Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Volume 9, Issue 1, 2017

Article 4
Our Throw Away Children: Extending and Developing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Interventions for High-Risk Populations in the Caribbean

Alvin Thomas
Palo Alto University and University of Michigan School of Public Health, United States


This study investigated the implementation of a newly piloted Emotion Management Programme (EMP), with 14 boys (9-17 years old) housed in a juvenile center in Saint Lucia. The intervention is a skill-oriented cognitive-behavioural therapeutic (CBT) approach addressing behavioural problems among a high-risk group. Cultural and clinical factors were considered in the adaptation of the programme to this specific cultural population. Participants were exposed to the intervention for 3 weeks. There were 3 weekly didactic and interactive sessions, each 2 hours long. Additionally, participants were engaged in other activities related to the intervention such as field trips and sports. Aggressive, delinquent, and conduct disordered behaviours significantly decreased 5 weeks after the intervention for most boys. The current study is one of the few that examines the implementation of such a programme in a clinical population in the region. The findings suggest a possible addition to the programming for similar rehabilitation settings for Caribbean boys.