Behavioral Disorders: Intervention Strategies And Practical Case

Behavioral disorders can be diverse, but they generally make relationships difficult for those who suffer from them, depending on the type and degree. It is necessary to know how to identify these disorders in time to be able to offer the best therapy and treatment in each case. Likewise, it is equally important to know what is the best form of intervention in each case. For this reason, in PsicologíaOnline we show intervention strategies with a practical case of behavioral disorders.

Introduction of the case study on behavioral disorders

There is a demand for advice from the teaching team about a student with conduct disorder. Taking 1st ESO. Discontent of the teaching team. Overload due to the constant actions of said student, as well as the impossibility they report to teach the class.

One of the most worrying situations for parents and educators is seeing how their children and students present difficulties when accepting norms that most children accept and comply with in a normal way. We could say that the decisive factors for the current situation are the environment in which we live of uncertainty and obsolescence of everything, as well as a society that encourages individualism, extreme competitiveness and materialism, and the tendency to delegate parental functions. to the school context only, without an adequate connection and interaction between both systems. As a consequence, up to 15% of minors present aggressive, violent and even criminal actions.

Given all this, our role as educational psychologists It will be the same role as with other students who have specific needs; However, due to the type of disorder we must emphasize that the educational and therapeutic approach will depend on the moment in the evolution of the disorder, the aid must be sustained, adequate and sufficient over time, we will not delay the answers, we will propose a global response to the problem. problem and we will promote an individual approach. Our goal will always be help the student and his family understand the situation, provide the help that the minor requires to promote the development of their personal identity with the achievement of a positive self-image and feelings of healthy self-esteem. Throughout the process, it will be essential to provide the necessary support to the family to help their child.

Behavioral disorders: intervention strategies and case study - Introduction of the case study on behavioral disorders

Steps to extract information in cases of behavioral disorders

The intervention team will be multidisciplinary (psychopedagogical and socio-health network) and will include the minor’s family. On the one hand, work must be carried out to understand the situation with a global approach to the set of adolescent needs. On the other hand, a progressive construction of the case since the objective is not to simply change behaviors, but help the minor transform his behavior taking responsibility for your life. Before dealing with the claim, we must not only understand but have the basic premises that help us also understand what to do, which is why we must ask ourselves: What is TC? What should be understood? What should be avoided? What do we have to be aware of? And what is there to recognize?

What is TC and what needs to be understood

The entire team must share the same representation of the problem, which is that antisocial behavior, whether due to excess or inhibition, is the symptom that shows us the consequences of the feeling that overwhelms the minor of having experienced dispossession, which is why it demands through their conduct the right to be considered and to be helped to overcome this feeling of pain and loss, in an unfinished mourning. The minor does not know the reason why he feels so bad about the will of others or why his opinions are so disturbing. There are even cases in which he may express surprise at his own behavior.

Once the minor recognizes this feeling and manages to understand the reason why they behave the way they do, it is when they can begin to work to progressively dissolve the disorder, being able to change the position of passivity from here on. and victimization that people with CD problems usually take with respect to others and events.

What to avoid in cases of CT

Not pathologizing or labeling the minor, as this will only lead to negative consequences and will not open the way for us to help the minor.

What do we have to be aware of?

Of the suffering that the person affected by the problem has, since it is the only way to understand their experience and to be able to properly analyze the situation and help them.

What to recognize

CD is not a static disorder, we are facing an anomalous evolutionary process, with a silent insidious onset, due to failure to adequately overcome the different stages of the life cycle. We must therefore recognize the temporal moment in which the disorder is found: Reactive Start – installation of suffering: presence of strong emotional lability, pain due to forgotten reminiscences of their past, chronic and diffuse anxiety, hyper/hypoactivity, restlessness and anguish- Stagnant Time – deep feeling of failure and indignity that is difficult to understand by the minor, anger with the world, unhealthy self-esteem, an identity that does not satisfy him and, in the face of all this, permanent struggle -, and Disordered Resolution – defiant, antisocial and violent behavior in an attempt to escape and to avoid his world of nightmares -.

Other issues to take into account will be Identify the main signs that make up the personality: how your personality is made up and what is the relationship you maintain with your environment (family, school and social). At the level of the minor: scope of the body and health –> self-image and self-care, as well as its relationship with sexuality; area of ​​emotions and mood –> emotional lability and manifestations of anxiety and sadness; scope of thought –> alteration in communication, inflexible thinking and reasoning; scope of behavior –> from difficulty in social skills, through not belonging to the group or closing in on oneself. At the environmental level: Characteristics of the family context –> lack of limits, no family interaction, empathy problems, absence of father or mother figures, passive support, excessive protection, comparison of the minor with powerful figures in the family, etc. … Characteristics of the school and social context –> lack of project, mistrust towards personal advancement, towards adults and teachers, stigmas, segregations, difficulties in attention, excess activity, repeated changes of center, lack of ties, social isolation, etc… This knowledge is important because, sometimes, the escalation of aggression in minors is due to the need to defend themselves against a hostile world that sends negative signals about them and rejects them.

On the other hand, Previouser the different courses that the disorder can take. Once the TC is established, depending on the measures that have been adopted, there will be different derivations in the following stages of the life cycle, of which we must be aware, towards a personality disorder in children and towards the manifestation of temperamental difficulties. of significant severity in girls.

Therefore, when faced with the demand, as essential elements for the assessment, we must understand what we are talking about, understand the feeling of the minor, identify the moment in which he is, identify the most representative signs of his person, and carefully analyze the characteristics of the systems in which it interacts (family, social and school).

Identification and assessment of needs of students with behavioral disorders

The objective of the identification and assessment of SEN or special needs It is the determination of the educational actions or aid that must be provided to the student with these needs, reflecting on the adequacy of the educational response to the real needs and characteristics of these students.

Before starting the assessment, it is necessary to be clear that a link must be established between the person evaluating, the minor being evaluated and what is being evaluated. We will take into account that each student has their own times, the strategy is to establish a rhythm appropriate to their particularity and need. Furthermore, due to the type of disorder, the assessment is an opportunity for the minor to learn about a new form of relationship, communication and treatment, very different from what the minor is accustomed to in his or her daily life.

The assessment must seek plural responses with a comprehensive and global approach: the TC will be considered from a multi-contextual criterion and with a multidisciplinary intervention: medical, psychopedagogical and schoolIn addition to being essential, the active participation of the familiar surroundingsparents or guardians.

In the case of TC, the main competencies involved in the assessment process are those linked to behaviors related to interaction and social bond, as well as compliance and acceptance of age-specific social norms. These aspects are priorities in the needs identification process.

Script for the assessment process of the conduct disorder case

Assessment of the basic characteristics of the student

Regarding your body and sexuality (what image you have of yourself, how you take care of your body, manifestations around your sexuality), emotions (detection of variations in mood, manifestations of anxiety or sadness, fears or fears), acts of thought (what alterations exist in the communicative function, types of thoughts and reasoning) and behaviors (type of non-normative behaviors such as disobedience, opposition, aggression, violence, risky behaviors, etc…).

This implies a non-intrusive interaction with him, as it would increase the rejection and defense position; deciding the number of professionals who will interact with him, to prevent him from feeling “judged by a court”, with alternative mechanisms to the typical interview. Achieve a definition of their situation based on the child’s consent to speak in an environment in which he or she feels safe and confident, with conversation being one of the backbones of the needs identification process. We will focus on qualitative aspects, through detailed observation adapted to the times, without haste, assessing the intensity and frequency of the behaviors as well as the contexts in which they occur.

Assessment of the contextual conditions in which the student interacts

From the school perspective, the school curriculum is the basic reference for the identification of NEEs and for the determination of the specific services that the student needs. The assessment must provide us with the type and degree of specificity of the necessary curricular adjustments in relation to the minor and the means of access to the curriculum that must be provided. To do this, we will focus on aspects such as current competencies in relation to the curriculum, learning difficulties, difficulties in the classroom in interaction with teachers and other students, interests or preferences, etc… From the perspective of the family and their social context, emotional aspects, interpersonal relationships with their family and their social context. It will delve into aspects that help us understand the subjective discomfort that determines the disorder.

We will need information on everything related to family history related to learning and/or behavior problems, the child’s development (motor, language, relational, etc.), current behavior at home or in other environments, possible family problems, How does it establish relationships or social ties… The goal is to identify factors and variables that can promote the minor’s behavior.

Assessment of the evolutionary stage in which the disorder is found

Depending on the temporal moment of the disorder (see section 2: “temporal moment in which the disorder is found”), it will be necessary to adapt guidelines for action and define the priorities of the intervention. Given the non-static nature of the disorder, the needs will not be the same when the patient is at the moment of onset of suffering as when they are already engaged in challenging and antisocial behavior. The final stage of the assessment will be the preparation of a story with all the information, as a resource to synthesize and reflect on the process carried out, and will allow us to personalize the comprehensive attention that the student needs and provide continuity over time. Once the assessment has been carried out, we would enter the intervention phase, with the generation of a plan of actions and supports in the different contexts, a monitoring plan and an evaluation of the Plan and/or rectification of actions and supports.

For an intervention to be effective, it is required that the Centers, as educational institutions, receive sufficient attention from the Psychopedagogical Teams (psychologists, pedagogues and social workers), sufficient support teachers who can respond to personalized and specialized attention, and a minimum level of specific training for ordinary teachers (tutors and specialists) who are the true agents of treatment in the school continuum. Once action behaviors become thinking behaviors, we will be witnessing the transformation process.

Conduct disorders: intervention strategies and practical case - Guide to the assessment process of the conduct disorder case

This article is merely informative, at PsychologyFor we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Behavioral disorders: intervention strategies and practical case we recommend that you enter our Clinical Psychology category.

  • Bolea, E., Burgos, FJ, Duch, R. & Vilà, F. Conduct disorders. Subject Module “Psychopedagogical Intervention in Developmental Disorders”. Barcelona: UOC.
  • American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2002). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR). Barcelona: Ed. Masson.
  • Conduct disorder – Retrieved on April 20, 2008 from

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