A Brief Description of Cognitive Developmentall Therapy

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A Brief Description of Cognitive Developmentall Therapy

Cognitive developmental therapy (CDT) is an integrative therapeutic approach that promotes the growth of skills across multiple domains, such as cognitive, emotional and social. The main objective is to promote children’s adaptive, healthy and productive behaviors.

The development of these abilities can be influenced by a number of factors, including cognitive-behavioral processes and family systems. Furthermore, clinical studies have demonstrated an association between emotional understanding and competence (e.g., recognizing moods; connecting feelings to thoughts, behaviors, and situations) and cognitive operations.

Emotion understanding and competence are likely essential components for the cognitive model to work effectively with children. For instance, children need to be able to recognize their emotions, comprehend their intensity, as well as its causes and effects. Furthermore, they should be able to link emotions with behaviors and thoughts, while acknowledging how both internal and external circumstances can impact their feelings.

Furthermore, children need the capacity to differentiate between different kinds of evidence (scientific, non-scientific and emotionally charged) and adjust their belief systems according to new information. They should be able to separate their beliefs from the evidence supporting them and recognize the significance of considering alternative explanations.

Scientific reasoning is one of the most essential abilities in CBT, as it involves the capacity to analyze data and make inferences about its nature. This skill is crucial for many CBT techniques such as recognizing and altering negative thinking patterns and encouraging positive behavioral modifications.

Research has consistently demonstrated that children’s scientific reasoning ability can be improved through training and practice (Inhelder & Piaget 1958; Chinn & Malhotra 2002; Klahr & Nigam 2004; Siegler & Liebert 1975). Unfortunately, some of these approaches may not be particularly successful or transferable to other contexts.

At present, most efforts to tailor interventions developmentally have relied on treatment manuals designed for specific levels or profiles of developmental development (e.g., Doherr & Kimberly 2005; Holmbeck & Kendall 1991), yet these modifications do not always target the abilities that children require in order to engage with therapy and benefit from it. In this paper we review some existing attempts at adapting therapies according to children’s needs, identify their limitations, and suggest improvements that could make these initiatives even more successful.

In order to benefit from CBT, children must be able to critically examine and alter their thought patterns. This necessitates a range of developmental abilities across cognitive, emotional and social domains (Durlak et al. 1991).

For instance, the “control of variables” strategy (Inhelder & Piaget 1958) calls for children to be able to evaluate their thinking process and recognize thought patterns in a controlled environment. Unfortunately, young children often struggle with this ability since they cannot separate thoughts from everyday events.

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