Origin and Purpose

The origin of NEED roots back to a discussion between Tanja Sappok, Anton Došen, Filip Morisse and Brian Fergus Barrett while having dinner at the 2013 EAMHID congress in Estoril, Portugal about the then ongoing further developments of Anton Došen’s Schaal voor emotionele Ontwickeling (SEO) to an extended version SEO-R by Filip Morisse and colleagues in Belgium and to an adapted to adults version SEO-Lukas by Brian Fergus Barrett and colleagues in Germany. Although these developments were commonly appreciated, there was also a shared concern they could lead to the different protagonists in the field growing apart. So the idea was born to bring the protagonists in the field together to discuss the future development of SEO.

This idea propelled further in 2014, when Tanja Sappok visited a symposium on emotional development in Ghent, Belgium and discussed the possibilities to validate SEO on a scientific basis with Claudia Claes, Filip Morisse, Stijn Vandevelde and Anton Došen. It was decided to start a lime-survey among 30 experts in the field based on the items of SEO-R and later hold a meeting with these experts to discuss the results.

This first meeting was held in Berlin in 2015. Based on the results of the lime-survey the attending experts in the field from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands set up the Scale for Emotional Development – Short (SED-S). The Scale and the process leading to it were published as open source (read HERE). The group named itself Network of Europeans on Emotional Development (NEED) and decided to meet once a year to attend the further process of validating the new scale.

In the following years the NEED group met in Enschede (Netherlands, 2016), Ghent (Belgium, 2017), Liebenau (Germany, 2018) and Nottingham (England, 2019). Due to the pandemic situation the meetings in 2020 and 2021 unfortunately had to take place online. Over the years the group expanded and now has members from Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Since 2019 NEED resides as a Special Interest Group (SIG) within the European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability (EAMHID).

You want to become a member of the NEED group? Join EAMHID HERE and indicate your wish to join NEED on the application form.

NEED Meeting 2022 in Barcelona, Spain

NEED Meeting and Symposium 2022

20.10.2022-21.10.2022, Barcelona, Spain

We are happy to invite you to the 2022 NEED Symposium on the emotional development aproach: A new perpective to understand challenging behaviour in people with intellectual disabilities, which will take place on October 20th and 21st, at Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu (Sant Boi, Barcelona), in hybrid format, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

The meeting has been organized by the Network of Europeans on Emotional Development (NEED), a group of professionals from the European Society for Mental Health and Intellectual Disability (EAMHID), together with the Xarxa de Salut Mental from Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu.  

Some of the most frequent disorders in people with intellectual disability are behavioural disorders, which are observed in 30-60% of cases. Mediterranean countries currently work with a positive behavioural support model, a British trend, mainly introduced in organisations working with people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, which helps prevent and respond to these behaviours. 

It was 20 years ago when the German speaking countries first adopted an approach involving an emotional development model. This model is based on the potential consequences of asynchrony between emotional and cognitive development. Such a situation can give rise to behavioural problems and associated psychiatric disorders in people with intellectual disability. In other words, it is a psychotherapeutic model based on the fact that cognitive development is not only intellectual but also emotional. 

Understanding emotional development in people with intellectual disability provides a more accurate diagnosis, assessment and treatment for the person, as it helps detect factors that play a role in the development of psychiatric disorders or behavioural problems and, secondarily, it permits therapeutic strategies to be established to improve mental health problems. 

As for the last decade, the model has been given a more scientific character thanks to a neuropsychiatric perspective, i.e., relating emotions to neuronal structures. 

In this context, the NEED group, together with SJD Xarxa de Salut Mental del Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, are holding their first ever conference in Spain on this new approach. 

The aim of the symposium is for European professionals to present this new way of tackling behavioural problems, at a statewide level, as a complement to the positive behavioural support model. 

The meeting on 20 October will provide a scientific introduction from the neuropsychiatric perspective, which can later be complemented by 6 practical workshops on Friday 21 October. 

In short, it will be a meeting to highlight the emotional development model and advance understanding and treatment of people with intellectual disability, thereby improving the approach to behavioural problems and the search for the causal factors in associated psychiatric disorders. 

You can view the full digital programme here. 

It is essential to register for both the on-site and online options to access the symposium on the 20th. 

As for the workshops, you can register using the same process for a maximum of 3 workshops on the 21st, which will be held as an on-site option only

The conference and workshops will be entirely in English, with simultaneous translation into Spanish on the 20th for both on-site and online options. A consecutive translation service will be available for the workshops on the 21st, also in English. 

Please, find complete information on the Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu website.

NEED Meeting 2021 in Barcelona, Spain

NEED Meeting and Symposium 2021

24.03.2021, Barcelona, Spain

Due to the pandemic situation this meeting took place online.

NEED Meeting 2020 in Florence, Italy

NEED Symposium 2020

17.09.2020, Florence, Italy

Due to the pandemic situation this meeting took place online.

NEED Meeting 2019 in Nottingham, England

NEED Symposium 2019

Group-Photo NEED 2019

Video Medley of First Day

Video Medley of Second Day

NEED 2019 Picture Gallery

NEED Meeting 2018 in Liebenau, Germany

NEED Symposium 2018

Group-Photo NEED 2018

Video Medley of First Day

Video Medley of Second Day

NEED Meeting 2017 in Ghent, Belgium

NEED Symposium 2017

Group Photo NEED 2017

NEED 2017 Picture Gallery

NEED Meeting 2016 in Enschede, The Netherlands

NEED Symposium 2016

NEED Group Photo 2016

NEED 2016 Picture Gallery

NEED Meeting 2015 in Berlin, Germany

NEED Group Photo 2015