Category: Treatment - CBT

Mini Workshop

Mini Workshop 6 - "What Do You Mean, 'Think About My Thinking?'" Making Abstract Concepts Come to Life in CBT for Kids

Friday, November 17
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Sapphire 410, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Depression | Child Anxiety | Clinical Utility
Presentation Type: Mini Workshop
Level of Familiarity: Basic to Moderate

In the relatively brief history of treatment development, treatments for adult populations have often precipitated the design of treatments that target the same population of children. As a result, a number of treatments for commonly occurring child and adolescent disorders, such as depressive disorders and anxiety disorders, represent modifications made to extant treatments originally created with adults as the presumed client.. This is particularly true in cognitive behavioral therapies, where child-focused therapies are typically downward extensions of treatments originally conceived for adults. Although developers of child-focused manualized treatments have made significant efforts to tailor their protocols to children--including age-appropriate examples and easy-to-remember acronyms--some therapeutic concepts remain difficult to grasp for youth who struggle with abstract concepts. Furthermore, therapists who treat complex or comorbid youth may find it challenging to use single-disorder treatment manuals where the content is often sequential, and doesn't easily permit shifts to address problems outside the bounds of the primary target problem. A focus on developmentally tailored treatment elements that commonly occur in child-focused CBT programs may therefore be useful for novice therapists, or those with less experience treating children (Kingery et al., 2015).

This mini-workshop will present practical, fun, and concrete strategies to help clinicians teach children core concepts considered essential in CBT for depressive disorders and anxiety disorders in youth. Experiential activities, useful metaphors, and helpful therapeutic techniques will address such concepts as meta cognition, selective attention, behavioral activation, positive self-presentation, threat reappraisal, behavioral exposure, diffusion, and mindfulness, among others. Particular attention will be paid to using these techniques in practice settings with complex and comorbid populations.

Learning Objectives:

Recommended Reading: Bearman, S.K., & Weisz, J.R. (2015). Comprehensive treatments for youth comorbidity: Evidence-guided approaches to a complicated problem. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 20, 131-141. doi:10.1111/camh.12092
Kendall, P.C., Robin, J.A., Hedtke, K.A., Suveg, C., Flannery-Schroeder, E., Gosch, E. (2005). Considering CBT with anxious youth? Think exposures. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 12 (1), 136-148.
Kingery, J. N., Grover, R. L., Hansen, D. J., Nangle, D. W., Suveg, C., & Mychailyszyn, M. P. (2015). Developmentally sensitive implementation of core elements of evidence-based treatments: Practical strategies for youth with internalizing disorders. the Behavior Therapist, 38(5), 116-122.

Sarah Kate Bearman

Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Austin


Send Email for Sarah Kate Bearman

Joanna A. Robin

Westchester Anxiety Treatment Psychological Services, PC


Send Email for Joanna Robin


Mini Workshop 6 - "What Do You Mean, 'Think About My Thinking?'" Making Abstract Concepts Come to Life in CBT for Kids

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