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Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving Program and Emotion Dysregulation: A Pilot Study

Boccalon, Silvia PsyD; Alesiani, Roberta PsyD; Giarolli, Laura PsyD; Fossati, Andrea PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: March 2017 - Volume 205 - Issue 3 - p 213–216
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000640
Original Articles

The aim of this study was to assess the observed changes on emotion dysregulation obtained through the Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) program. The sample is composed of 24 subjects with a personality disorder with borderline features. All participants filled out the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS). There was a significant decrease in the DERS total score at the end of the treatment and at 6-month follow-up. Friedman test showed a significant decrease in suicide attempts and hospitalizations over time. The analysis of the DERS subscales showed that “goals” and “impulse” were the two dimensions on which the treatment acted and the changes were stable over time. STEPPS is associated with an improvement in emotion regulation and a reduction in the number of hospitalizations and suicide attempts. The treatment seems to act on the behavioral dimensions of emotion dysregulation like the ability to control impulsive behaviors and to achieve goals.

*Department of Clinical Neurosciences, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan; and †Department of Humanities, LUMSA University, Rome, Italy.

Send reprint requests to Silvia Boccalon, PsyD, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Unit, San Raffaele Hospital, 20 Stamira d'Ancona Street, 20127 Milan, Italy. E-mail:

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