Intervention in Children and Adolescents from Third Generation Therapies: Clinical and Technological Contributions

The promotion and development of emotional regulation skills are currently the focus of attention in interventions with a transdiagnostic perspective; that is, focusing the intervention beyond symptoms and directing it towards the competencies that are at the base and are common to different forms of psychopathology. In turn, third-generation therapies, focused on the functional analysis of problems, mindful attention to emotions, and behavioral activation based on acceptance and commitment to values, approach this transdiagnostic perspective, and both intervention models have been validated in child and adolescent populations. Furthermore, problems with emotional regulation in children and adolescents can result in difficulties in their interpersonal relationships, impulsiveness, anxiety, anger attacks, low frustration tolerance, sadness, etc. On the other hand, the use of ICT is increasingly common in clinical psychology, making the intervention process more agile, autonomous, effective, and cost/benefit-efficient. 

Therefore, this symposium aims to continue providing empirical evidence on the usefulness of third-generation therapies in the treatment of child and adolescent psychological disorders, with a special emphasis on working with values; as well as illustrating the application of clinical strategies specific to these therapies in intervention protocols with a transdiagnostic perspective, and showing the innovative aspects of using ICTs (specifically, serious games) as intervention tools. 

In this symposium, the first communication consists of a review on the therapeutic efficacy of emotional regulation in the improvement of emotional disorders in childhood and adolescence, synthesizing different innovative protocols from a transdiagnostic perspective. The second communication presents the adaptation of an instrument that evaluates values in adolescents, as the work with values is a central axis in third-generation therapies (especially in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), both to facilitate motivation for change and to provide a therapeutic framework, and because there is no formal instrument with optimal psychometric properties for its evaluation in adolescent populations. The third communication presents the usefulness of serious games as an intervention format in children and adolescents, with special emphasis on gamification systems that help improve motivation and adherence of patients, as well as allow them to directly or indirectly acquire emotional competencies and a connection between their skills in the game world and their actions towards their values in their daily lives. The fourth communication presents a case study of a child with anxious symptoms applying clinical methods of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (experiential exercises, mindfulness, and metaphors) to work on values, psychological acceptance, and defusion.


University of Almeria. Spain

Dr. Inmaculada Gómez Becerra is a Professor at the University of Almería (Spain), She has 4 six-year research periods, 1 six-year transfer period, and 5 five-year teaching periods (with a special mention for the Teaching Excellence Award). Her research work focuses on the analysis of risk and protection factors for psychological problems in childhood and adolescence, with emphasis on education and emotional regulation and parental educational styles; on intervention with families using third-generation therapies; and on the role of ICTs in promoting emotional well-being in children, adolescents, and families. She has more than 130 publications, more than 170 conference participations, and 17 research projects; she has supervised 7 doctoral theses; she is a reviewer for national and international journals and a member of different scientific committees. She directs the research group “Advances in research and epidemiology with children, adolescents, and families”. She has participated in and/or coordinated different training activities for professionals from different fields (education, psychology, medicine), and has carried out numerous family schools and interventions on emotional regulation in adolescents. She holds a degree in General Health Psychology and is a Family Therapist at the Inpaula/Imparables Neurorehabilitation Centre (EBT-Spin-off of the University of Almeria).