be turned to get assistance in implementing the tasks within the programme.
In the population of adolescents with reduced intellectual abilities, it is very important for the program to be adapted to their understanding, while at the same time it remains open enough for those who are capable of more self-reflection. In the process of customizing the program, the initially set meetings were divided into several shorter phases that the adolescents were able to follow. In addition to behavioural techniques to release the autonomic nervous system, we also teach our adolescents to be able to recognise their negative filters for information processing and reflect their own experience and experience of others. The weekly monitoring of emotional fluctuations of individuals has proved to be a very effective part of the programme in order to make sense of their feelings and monitor progress.
Bloom, N.S., Bartels, N. E., St. John, D. in Pfohl, B. (2012). STEPPS. Coralville: Level One.
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