Every child has the ability to learn, but not every child can learn in the same structured classroom setting. There does not have to be an achievement gap or academic failure; we can become a society blessed with academic success and mental well-being. Our nation’s mental health depends on how we handle children who struggle to learn in the classroom. An effective prevention program can change a child’s life forever.
The question then arises: How do we identify an effective prevention program in school-based settings? Let us return to our three theoretical principles. For a group intervention to erase classroom failure, it must (1) rebuild self-efficacy, (2) rely on intrinsic motivation, and (3) fully employ the therapeutic power of cohesive group process. Although many group interventions have proven over time to be successful in treating trauma, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and other forms of dysfunctional behavior, we will limit our discussion to classroom- based academic failure. We will compare six of the most frequently used school-based group therapies—expressive therapies, brief small group counseling, short-term play therapy, academic counseling, developmental therapy, and cognitive behavioral interventions—to the three theoretical principles cited above.
KeywordsEating Disorder Intrinsic Motivation Fourth Grade Academic Failure Play Therapy
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