This is a type of cognitive skill that involves increasing a child’s awareness of his inner-voice. The goal of self-verbalization is to learn to decrease negative self-statements and increase use of constructive self-statements. Many strategies can be used by a youth’s therapist to help the youth tune in to his inner dialogue and change it for the better.
What should my therapist be doing?
- Teaching your child that speech directed toward himself (either aloud or internally) can be used to alter beliefs and remember information, rules, and strategies
- Modeling self-verbalized statements that may help with performance, mood, or anxiety:
- Problem definition (e.g., “What is it I have to do?”)
- Focusing of attention (“I need to pay attention to what I’m doing”)
- Planning and response guidance (“I need to work carefully”)
- Self-reinforcement (“I’m doing fine”)
- Self-evaluation (“Am I doing things in the right order?”)
- Coping statements (“I need to try again when I don’t get it right”)
What should I be doing?
- Encouraging your child to practice his self-verbalization skills
- Providing your child opportunities to practice his self-verbalization skills with different tasks or situations
- Praising your child for using these skills in day to day settings
How will I know if it is working?
- Your child will use self-verbalization to aid with tasks involving memory/attention, create a positive outlook when learning, and persevere in the face of difficulties
- Your child should experience enhanced self-efficacy