Adolescent Emotional Growth Continuum
- Severe Emotional & Behavioral dysregulation requiring a restrictive setting (inpatient or residential)
- Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorder
- Significant Dysregulation in one or more domains
- At-Risk Adolescents characterized by mild or early indicators of mental health needs (e.g., school difficulties, attentional problems, sad or anxious mood, family conflict)
- Typical Adolescence (allows for Isolated or contextual dysregulation): normal moodiness, occasional relational difficulties, and perhaps experimentation with risky behaviors
- Growth Mindset characterized by Resiliency, Competence and Confidence.
|Dysregulation Domains||Social and Emotional (SEL)Learning Domains||Tactical Skill|
|Challenge Area||Goal||How to Achieve|
|Self-dysregulation||Self-Awareness & Creativity||Mindful Action|
|Behavioral Dysregulation||Self-management||Distress Tolerance|
|Emotion Dysregulation||Emotion Management||Emotion Regulation|
|Interpersonal Dysregulation||Empathy & Teamwork||Interpersonal Effectiveness|
|Cognitive dysregulation &
|Responsibility and Problem Solving||Flexible Thinking & Value Clarification|
Characteristics of Challenges
- Self-dysregulation: Lacking awareness of emotions, thoughts, action urges; poor attentional control; unable to reduce one’s suffering while also having difficulty accessing pleasure; identity confusion, sense of emptiness, and dissociation.
- Behavioral dysregulation: Impulsive behaviors such as cutting classes, blurting out in class, spending money, risky sexual behavior, risky online behavior, bingeing and/or purging, drug and alcohol abuse, aggressive behaviors, suicidal and nonsuicidal self-injurious behaviors.
- Emotion dysregulation: Emotional vulnerability; emotional reactivity; emotional lability; angry outburst; steady negative emotional states such as depression, anger, shame, anxiety, and guilt; deficits in positive emotions and difficulty in modulating emotions.
- Interpersonal dysregulation: Unstable relationships, interpersonal conflicts, chronic family disturbance, social isolation, efforts to avoid abandonment, and difficulties getting wants and needs met in relationships and maintaining one’s self-respect in relationships.
- Cognitive dysregulation and family conflict: Nondialectical thinking and acting (ie., extreme, polarized, or black-or-white), poor perspective taking and conflict resolution, invalidation of self and other, difficulty effectively influencing own and others’ behaviors (i.e., obtaining desired changes).
Tactical Skills that Can be Learned
- Mindful Action Skills: are used to decrease identity confusion, feelings of emptiness, and emotion dysregulation
- Distress Tolerance Skills: are used to decrease impulsive behavior, suicide threats, and self-injury behaviors
- Emotion Regulation Skills: are used to effectively cope with anger, fear, shame and sadness
- Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: are used to decrease interpersonal chaos and feeling of abandonment. they are skills that are used to ask for effectively, to set boundaries, and to say “no” effectively
- Flexible Thinking & Value Clarification Skills: are used to develop a Growth Mindset vs. a Fixed Mindset while guiding action around connecting, giving, being active, challenging oneself