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Transformers: a programme for people with an intellectual disability and emotion regulation difficulties

Jenna McWilliams (Department of Psychology, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand)
Ian de Terte (Department of Psychology, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand)
Janet Leathem (Department of Psychology, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand)
Sandra Malcolm (Mental Health ID Team, Te Korowai Whariki, Porirua, New Zealand)
Jared Watson (Mental Health ID Team, Te Korowai Whariki, Porirua, New Zealand)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Publication date: 8 December 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The Transformers programme is a community-based intervention for people with an intellectual disability (ID) who have emotion regulation difficulties, which can manifest as aggressive and challenging behaviour. The programme was adapted from the Stepping Stones programme (Oxnam and Gardner, 2011) – an emotion regulation programme for offenders with an ID who live in an inpatient setting. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of the Transformers programme that has been implemented at an ID service, which provides secure and supervised care to people who have been convicted of an imprisonable offence or have high and complex behaviour needs.

Design/methodology/approach

The Transformers programme is delivered in weekly sessions over a six-month period in a group format. The focus is on helping group members to develop skills in recognising and understanding negative emotions and learning skills to cope effectively with such emotions. Treatment covers a variety of modules including relaxation, goal setting, chain analysis, emotion recognition, and emotion regulation. Specific strategies used include role-plays, DVDs, and quizzes.

Findings

This paper presents the rationale, developmental history, and description of a specific approach to the treatment of emotion regulation difficulties.

Originality/value

The paper aims to inform health professionals working in the field of ID.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Paul Oxnam for his assistance with the preparation of this manuscript. The authors also wish to acknowledge Rosanne Johnston (Operations Manager, ID Services), Michael Dorofaeff (Team Leader, MHID team), Marc Tonkin (Clinical Leader, Timata Hou), and Paul Oxnam along with other individuals within the ID sector who have been supportive of the programme.

Citation

McWilliams, J., de Terte, I., Leathem, J., Malcolm, S. and Watson, J. (2014), "Transformers: a programme for people with an intellectual disability and emotion regulation difficulties", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 178-188. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-06-2014-0009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited