Taming the Problem Child (2001)

Film details

  • Featuring

    Aden Gillett

  • Country

    United Kingdom

  • Year


  • Type



Follows two families, one British and one American, as they start to implement a controversial treatment programme for dealing with children with severe aggressive behavioural disorders under the supervision of the programme's deviser, American neuropsychologist Dr Ron Federici. For at least a month, each child must stay within three feet of their parents 24 hours a day. They must be totally compliant to whatever their parents want, and, if they refuse to obey, they are forced down to the floor and held there. Their bedrooms are stripped bare, and they are not allowed any independence. They are never left alone and are not allowed to play or see friends. Through a gradual process of reward and punishment, the child is eventually reintroduced to their toys, their peers and the outside world. Dr Federici claims an 80% rate of improvement for his treatment. Critics believe the process of re-programming children's minds may be harmful. Other participants include psychoanalyst Prof Peter Fonagy of University College, London and consultant child psychologist Dr Stephen Scott of Maudsley Hospital.

Cast & Credits

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