Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Generally, CBT is aimed at helping individuals develop more positive and productive behavior and thought patterns, processes and views of themselves and others. These techniques are often used with individuals who struggle with anxiety or depression and can be quite helpful for individuals in need of bolstering their self-esteem. These techniques are very goal oriented with explicit planning, therapy and instruction in how to follow through in overtly changing one’s actions and thoughts that historically drag a person down into their struggles.
For many of the children that we work with, CBT includes the use of curricula and methods that can assist in the changing of these processes. For example, we utilize the Social Thinking curricula and Superflex programs (authored by Michelle Garcia-Winner and her colleagues) that have become commonly used in many school boards and clinics across the country. We also utilize a great deal of Social Stories (popularized by Carol Gray and colleagues), as well as the innovative uses of videotapes and conventional television shows developed by Dr. Michael Weiss and his writing partner Dr. Sheldon Wagner, as important medium in which to understand self and other awareness and social interactions.
Among the many activities that we engage in to promote our clients’ understanding of relationships with others, we orchestrate “friendship networks.” This involves recruiting other children, teens or adults that would also benefit from developing and extending their friendships and adding in the structure of how these individuals spend time together. All of this is done in a context of promoting an understanding — including changes in behavior and thought processes — of relating to others in enduring and meaningful ways.