05 SES 12, Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Using the technique of mental imagery (experiential strategy of Leslie Greenberg), we co-constructed emotional experiences of children, who narrated familiar scenarios and showed stereotypes, in physical spaces that are "discursive spaces": children are agents of their lives, sharing locations with adults and peers. A boy of middle school or coming from an institutional environment has a father somewhere (another space) with a culture and a relationship, a social language, which lacked the everyday boy, separated from him.
This study is part of the project «Development of Skills for Health and Healthy Sexuality from the Identify Needs in School and Institutional Environment» (PTDC/CPE-CED/120404/2010.
In Portugal, one of the common reasons for the institutionalization of child/youth concerns be considered his family "dysfunctional": by experience episodes of domestic/intimate partner violence, existing reduced bonds, frequent change of home and/or communication limited and limited rules (ambivalent or inadequate) even recorded events fall family crises: death and separation/divorce. The condition of emigration and the prolonged absence of significant figure (like his father) is associated with adversity, and about 30% of children/young people separated justifies specialized care (Social Security Institute, 2012, March), and we don’t know if the custody is concerned or consequence of presenting problem (Harrison et al., 2006, p. 341).
The empirical study is according to the theory of the emotions of Joseph LeDoux (1996, 2003), about the the amygdala cerebral system: it is unconscious (emotions can exist without cognition, i.e. without conscious thoughts and images) ( Zajonc , 1984 ); is the higher the path speed in the amygdala - emotions may exist prior to cognition (Zajonc, 1984); is an automatic system, unlike flexibility and choice in the hippocampal system and higher cortical systems; in addition, to the permanent emotional memories appear earlier in evolutionary terms.
It is known that the "mental schemes" (scripts, daily routines) can’t be eradicated completely, and we have the support of other theory - the theory of Jeffrey Young (2003) about “schemes”. We have about eighteen "maladjustment schemes", with origin in childhood: emotional instability, dependency/vulnerability; self/insufficient self-discipline, need of appreciation/recognition, punitive stance (...). In turn, these family schemes are grouped to six "domains" (bonds- rejection, autonomy – bad school performance, rules limited; no orientation to the other; excessive vigilance of parents/caregivers and inhibition of child), with three types of coping associated with them (resignation/" stop "; escape, and excessive compensation).
The goals of the intervention and diagnosis was planned, under the following guidelines: (1) To elicit and identify "family schemes", (2) To understand their familiar bases, with distinct culture and relationships from residential facilities; (3) To make connections between past schemes and current problems; and (4) To help the child to experience emotions associated with "adaptive" schemes.
In Portugal, is justified the training of social skills, the establishment of youth clubs and meetings about “difficult” social, and emotional topics. But we need to attack the problems of vagrancy and substance abuse, with agencies and the protection of young people. It is thought the construction of residential units, for treatment in severe cases of juvenile delinquency.
We aim to identify, with children, how to improve the environment in social homes, providing technical support to caregivers, in order to deal with their “bad” behaviors and reduce up emotional conflicts. It is in course the training of the ability to solve problems, for the education of adolescents.
To paraphrase the philosopher Theodor Adorno (1903-1969), who said « thought [dialectical] advances the extreme (opposite) and persists for [common] means», we can say to be children/youth placed in extreme conditions, to make us better understand what most children experience in situation, in everyday family life.
Bourgès, S. (1978, original 1955). Approche génétique et psychanalytique de l’enfant, 2e. Éd. Neuchâtel: Delachaux et Niestlé. Corman, L. (1967). Le test du dessin de famille dans la pratique médico-pédagogique, 2e Éd. Paris: P.U.F. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2008). Research methods in education. 6th Ed. London: Routledge. Iñiguez, L. (2007). Análise del discurso. Manual para las ciencias socials, 2ª Ed. Barcelona: EDIUOC. Goodenough, F. (1926). Measurement of intelligence by drawings. Chicago: World Books. Greenberg, L. & Paivio, S. (1997). Working with emotions in psychotherapy. N.Y.: Guilford. Greenberg, L., Rice, L., & Elliot, R. (1993). Facilitating emotional change: The moment-by-moment process. N.Y.: Guilford. Harrison, P., Geddes, J. & Sharpe, M. (2006). Guia prático de psiquiatria. Lisboa: Climepsi. Instituto da Segurança Social (2012, março). Relatório de Caracterização das Crianças e Jovens em Situação de Acolhimento em 2011. Lisboa: Instituto da Segurança Social. Kosslyn, S. M. & Rosenberg, R. S. (2004). Psychology: The brain, the person and the world. N.Y.: Pearson, 2nd ed. LeDoux, J. (1996). The emotional brain. N.Y.: Simon & Schuster. LeDoux, J. (2003a). The self. N.Y.: Academy of Science. Richard, J.-F. (1990). Les activités mentales. Paris: Seuil. Rose, G. (2005). Visual methodologies. London: Sage. Zajonc, R. (1984). On the primacy of affect. American Psychologist, 39, 117-123. Zamith-Cruz, J. (2007). Estruturas básicas de conhecimento – Esquemas mentais e experiências na infância. Tese de Mestrado em Filosofia, área de ciências cognitivas, não publicada. Braga: Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
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