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Is a technique used by helping professionals to teach coping skills and behaviors to youth. Modeling usually involves the therapist demonstrating to the youth (and/or parent) how and when these coping skills or behaviors can be applied to difficult situations. For example, when teaching a youth the skill of problem-solving, a therapist might demonstrate to that youth how she applied problem-solving to her life. As another example, a therapist could model to a parent how to deliver labeled praise (e.g., “Great work sharing that book with your brother; I know it’s one of your favorites!”)

What should my therapist be doing?

  • Discussing skills and their rationale with you and/or your child
  • Creating a situation and performing a desired behavior as if they were the child (i.e., starting a conversation) or parent
  • Creating role-play activities where you and your child have opportunities to practice and rehearse the new skill/behavior
  • Using modeling to strengthen or weaken previously learned behaviors

 What should I be doing?

  • Carefully observing the therapist as they model specific skills or behaviors
  • Practicing modeled behaviors outside of session
  • Praising your child for displaying desired behaviors in day to day settings

How will I know if it is working?

  • You and your child will learn new behaviors by watching the therapist in a situation and observing how they interact/react to things.
  • You and your child will perform the behaviors outside the treatment setting in real-life situations
  • The frequency of desired behaviors will increase and undesired behaviors will decrease