Establishing situations, thought models and feelings is important for understanding how a behaviour is produced and controlled.
The way we interpret the information and how we report to situations varies and is related to self-image, self-esteem and current state. The behaviour is driven by the individual subjective reality. This subjective reality is marked by our past experiences. People develop basic beliefs and maxims - so-called basic hypotheses, which represent, primary rules or models, based on experiences (Nordahl 2008: 382). Typically, basic hypotheses are neither understood, nor analysed by the person who developed them. Therefore, they have never been the subject of discussion or correction, and may appear as fundamental truths about human nature and the world in general. By the time the basic hypotheses of a person are attacked, such pressure is stronger than any other. When basic hypotheses create problems for someone, they can be described as negative.
In cognitive approaches, the aim is to create a picture of the relationship between thoughts, feelings, body reactions and behaviours. What the person thinks in a given situation is significant for what he/she feels, what bodily reactions are triggered and how he/she acts. Different elements are parts of a compound system and influence each other. The connection between the elements is often illustrated by means of the "cognitive diamond":
Thus, the category of cognitive-behavioural programs includes the Program "Motivation to change" and the “Program for reducing pre-delinquent and criminal behaviour of children and adolescents at risk".
- Motivation to change program
The program goals:
- Reducing crime recidivism and negativity;
- Social inclusion;
- Moral development.
The skills acquired after completion of the program:
- to acquire information and knowledge about motivation, emotions, communication, relationships and behaviour models;
- to analyse own motivation and to learn how to motivate oneself better to achieve what is planned and reach goals;
- to take responsibility for oneself and one's life;
- to self-discover own life experience;
- to be aware of the reality of where he/she is and the life he/she wants;
- to be aware of values and emotions;
- to learn to develop achievable plans for reaching goals and to determine the actions needed to achieve them;
- to be aware of rights, limits and own possibilities;
- to learn communication skills;
- to perceive the importance of emotions and feelings for health and inner relationships;
- to learn why it is necessary to control anger and not to resort to violence;
- to learn techniques that will help him/her to stay calm;
- to know the stages of change for overcoming crisis or depressive thoughts
The structure of the program: This program contains: 4 modules, 12 sessions, which allow to learn and expand the skills of achieving goals, how to think and take care of oneself and others, how to reduce one's own worries and other people's worries, how to know oneself and one's needs.
- Program for reducing pre-delinquent and criminal behaviours of children and adolescents at risk
This program has an approach based on the latest findings in psychology and neurobiology, complemented by pedagogical methodologies. It comprises a theoretical and a practical section.
It should be emphasized that its structure, the requirements concerning the organization and the way the lessons are carried out, the emphasis laid on interactive techniques and exercises based on the experiences of art crafts (improvisation, movement or visual art exercises) are answers to subtle causalities revealed by the most recent studies and theories in the field of neurobiology and educational sciences.
The program is intended for people under probation body record who need to change their behaviour and adopt a pro-social lifestyle.
The program is aimed for minors aged from 14 to 18.
The target group: a group of 4-10 people under the supervision of the probation body.
People whose problems are based on a range of psychiatric pathologies, severe substance dependence (drugs, alcohol, etc.) and people who have committed sexual offences will not be included in the program.
The program goals:
- Participants to learn about the connection between thought, emotion, belief, behaviour;
- Participants to be able to notice their own thinking and emotions that lead to antisocial and/or criminal behaviour.
- Participants to understand how behaviour can be changed; participants to engage in the process of change.
The modules of the program:
Module I: are set the benchmarks for our work: the anti-social or criminal world in which participants are likely to live and the prosocial world in which we live. Even if the participants will give examples of unpunished offenders who are socially successful people, the facilitators will reject such examples because the question is only whether we want to live pro-social or anti-social and not why some offenders are not punished.
Module II: contains information about the elements in a person's mind that lead to behaviours and how behaviours can be changed. In this module, participants will also learn to notice their own mind. At the end, the participants who have attended and done their homework will be able to think seriously about starting a process of behaviour change process.
Module III: gives participants the context in which to express their expectations, fears about change, the risks they think they will face if they try to change, what are their strengths and what they think about their weaknesses. One or two sessions can now be added for participants, if needed, to strengthen their self-confidence, a process that has started and is implicit in the development of the themes so far. At the end of these sessions, the participants should make the decision to engage in the process of change.
Module IV: consists of the implementation of the recidivism prevention plan. Each participant decides what behaviours they want to change and together with the facilitators, they draw up this plan. At the end of the program, the minors will return to the facilitators whenever they encounter an obstacle or need support, but also after those moments, they have considered to be successes in order to receive confirmation that they are succeeding in maintaining a pro-social behaviour.
The intervention program consists of 20 sessions of 60 minutes each.