Segments in this Video

Taming the Problem Child: Setting the Stage (01:52)


Two sets of parents describe the aggression demonstrated by their children. Dr. Ron Federici asserts that the problem can be addressed in a way that goes against natural parental instincts.

Background on Sergei (02:20)

Sergei was found on the streets of St. Petersburg at age 5. His adoptive parents believed they could love him through the problem behaviors he demonstrated. His violence and hatred frighten the parents.

Violent Child (01:40)

Haley is a violent child. Haley is a violent child. Her parents report that she kicks, pinches, and hits them. At age 6, Haley rages throughout the day without provocation. Her parents no longer believe she can be helped.

Institutionalized Children (02:54)

Dr. Federici describes the problems of children who have been institutionalized most of their lives. Children have been deprived is basic human needs such as bonding, food, safety, and more. Dr. Federici believes he as a treatment plan that will with these children.

Attachment Disorders (01:34)

In an unconventional approach to attachment disorders, Dr. Federici does not believe that love is the answer to attachment disorders. He believes that the first step is parental control over the child as a way of building trust.

Level 1 Treatment Program (02:52)

Level 1 of the treatment plan: Sergei is confined for 4 weeks with his parents and cannot separate from them by more than 3 feet. Dr. Federici explains the program to Sergei and his parents.

Sergei Loses His Possessions (03:43)

The next step for Sergei and his parents is to remove the boy from all his possessions. Everything will be boxed up. Dr. Federici informs Sergei about the rules.

Importance of Re-Parenting (01:34)

Dr. Federici's belief that a child's identity must be dismantled in order to build a functioning identity draws criticism from a traditional behaviorist. Dr. Federici explains why these children must be re-parented.

Parental Control (04:25)

Haley's autistic traits may have prevented her from bonding with her parents. Federici believes that her parents must take complete control by starting the Level 1 treatment program. Dr. Federici instructs the parents.

Physical Control (03:43)

Dr. Federici believes that obedience is the first step to attachment. A "sequence 1 hold" will be used on Sergei as it is on Haley. Sergei is put down, and though he resisted, he wept as he had not done before.

Child in a Parent's World (04:18)

Haley lives in her parents' world. They must remain emotionally distant. Haley's mother expresses her frustration. Haley must remain quietly at her parents' sides. Her father puts her in a sequence 1 hold. She relaxes.

To Get Compliance (01:24)

Haley's mother discovers that Haley is not calmed by being in the sequence 1 hold, so she prolongs it until Haley complies with her mother's request. Haley's mother feels like a failure but is determined to be stronger.

New Technique: Sequence 2 Hold (02:15)

Sergei's parents learn the sequence 2 hold. This requires Sergei to sit on his parents' lap to learn about closeness and attachment. He must look directly into his mother's eyes. He is learning a new language: emotion.

Results of Treatment Program (01:41)

Sergei's parents are now in charge of his treatment program. Haley and her mother work in the kitchen together. She says that Haley obeys commands now.

Parent/Child Conflict (02:51)

Sergei misbehaves, and his mother tries to put him in a sequence 2 hold. He fights his mother. A traditional therapist expresses concerns about Federici's techniques.

Haley's Progress (03:55)

Haley and her parents visit Washington, D.C. Dr. Federici practices with her parents and Haley to demonstrate what how to control her violent outburst. Ten weeks into level training, Haley is ready for level 2. She will begin to take more control of her behavior.

Commentary from Traditional Therapist (01:55)

Sergei sits at a table doing homework. He is 4 weeks into level 1 of the program. His parents believe they see some changes in his behavior. A traditional behaviorist questions whether Sergei's long-term behavior is affected by the short-term program.

How to Deal with Failure (01:32)

After 4 months, Haley is back to school away from her parents' watch. Haley's mother suggests that they start the program over. Dr. Federici says that setbacks do not matter. It just means the child needs more, not that the treatment failed.

Intervention Analysis (02:02)

Haley's parents believe she is under control at home, but not at school. Sergei's parents say he is as bad as he was before treatment. A traditional therapist argues for control studies. Dr. Federici defends his treatment.

Credits: Taming the Problem Child (00:34)

Credits: Taming the Problem Child

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Taming the Problem Child

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



Dr. Ron Federici, an American psychologist, has devised a controversial treatment plan to help improve the unacceptable behavior of aggressive, conduct-disordered children. The treatment is tough on both the children and their parents: isolated from the outside world, the children must stay three feet away from their parents at all times and are restrained if they disobey. This Horizon program follows the progress of two children, Haley and Sergei, as they undertake the course of treatment. The question is, does this treatment in any way harm children, or is it as effective and helpful as Dr. Federici believes it will be? A BBC Production. (49 minutes)

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL48791

ISBN: 978-1-62290-174-6

Copyright date: ©2001

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.