Country Italy
Date/Duration May 2017
Main subject Teacher
Age-range of students Aged 14-16 years old
Situation/setting of the school A public school in the city of Palermo
Theme/short description + how it is related to DoE Message of discomfort inside the box of emotion
Description of the case study


The teacher decided to implement the DoE in one of his classes because he felt the need to foster relationships between his students who seemed distant from each other, uncommunicative.

He chose to implement continuously two techniques: the hot chair and the box of emotion.

As the meetings took place, pupils started to be involved in the activities becoming more and more familiar with the techniques.

The teacher began to notice the greater involvement of the pupils in the activities.

Approximately two months after the beginning of the implementation, a pupil wrote a message in the box of emotions expressing a strong discomfort. The uneasiness was explained in a very clear and dramatic way. The professor decided not to read the messages inside the box in front of all the students as usual, but to wait a few days. During this time he decided to speak with the class council about the case, but unfortunatly he didn’t find adequate support.

Therefore, he decided to move the subject within the class by reading all the messages in the box.

When this happened, the teacher realized that the discomfort expressed by that student was „like a mirror” since also the rest of the class started to express general discomfort and need for external support. The professor decided to create moments of open confrontation in the classroom, organised periodically.

Thus the class started a path in which confidence among pupils increased and also the confidence towards the professor.

The pupil who first expressed the strong discomfort didn’t come out but his relationships with his class mates started to improve. A form of peer-to-peer support has been activeted. DoE techniques have allowed students to improve their relationships, triggered awareness processes between pupils and between pupils and teachers, and have activated supportive processes within the classroom.