Academic journal article The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

Family Mode Deactivation Therapy (FMDT): A Randomized Controlled Trial for Adolescents with Complex Issues

Academic journal article The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

Family Mode Deactivation Therapy (FMDT): A Randomized Controlled Trial for Adolescents with Complex Issues

Article excerpt

The family environment is the most violent setting in our society outside of policing and military associations (Daly & Wilson, 1997). While it is true that many twin and adoption studies found that there is a heritable variation in humans that partly explain a predisposition for violence and criminal behavior, there is also a general agreement that many great variations in levels of aggression cannot be explained by genetic makeup--the most dramatic being "swift changes in the level of violence within single societies" (Takala, 2010, p. 27) and its smaller units--families. It is estimated that 3 million children witness domestic violence annually (Sousa, Herrenkohl, Moylan, Tajima, Klika, Herrenkohl, & Russo, 2011), resulting in one in four children developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (ptsd) by the time they reach 16 years of age (Bernardon & Pernice-Duca, 2010). PTSD develops in childhood during attachment periods and has profound influences on families' emotional context. Symptoms can occur at any age and are usually distinguished in comorbidities such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. The trauma need not happen directly to the child, but the genetic predisposition can be passed from a parent who is suffering their own mental issues, and the child's vulnerability is often further exacerbated in a shared conducive environment (Stein, Jang, Taylor, Vernon, & Livesley, 2002; Yehuda, Halligan, & Bierer, 2001). ptsd is simply living and coping within an environment that has real or perceived threats to the individual. Exposure can produce disorganized or agitated behavior, intense fear, helplessness and horror (Bernardon & Pernice-Duca, 2010). The fact that adolescents with disruptive behavior, complex comorbid problems, and personality disorder traits are deemed as difficult to treat, and often perpetuate the cycle of violence in their own lives, underline the dire need for effective mental health treatment within distressed families.

* Literature review

The family structure has been studied intensively and is directly responsible for our children's emotional, mental and behavioral health. Jean Piaget termed his study cognitive development, Kohlberg researched moral development, and Erickson focused on psychosocial development (Barnes, Plotnikoff, Fox, & Pendleton, 2000); they all centered on the first social environment a child encounters--their family. The family defines individual roles and social expectations (Peterson & Green, 2009). The child relies on the family unit to appraise any traumatic events and put them in perspective. All things normal and maladaptive start within the home. A child's misbehavior is a symptom of the family environment and must be treated within this environment as "productive adaptation will not occur on its own" (Bernardon & Pernice-Duca, 2010. p 353). Healing the family as a unit increases mutual support, communication skills, understanding and problem solving abilities. Spirituality, faith and religion within the family unit has been linked to lower stress, increase healing and develop positive sense of well-being for everyone (Barnes, Plotnikoff, Fox & Pendleton, 2000). Medical schools around the country have included mind, body and spirit into their medical schools; centering spirituality as a strong medicine (Barnes, et al. 2000). These insights and practices suggest that the addition of mindfulness and spiritual exercises in family therapy is promising as tools to raise self-regulation and conscious awareness. As such, many third wave psychotherapies--a heterogeneous group of approaches that reformulate and synthesize previous generations of behavioral and cognitive therapy into contextual and experiential change strategies--have incorporated mindfulness as a core component in the treatment plan. These approaches include Mindful-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Mode Deactivation Therapy (MDT). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.