Child and Youth Education
the formal review of information with the child about how his problem developed. The goal of doing this technique is to empower the youth with knowledge about his problem. This is also done to provide a rationale for doing treatment.
a type of cognitive skill that involves increasing one’s awareness of his or her inner-voice. The goal of self verbalization is to learn to decrease negative self statements and increase use of positive self statements. Many strategies can be used by a youth’s therapist to help the youth tune in to his or her inner dialogue and change it for the better.
activities for helping the youth solve problems. These activities should involve the therapist teaching the youth how to approach and solve problems. This technique is less powerful if the therapist solves the problem for the child by giving him solutions.
calming exercises which teach youth how to effectively cope with stressful events. These can include muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, or meditation. This technique is done with a therapist at first to learn the specific technique. The youth is then taught how to use the strategy effectively during times which are stressful.
exercises which give the child information, training, and feedback about the way they interact (e.g., play, speak, work) with others. The goals of these exercises are to increase positive interactions with others and to give the child tools to interact appropriately.
training for youth or parents in how to communicate effectively with each other in order to minimize stress and increase positive interactions. This may include active listening, “I” statements, symbolic communication strategies (e.g., picture exchange communication cards), or basic social exchange (e.g., nodding yes or no).
techniques for changing an event’s meaning through discussing the child’s thoughts on those events. This is frequently done through the child keeping a “thought record.” These records are usually worksheets that outline predictions in a way to test them for accuracy. The goal of doing this technique is to positively influence the child’s thinking style, so that they can better cope with stress.
exercises that allow clients to identify and take part in fun activities outside of therapy when they want to feel good. The goal of activity scheduling is to encourage continued participation in rewarding and healthy experiences and to help youth build positive friendships.
exercises that involve review of the learned skills and planning ahead for any challenges that might arise after therapy is finished. The goal of doing this is to make sure that the skills the child has learned is not lost in the future.
speaking with the youth regarding future plans/goals and how therapy may aid in reaching those goals. This skill involves learning to set goals that are realistic, measurable, and support a positive behavioral change. Part of goal setting may also include thinking about potential barriers and how they can be addressed.