An occupational therapy emotion regulation and problem solving program for incarcerated women
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Incarcerated women face increased barriers to successful community reintegration, often including a history of trauma and poor coping skills. Using a composite of several theories, the author’s proposed model of the problem states that as women return to the community following incarceration, maladaptive thought processes and decreased problem solving abilities may lead to detrimental behavior resulting in recidivism. The author suggests that an occupational therapy emotion regulation and problem solving program beginning in prison and continuing into the community will afford women the skills necessary to respond appropriately to stressors and prevent recidivism. Phase one of the proposed program consists of six modules introduced in three-hour weekly sessions in the prison environment, which will focus on emotion regulation and problem solving strategy development. Phase two of the program begins after the women have reentered the community and consists of monthly individual visits between the occupational therapy facilitator and participants. In addition, weekly phone calls will be initiated to reinforce learned concepts and provide an environment of support. As demonstrated throughout the author’s proposal, this nine-month program has the potential to decrease recidivism, lower taxpayer financial burden, and rebuild damaged communities.