The Dysregulated Adult

The Dysregulated Adult

Integrated Treatment Approaches

1st Edition - February 17, 2012

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  • Author: Georgia DeGangi
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123850119
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123850126

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People experiencing disorders in regulation are highly sensitive to stimulation from the environment, emotionally reactive, and have difficulty maintaining an organized and calm life style. They are impulsive, easily frustrated, and as a result make decisions that lead to an overwrought state-or who conversely retreat entirely from the world. This disorder is most likely to accompany diagnoses of bipolar or mood disorder, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, eating or sleep disorders, and/or attention deficit disorder. This book instructs therapists how best to treat the dysregulated adult, providing diagnostic checklists, and a chapter by chapter inventory in approaching treatment of dysregulation in a variety of life skills.

Key Features

  • Informs the therapist how dysregulation relates to multiple disorders
  • Includes clinical observations and case studies
  • Gives the therapist tools and techniques for the client to understand his behavior, reframe problems in a positive way, and take responsibility for behavior change
  • Encompasses sensory integration therapy and mind-body techniques for the therapist to guide the client toward self-calming
  • Emphasis on effective relational dynamics between the client and significant persons in his or her life
  • Separate chapters on how to treat dysregulation effects on multiple behaviors, including mood regulation, behavioral control, inattention, sleep, feeding, and social interactions


Practicing clinical psychologists, therapists, and counselors

Table of Contents

  • Dedication



    Chapter 1. Problems of Self-Regulation in Adults

    1 The Concept of Self-Regulation and its Development

    2 What is a Regulatory Disorder in an Adult?

    3 Clinical Significance of Regulatory Problems in Children and Adults

    4 Detailed Description of Regulatory Problems in Adults

    5 Types of Regulatory Problems in Adults

    6 Identifying Problems of Self-Regulation In Adults


    Chapter 2. Mood Dysregulation

    1 What is an Emotion?

    2 Cognitive Appraisal

    3 Physiological Aspects of Emotion

    4 Expression of Emotion

    5 The Socialization of Emotions

    6 Modulation of Emotion and Mood States

    7 A Developmental Structuralist Approach to Organizing Sensory and Affective Experiences

    8 Application of Developmental Structuralist Model

    9 Identifying Causes of Mood Dysregulation

    10 Treatment Approaches


    Further Reading

    Chapter 3. Anxiety Disorders

    1 Symptoms of Anxiety

    2 Neurobiological Mechanisms Underlying Anxiety

    3 Types of Anxiety Disorders in Adults

    4 Strategies to Alleviate Anxiety


    Further Reading

    Chapter 4. Dealing with Depression

    1 Types of Depression

    2 What Causes Depression?

    3 Three Portraits of Depression

    4 Effective Treatments for Persons Suffering from Depression


    Further Reading

    Chapter 5. Eating Disorders

    1 The Many Facts of Eating

    2 What Can Go Wrong?

    3 The First Step: Getting Evaluated

    4 The Assessment

    5 Treatment Intervention


    Further Reading

    Chapter 6. Sleep Disorders

    1 Sleep–Wake Cycles

    2 Stages of Sleep

    3 Sleep Problems in Adults

    4 Impact of Sleep Problems on Everyday Functioning

    5 The Sleep Environment, Cultural Beliefs about Sleep, and Family Sleep Patterns

    6 Sleep Disorders in Persons with Dysregulation

    7 Evaluating Sleep Problems

    8 Management of Sleep Problems


    Chapter 7. Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder

    1 What is Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder?

    2 Is There a Difference Between Healthy Rituals and Obsessive–Compulsive Behavior?

    3 What Causes Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder?

    4 How Can Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder Be Treated?

    5 Common Pitfalls: Things to Avoid


    Further Reading

    Chapter 8. Attentional Problems in Adults

    1 Types of Attentional Problems

    2 Processes that Underlie Attention

    3 What is Attention? Historical Perspectives

    4 Arousal, Alerting, and Sensory Registration

    5 Sustained Attention: Attention-Getting and Attention-Holding

    6 The Role of Effort in Attentional Tasks

    7 Selective Attention: Screening and Selection

    8 Motivation, Persistence, and Self-Control

    9 Treatment Applications


    Further Reading

    Chapter 9. The Sensory Defensive Adult

    1 What is Sensory Integration?

    2 Treatment of Developmental Dyspraxia


    Chapter 10. Addressing Attachment and Problems of Intimacy

    1 Overall Philosophy of Treatment

    2 Attachment Patterns of Persons with Dysregulation

    3 Assessment

    4 Treatment Approaches


    APPENDIX 1. Self-Soothing

    APPENDIX 2. Activities for Problems of Touch

    APPENDIX 3. Moving for Mood Regulation and Sleep

    APPENDIX 4. Improving Your Attention Span

    APPENDIX 5. Distractions for Emotional Regulation

    APPENDIX 6. Positive Self-Talk

    How to Help Change Your Thoughts from Negative to Positive

    APPENDIX 7. Mindfulness: Stilling the Mind

    APPENDIX 8. Systematic Relaxation: Stilling the Body

    APPENDIX 9. Giving and Receiving Validation

    How to Give and Receive Validation

    APPENDIX 10. Finding Pleasure and Making Connections

    APPENDIX 11. Creating Positive Life Experiences

    APPENDIX 12. Changing How You Think

    APPENDIX 13. Increasing Personal Effectiveness

    1. What are You Doing that is Ineffective that You Want to Change?

    2. Listen to the People in Your Life to Get Feedback

    3. Observe Your Limits

    4. Avoid All Categorical Statements

    5. Consequences

    6. Natural Consequences

    7. Doing a Repair

    APPENDIX 14. Observing Your Own Limits

    APPENDIX 15. Taking Control of Your Own Behavior


    Target the Behavior You Want to Change

    Action Steps


    APPENDIX 16. Keeping Track of Positive Behaviors

    APPENDIX 17. Eating Habits and Nutrition

    APPENDIX 18. Strategies for Improving Sleep

    APPENDIX 19. Installing Structure and Organization in Your Life

    APPENDIX 20. Communicating Effectively with Others


Product details

  • No. of pages: 518
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2012
  • Published: February 17, 2012
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123850119
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123850126

About the Author

Georgia DeGangi

Georgia DeGangi, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA, is a clinical psychologist and an occupational therapist. She currently works in private practice at ITS (Integrated Therapy Services) for Children and Families, Inc., in Kensington, Maryland, and has worked at the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Children in Rockville, Maryland, as the Director of Research for the past ten years. She has over 25 years' experience working with infants, children and their families. She has extensive experience with diagnosis and treatment of a range of developmental, sensory, behavioral, and emotional problems. Dr. DeGangi has conducted research for many years to examine the most effective ways of treating children as well as examining how problems in infancy related to self-regulation, sensory processing, attention, and social interactions develop as children grow older. Among her publications are the Test of Sensory Functions in Infants, the Infant/Toddler Symptom Checklist, and the Test of Attention in Infants. Dr. DeGangi is internationally recognized as a leading expert in the assessment and treatment of sensory processing, attention, and interactional problems in infants and children. She was the 1992 recipient of the A. Jean Ayres award from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and has been distinguished in the roster of fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She serves on the faculty at the Infant/Child Mental Health program of the Washington School of Psychiatry and is associate editor of the Journal of Learning and Developmental Disorders.

Affiliations and Expertise

Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children, Rockville, Maryland, USA

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