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Curriculum for Teaching Emotional Self-Regulation

Curriculum for Teaching Emotional Self-Regulation

These lesson plans are designed for a team teaching approach, involving English/Language Arts in collaboration with adjustment counselors, guidance counselors, school psychologists, and other mental health clinicians. They are designed to be used with high school students.

The lesson plans can be used for analyzing virtually any piece of literature depicting characters facing emotional situations and interpersonal conflict. We encourage you to tailor the lesson plans for use with any literature of your choosing, and for this reason the lesson plans and student activity handouts are provided in easily modified format. You can use the four lessons either as a group or individual intervention. You can also use these lessons with a bibliotherapy group.

Theses lessons were developed by the School Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Student manual:

“Brain Driver’s Education: Operator’s Guide to Using Your Brain to Get Where You Want to Go” (PDF)

Lesson on emotional regulation: “How hot or cold does your emotional ‘engine’ run?”

Lesson on self-calming methods: “Downshift to a lower gear, with help from your body”

Lesson on reframing feelings before acting on them: “Slow down and look around you”

Lesson on conflict resolution: “Find the best route to your destination”

Download all lessons and readings in one file

Materials Disclaimer:
© 2010 Massachusetts General Hospital. All rights reserved.

These documents are available under a royalty-free license at and is
provided courtesy of Massachusetts General Hospital (“MGH”). Any modification of this document
is prohibited. This document is intended to provide general educational information concerning
feelings, thoughts and behavior. By making available the information contained in the document,
MGH is not attempting to practice medicine or providing specific medical advice. This document
should not be used as a diagnostic tool or to substitute, replace or overrule a health care
professional’s judgment or clinical diagnosis. Users should consult with a trained mental health
professional for individual situations and for answers to personal questions.


About The Author

Scott Carchedi

Scott Carchedi is co-editor and webmaster of SSWN. He currently serves on the Board of the Illinois Association of School Social Workers and is a school social worker in the western suburbs of Chicago, serving grades K-12.


  1. Beth Page

    This is great! I work at a behavioral school, and this really applies to my students.

    • Scott Carchedi

      Thanks for letting us know, Beth! I also work at a therapeutic program and have found the curriculum useful. It is a bit simplistic and I have started using the School Connect Program which I like even more. Eventually, I plan to write a post on the curriculum. Stay tuned!


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