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Stepping Stones – a group therapy programme for the treatment of emotion regulation difficulties in offenders with an intellectual disability

Paul Oxnam (Senior Clinical Psychologist at Te Korowai Whariki – The Central Region Forensic Mental Health, Rehabilitation & Intellectual Disability Service, Wellington, New Zealand)
and
Emma Gardner (Senior Clinical Psychologist at Te Korowai Whariki – The Central Region Forensic Mental Health, Rehabilitation & Intellectual Disability Service, Wellington, New Zealand)

Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2042-0927

Article publication date: 10 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The current paper aims to provide an overview of the Stepping Stones Group Therapy Programme. Stepping Stones is an innovative 42‐week programme that comprehensively addresses the emotion regulation needs of offenders with an intellectual disability.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the process of implementing a group treatment programme in a secure forensic intellectual disability service.

Findings

Since the inception of the programme, there has been a reduction in both the frequency of aggression and the need for physical and chemical de‐escalation. In addition, clients have demonstrated a greater understanding of their emotional responses and an improved ability to use functional means of managing distress and solving life problems.

Originality/value

This paper shows that, although implementing group therapy programmes for clients with intellectual disabilities and co‐morbid emotion regulation difficulties can be daunting, treatment with this group of clients can be successful and rewarding.

Keywords

Citation

Oxnam, P. and Gardner, E. (2011), "Stepping Stones – a group therapy programme for the treatment of emotion regulation difficulties in offenders with an intellectual disability", Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 146-151. https://doi.org/10.1108/20420921111207828

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited