Cognitive Therapy with Children

  • Raymond DiGiuseppe


Recently, cognitive-behavior therapy has become the zeitgeist in psychotherapy. Despite this trend, the cognitive orientation has been slow to filter down to interventions with children. The majority of practitioners working with children use behavioral psychodynamic family-systems approaches to treatment. As a result, children are viewed as passive recipients of external influences. Although it is true that children are often dependent on others for much of their physical needs, cognitive theory would challenge the notion that children have no influence over their own emotional reactions and that their emotional disturbance is only the result of systemic variables or reward contingencies. Although such factors are obviously important in shaping children’s psychological development, cognitions can be viewed as the mediational variables by which these external factors (family systems and behavioral contingencies) have their effect. One can change children’s behavior by restructuring systems or by rearranging contingencies or, more directly and perhaps more efficiently, by attempting to change the child’s cognitions directly.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond DiGiuseppe
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Rational-Emotive TherapyNew YorkUSA

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