The Psychoeducational Model

Cumberland House after 25 Years
  • Wilbert W. Lewis
  • Beverly L. Lewis


Cumberland House School was initiated in Nashville, Tennessee, 25 years ago as part of a federally funded project to develop and test a new method of treating children with behavior disorders. At the time, it was an innovative, even radical, departure from conventional mental health programs. The predominant current psychodynamic model suggested that deviant behavior was something like an illness, caused by emotional conflict, and that treatment by a mental health professional was required to remove the conflict and thus reduce the problem behavior. Cumberland House, as part of a larger effort called Project Re-Ed, proposed to test a competence model that addressed itself more directly to the solution of children’s problems. Instead of problem behavior such as poor reading or excessive fighting being viewed as a reflection of some deeper emotional problem, it was seen as an appropriate target for direct intervention. The belief was that the teaching of competent and appropriate behavior is in itself a constructive response to a child’s problems and may well lead to generalized improvement in behavior.


Mental Health Professional Residential Treatment Treatment Team Juvenile Court Wild Mushroom 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilbert W. Lewis
    • 1
  • Beverly L. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Middle Tennessee Mental Health InstituteNashvilleUSA

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