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2014-25: Helpers and Heroes: SFT for people with MID (Call 2014-25)

Target group

Clients with an IQ of 60 to 80, who have mild to severe intellectual disabilities in the conceptual, social and practical domain. And who also have/display (a history of) problem behaviour and a moderate to high risk of recidivism.

Helpers and Heroes 

In 2015, the Behavioural Interventions Recognition Committee of the Ministry of Justice recognised the treatment of Schema-Focused Therapy (SFT). This is a variant adapted for the forensic field, for the treatment of clients with a personality disorder with a (history) of problem behaviour and a moderate to high risk of recidivism. However, this treatment is not indicated for clients with MID, because it requires a meta-cognitive ability, i.e. the ability to reflect on one's own thinking, feeling and behaviour. In people with MID, this ability is usually very limited. The conceptual and intellectual limitations can make it difficult to understand regular SFT, and therefore, to use this form of treatment properly. The implementers of this project have worked on an adaptation that makes SFT also suitable for the (forensic) MID target group. The name "Helpers and Heroes" refers to the objective of this treatment: to strengthen healthy modes.

Application and effect

SFT for people with MID has been piloted at FPC De Rooyse Wissel and Trajectum. The experiences of both practitioners and patients working with this method were positive. "Helpers and Heroes" consists of a theoretical manual, a treatment protocol, a session protocol, a card set and workbooks for participants and their support system. The so-called support system is defined as the person in charge of the treatment, the practitioner, the behavioural expert, the personal counsellor, sociotherapists and/or other counsellors or family members. The product is not only applicable to forensic clients but also clients with an MID receiving regular mental health care and disabled care. In the coming years, more extensive research will be conducted into the usability and effectiveness of SFT for people with MID. The plan is also to implement SFT for people with MID at more institutions. The aim is to eventually submit SFT for people with MID to the Behavioural Interventions Recognition Committee.

Executive party

FPC De Rooyse Wissel and Trajectum